29 October, 2011

Airplane pilot comments on Neoteric's Hovercraft Flight Training Course

Dirk Lohry, a private airplane pilot from McCook Lake, South Dakota USA, recently completed Neoteric's Recreational Hovercraft Pilot Training Course. Lohry lives on a lake, and the hovercraft he is building from a Neoteric partially-assembled kit will let him navigate the lake over thin and broken ice for the first time. Before his day of training, he had never even seen a hovercraft in person. After his day of training, Lohry offers the following advice to would-be hovercraft pilots …

“I was expecting that flying the hovercraft would be as easy as driving a car on ice. I had flown a private airplane for years and had watched many YouTube videos of the hovercraft in action so I thought I knew quite a bit. Now I know that it would not be a good idea to self teach yourself. You also need to know the theory on how it works, or else you will be scratching your head wondering what happened.
Dirk Lohry (right) and Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald prepare
 the training craft on the Wabash River for Lohry's maiden flight.
The training course showed me that flying a hovercraft is not as intuitive as I had expected. Some aspects of piloting the hovercraft were much more challenging while others were easier. For example, on water the hovercraft does not always hover. If the weight balance is off or if the skirt catches water the hovercraft would not rise. It takes power and speed to get over hump and get hovering. After it gets up, the craft slides like wet soap in a bathtub. Even with reduced power the speed can climb unexpectedly.

Slow speed handling was a pleasant surprise. In one maneuver we gently nudged a bridge on a moving river. Controlling the hovercraft was much easier than I expected and very smooth. There are many things to control all at the same time, such as RPM, rudder, reverse thrust and where you put your weight. And you need to be aware of the wind, current and lots of obstacles.

The Neoteric hovercraft is the only one I know that has reverse thrust. The craft can hover in place, spin like a top or even back up.  Try doing that in any other hovercraft!  Amazing technology really, and all with only one fan. The cool thing was flying over floating logs and vegetation - try doing that in a boat.

Landing on shore was just cool. No more dragging my boat up the shore, knee deep in mud. I am looking forward to maneuvering around the changing shores of the Missouri River. After the big flood this summer, there are new hidden reefs, trees and rocks. For a boat, that is a nightmare … for a hovercraft, it is a dream.”

18 October, 2011

Rescue Hovercraft Pilot Training: Perry-Clear Creek Fire Department

Firefighters from the Perry-Clear Creek Fire Department, Bloomington, Indiana USA have successfully completed Neoteric’s Rescue Hovercraft Pilot Training and Maintenance Course …

Above, first responders from the Perry-Clear Creek Fire Department receive their hovercraft pilot certifications. Left to right: Craig Patnode, Aaron Robertson, JJ McWhorter, Neoteric President/Flight Instructor Chris Fitzgerald, Joe McWhorter Jr., Shane Egan and, in front, Mark Mahurin.

An important portion of the Training Course is instruction in the function and maintenance of all systems of the hovercraft. Here, Chris Fitzgerald overviews with its firefighters and future hovercraft pilots the department’s newly-manufactured 6-passenger Rescue Hovertrek™.

Half the Training Course consists of hands-on flight training. On the Wabash River in Terre Haute, Indiana Instructor Chris Fitzgerald explains the concept of the imaginary "runway" to Mark Mahurin, an idea that is helpful for taking off on water and getting over the hump.

See a photo gallery of the Perry-Clear Creek Fire Dept.

17 October, 2011

Recreational Hovercraft Pilot Training: Sebastian & Ghislaine van Berkom

Sebastian and Ghislaine van Berkom of Montreal, Canada, traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana USA to complete Neoteric’s Hovercraft Pilot Training Course and take delivery of their new Recreational Hovertrek.
Above, Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald takes Ghislaine through a pre-flight check before their new hovercraft is launched on the Wabash River for its maiden training flight.

The van Berkoms own a private island in Canada, which they frequently visit using a barge or Skidoo, depending on the season. However, there are months when ice prevents the use of the barge but when it isn’t yet safe to use the Skidoo. But now, the van Berkom’s new Neoteric hovercraft gives them the ability to travel to their island any time of the year, regardless of weather or water conditions. For this reason, Sebastian and Ghislaine see their new Neoteric hovercraft as not just a recreational vehicle, but also a utility vehicle.
And off they go, transitioning smoothly from the paved boat launch to the water, thanks to the exceptional maneuverability offered by the revolutionary reverse thrust system on all Neoteric Hovercraft.

Unique vehicles and unusual sports are nothing new for Sebastian. His Ski-Doo provides only one of his winter adventures - he also loves the adrenaline rush of heli-skiing.
Back at Neoteric's headquarters, the van Berkoms receive their Hovercraft Pilot Certification from Chris Fitzgerald. After undergoing a day of flight training, Sebastian observed that “it takes awhile for a novice to get used to the relation between power, trim, rudder and reverse thrust buckets.” He strongly advises against operating a hovercraft without first undergoing thorough pilot training.

10 October, 2011

Coming soon: Neoteric on WealthTV's "Boys Toys"

The Neoteric Recreational Hovertrek is in excellent company ... right up there with Rolls Royce, Lazzara Yachts, Quicksilver Ultralight Aircraft, Magic Powerboats, Aqua Jet Jetbikes and Zero Motorcycles, to name a few.

What do these vehicles have in common? In a word, status. WealthTV, the exclusive cable television network, has bestowed top-of-the-line status on them all by selecting them to be featured on its popular program Boys Toys with TV host/actress/model Jenn Barlow.

WealthTV is a high definition American cable television network devoted to taking viewers on a journey of how wealth is achieved, used and enjoyed. The network is carried by cable and satellite service providers around the globe; it is also available via Verizon FiOS and 24/7 live streaming on Roku.

Check back here on the Neoteric blog or on our website for the upcoming program's air date. In the meantime, enjoy a brief preview with photos taken during the recent filming here at Neoteric in Terre Haute ...
Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald readies for launch on the Wabash River two of the three craft used in the filming.
From left, Maintenance Supervisor Ryan Pfister, Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald, and Flight Instructor Steve Stafford strike a pose before launching three Neoteric craft on the river.
Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald hovers WealthTV cameraman Todd Metcalf across a sandbar in the Wabash River.
The crew sets up to film an illustration of how the hovercraft's environmental footprint is so gentle that it can hover over delicate eggs without damaging them.
It's a wrap! The cast and crew pose for a final shot at the end of a day of filming. From left: Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald; Boys Toys host Jenn Barlow; Neoteric Flight Instructor Steve Stafford; Neoteric VP Filip Przybysz; and WealthTV cameraman Todd Metcalf.

Learn more about Neoteric Recreational hovercraft ...

02 October, 2011

Commercial Hovercraft Pilot Training in the Dominican Republic

Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald traveled to the Dominican Republic this week to conduct specialized commercial hovercraft operations training with Neoteric client Jean Paul Delahaut.

Delahaut is launching a new venture offering hovercraft passenger tours along the shoreline of Punta Cana. The area is known for its beaches, which face both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and has been a popular tourist attraction since the 1970s.

Training was conducted in Delahaut’s 100 HP six-passenger Neoteric Hovertrek and took place on the Atlantic Ocean in order to prepare Delahaut for operating the hovercraft in varying water conditions. Sebastien Baratto (rear seat) is along for the ride as Delahaut's first passenger.