28 October, 2012

Neoteric Hovercraft in Russia

Neoteric is proud to have dealers, distributors and referring agents in more than fifteen nations advocating the use of the Hovertrek for rescue, recreational, commercial and military purposes. Christy Hovercraft (IVL Design), our agent in the Russian Federation, has been especially active in promoting Neoteric.

Recently, Christy Hovercraft participated in an international conference/exhibition held in Russia by EMERCON, the Chief Department of the Russian Emergency Services Ministry. EMERCON manages all civil defense and search and rescue operations in Russia. A focus of the event was the study of Russian and international experience in search and rescue operations using high-performance hovercraft, with an emphasis on their effectiveness in flood rescue operations and in adverse weather.

The last half of this video taken at the exhibition features a demonstration of the Neoteric Hovertrek's unusual maneuverability on shallow water and sand, due to its patented reverse thrust system: 


Igor V. Lavrov, President of Christy Hovercraft, reports, “The Hovertrek attracted great interest from senior governmental officials who took part in this conference. A Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation tested the Hovertrek’s controls and reverse thrust system himself. (The Council is the upper chamber of the Federal Assembly, the parliament of the Russian Federation.) Our products aroused great interest among the higher ranks of EMERCON. It was noted that Neoteric hovercraft are extremely mobile, amphibious, have a low-profile design, good ergonomics and low maintenance ... all beneficial attributes for emergency work.

The following Russian dignitaries were among those who expressed interest in the unique versatility of the Neoteric Hovertrek in rescue operations:

Yuri Leonidovich Vorobyov, Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation. Yuri Vorobyov is also a “Hero of the Russian Federation” and “Honored Rescuer” of the Russian Federation.

Vladimir Artamonov, Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations

Viktor Ryabishin, First Deputy Governor of the Vologda region

Shamsutdin Sharabutdinovich Dagirov, Director of the North-West Regional Emergency Center

Viktor Klimkin, Director of FSBI EMERCON, the Russian Research Institute for Fire Protection.

Igor Lavrov, President of Christy Hovercraft, presents the Neoteric Hovertrek
to government officials of the Russian Federation.

Igor Lavrov (wearing glasses) explains the Hovertrek's reverse thrust system to Yuri Leonidovich Vorobyov, Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation (seated in the hovercraft.)  Yuri Vorobyov is a "Hero of the Russian Federation and "Honored Rescuer" of the Russian Federation.

The Neoteric Hovertrek, third from left, is the lightest, quietest, and
most maneuverable production hovercraft in the industry.

All of us at Neoteric would like to express our appreciation to Igor and to Christy Hovercraft for their dedicated work in introducing Neoteric hovercraft throughout the Russian Federation.

See a photo gallery of Neoteric hovercraft in operation in Russia ...

21 October, 2012

Award-winning scientist assists Neoteric Hovercraft

Today, Neoteric Hovercraft was honored with a visit by Dr. Rajpal Sirohi, a world-famous physicist, and his son, Dr. Jayant Sirohi, an award-winning aerospace engineer. Dr. Jayant Sirohi has offered to assist Neoteric in conducting advanced computer modeling of the complex aerodynamics found in the Hovertrek’s integrated lift/thrust ducting.

Below, Dr. Jayant Sirohi (left) studies the thrust duct outlet flow of a Hovertrek at the Neoteric factory, and indicates the onset of turbulence to company President Chris Fitzgerald (center) and Dr. Rajpal Sirohi (right):   

Neoteric founder Chris Fitzgerald has enjoyed a long friendship with Dr. Rajpal Sirohi. In the 1980s, when Fitzgerald was Rose-Hulman Institute’s first Entrepreneur in Residence, he served as an ambassador when visiting SICO in India, a company that was collaborating with Fitzgerald to manufacture hovercraft and components in India. Rose-Hulman asked Fitzgerald to travel to Madras, India to meet Dr. Rajpal Sirohi, who directed the School of Optics at the Madras Design Institute. It was during this visit that Fitzgerald first met the Sirohis' son, Jayant.

Dr. Rajpal Sirohi later affiliated with Rose-Hulman and moved to Terre Haute, IN for a time, after which he moved back to India. He subsequently returned to Terre Haute and is currently a Distinguished Scholar in the department of Physics and Optical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, recognized as the top undergraduate engineering school in the US for the last 14 years.

The Hovertrek is the most thoroughly tested and documented light hovercraft on the market. It is a privilege for us, and a benefit for our customers, to have prestigious engineers and researchers such as Dr. Jayant Sirohi involved in Neoteric’s quest for continuous product improvement.

Dr. Jayant Sirohi
Dr. Jayant Sirohi is Assistant Professor of Aerodynamics in the department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously, he was a Staff Engineer in the Advanced Concept group at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, where was involved with the conceptual design of next generation vertical take-off aircraft. His research interests include micro aerial vehicles and rotorcraft design.

 Dr. Rajpal Sirohi
Dr. Rajpal Sirohi is a Distinguished Scholar in the department of Physics and Optical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Among his numerous awards, he is the recipient of the Galileo Award from the International Commission of Optics, and the Albert Einstein Silver Medal presented by UNESCO for his contributions to science. Sirohi has published more than 234 papers in national and international journals and has authored/co-authored 13 books.


Learn more about Neoteric's research and development program

01 August, 2012

Boys Toys' Jenn Barlow flies a Neoteric Hovercraft

Wealth TV’s Boys Toys, hosted by Emmy-nominated Jenn Barlow, is all about showing you some mind blowing toys for big boys. Earlier this year, Jenn came to Neoteric to film “Hoosier Daddy”, an episode of Boys Toys featuring Neoteric recreational hovercraft. As the show’s promo describes, “Talk about a rush! This one-of-a-kind amphibious vehicle will have you re-evaluating your definition of the word ‘cool’.”

After spending time with Neoteric founder Chris Fitzgerald, Jenn said, “When it comes to hovercraft, this man knows it all!” Watch the episode below and see her learn hands-on how to “get over the hump and fly this bad boy.”




12 July, 2012

Neoteric hovercraft excels in Pelican Island coastal restoration project

One of the most notable features of a hovercraft is that it can access areas other vehicles can’t reach … and the Neoteric hovercraft’s reverse thrust amplifies this capability. That’s the reason a Neoteric craft was selected for use in a major environmental restoration project in the Barrier Islands off the coast of Louisiana.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. (GLDD), the largest provider of dredging services in the U.S., is using a 4-passenger Neoteric Hovertrek for survey work in the restoration of beach, dune and marsh on Pelican Island, a key barrier island. The project will create more than 580 acres and nearly 3 miles of new dunes and marshland. Pelican Island is crucial for protecting Louisiana citizens and property against storm surges and the area is also one of America’s richest fisheries.

GLDD Site Engineer Michael Patria learns to pilot the hovercraft near Joshua's Marina in Buras, Louisiana while Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald provides constant instruction from the rear seat through wireless headsets.
The importance of this project cannot be overstated: it will help combat one of the highest rates of wetlands loss in the world. As Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond states, If one block of New York City disappeared every hour, the nation would be outraged. Well, Louisiana loses a football field of wetlands every hour, which is crippling to the state and the nation. It affects our seafood supply, gas and oil reserves, and storm protection. Reversing this trend is a critical national priority.”

In its very first survey mission, GLDD’s new Hovertrek proved its worth in this critical project. Just days after undergoing pilot training, Site Engineer Michael Patria reported to Neoteric, “Today we used the hovercraft to do a survey that we conduct every Sunday. This process usually takes the better part of a day because we must take measurements at points scattered throughout the entire island. No single machine we possess can get to some of the locations and transporting machinery back and forth takes several hours in itself. With the assistance of the hovercraft, we were able to fully complete this survey in just under an hour and we predict, with practice, we will be able to do it even faster!”

Employees from Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. receive their Class 3 Standard hovercraft pilot certification from instructors Chris Fitzgerald and Steve Stafford. From left: instructor Steve Stafford, operator Jesus Espinoza, instructor Chris Fitzgerald, and Site Engineer Michael Patria.   
              

17 June, 2012

Gladstone Public Safety Department trains in new Neoteric rescue hovercraft

Residents of, and visitors to, the Gladstone, Michigan area can now enjoy Lake Michigan much more safely. First responders from the Gladstone Public Safety Department and Delta County Search and Rescue have completed their pilot training at Hovercraft Training Centers and taken possession of Gladstone’s specially equipped Neoteric rescue hovercraft.

First responders from the Gladstone Public Safety receive their Class 3 Standard hovercraft pilot certification. From left: Gladstone Public Safety Officer Sgt. Scott Larson; Delta County Search & Rescue responder Mike Sands; Gladstone Public Safety Director Paul Geyer; Hovercraft Training Centers instructors Chris Fitzgerald and Steve Stafford.
The Gladstone Public Safety Department, located on Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, provides both police and fire protection to the city of Gladstone. It also provides mutual aid to four other law enforcement agencies and twelve other fire departments in the area.

Delta County Search and Rescue in Escanaba, Michigan is an all-volunteer team serving Delta County and surrounding areas. Among other responsibilities, the agency performs ice and swift water rescues on 1,777 square miles of land and inland waterways and on more than 200 miles of Lake Michigan.

Drowning has become a too-frequent tragedy in the areas serviced by these agencies, raising concern about slow response times and reliance on low-tech equipment such as ladders and tires to reach victims. The initial discussions about equipment upgrades began nearly 20 years ago after a drowning during the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association’s UP 200 race, a major Michigan event. A man tried to rescue his dog after it fell through the ice, but they both drowned in spite of rescue attempts using ropes and ladders. The rescuers almost lost their lives as well.

The decision to purchase a Neoteric hovercraft was made because the department wanted “something that would be safer for us and that would be quicker at the same time,” explains Public Safety Officer Sgt. Scott Larson.

Gladstone’s new Neoteric rescue hovercraft undergoes performance testing on the Wabash River.
All three Officers emphasized how professional training is absolutely essential for every hovercraft owner, particularly those involved in rescue operations. They were also impressed with the unusual maneuverability of the Neoteric hovercraft.

At the conclusion of their training, Gladstone Public Safety Director Paul Geyer observed, “The maneuverability is incredible – but it takes a fine touch to get that maneuverability. I struggled with trying to drive like it was a four-wheeler, when you turn where you want to go. With this hovercraft, you hardly turn at all … when Chris relates it to a helicopter, I can see it. And I expected it to be louder than it is.”

Paul Geyer learns to fly the department’s new hovercraft on the Wabash River, while instructor Chris Fitzgerald provides constant assistance and supervision.
Both work and recreation in the Gladstone area have now risen to a new level of safety. Their new hovercraft will be a valuable year-round asset in helping Gladstone Public Safety prevent injuries and fatalities on and near Lake Michigan.

See a photo gallery of Gladstone’s hovercraft pilot training sessions.

Learn more about Neoteric rescue hovercraft.  


09 June, 2012

Swedish entrepreneurs complete hovercraft pilot training

Fredrik Hedberg and Eric Groenlund, two young entrepreneurs from Vastervik, Sweden, recently traveled to the USA to undergo hovercraft pilot and maintenance training at Hovercraft Training Centers' headquarters in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Neoteric is the exclusive provider of the hovercraft employed by Hovercraft Training Centers.
With the Neoteric hovercraft's 100% buoyancy, Eric Groenlund and instructor Chris Fitzgerald stay
comfortably afloat during flight training on the Wabash River while Eric reviews the craft's controls
and its behavior with the engine shut down.
Hedberg and Groenlund’s company manufactures specialty trailers, both for the private sector and for the military. There is a growing need for hovercraft in Sweden, which has a large number of small coastal islands where the population doesn’t have direct access to rescue vehicles other than a helicopter, which is costly and often unavailable.

After researching hovercraft manufacturers they decided that the Neoteric Hovertrek, with its light weight and unique reverse thrust system, was ideal for operation in Sweden so they decided their first step would be to enroll in the pilot training program. 

Eric said, “We want to master them and know everything about it. The training sounded for us like a natural first step; we wouldn’t even go near it without the training. It’s like selling a helicopter to someone, thinking it’s a cool thing to have, but one needs to know how it works too! “.

Fredrik Hedberg (left) and Eric Groenlund (right) receive their
Class 3 Standard hovercraft pilot certification from instructor Chris Fitzgerald.

See a complete photo gallery of the Hedberg / Groenlund pilot training session.
 


04 June, 2012

Recreational Hovercraft Pilot Training: Michael Meissner


Michael Meissner of Glendive, Montana USA recently earned his Class 3 Standard hovercraft pilot certification at Hovercraft Training Centers’ headquarters. After purchasing a used Neoteric hovercraft from a previous owner, he learned to operate it on his own but, once he began the training course, he says he quickly realized the necessity of proper training – especially the classroom portion of the course.

“I’ve always been a technical person and could not go anywhere without the proper theoretical background training,” he says.

Michael Meissner (right) and instructor Chris Fitzgerald are ready for takeoff
on the Wabash River as Michael's flight training begins.
With a long career as an aviation electronics technician in the U.S. Navy and as an analyst for a systems engineering firm affiliated with Navy and Marine Corps aircraft programs, Michael is no stranger to flight … but flying eight inches above the ground is a new experience for him.

“Hovercraft are the ideal recreational watercraft, especially for fishing and nature cruising,” Michael says. He lives near Yellowstone National Park, an area with plentiful rivers and lakes – “the perfect location for hovercraft.” Glendive is located on the Yellowstone River near the North Dakota border, and is known as the Paddlefish and Yellowstone Caviar Capital of the World, attracting more than 3,000 anglers every year.

Michael was surprised to learn that no one in his area owns a hovercraft; he’s proud to be the first and hopes to spread the ‘hover spirit’ in his community. 

Michael Meissner (right) receives his Class 3 Standard hovercraft pilot certification from instructor Chris Fitzgerald (left).
 

07 May, 2012

How do airboats compare to hovercraft?


Unlike airboats, hovercraft are flying machines that travel above the surface on a bubble of air so they don’t create a wake on water. Airboats are flat-bottomed boats with a large propeller and their entire weight rests on the surface, creating a wake.  Airboats usually require a boat dock for launching; hovercraft do not.

Airboats are limited to relatively smooth water because their hulls have low gunwales which can be easily swamped. Airboats have minimum positive flotation, where hovercraft have quite a lot - up to 1 1/2 times their weight. This enables hovercraft to operate safely on swiftwater. Here, first responders from the U.S. Air Force practice swiftwater rescue techniques in a Neoteric hovercraft …


Both are amphibious vehicles but hovercraft, since they ride on a cushion of air, are better on dry terrain. Airboats travel over mud, grass, sand, pavement, gravel, or other dry surfaces by sliding on their plastic-covered hulls.

The airboat’s tall propeller also limits its use in areas with overhead obstructions, which are often found in flood rescue operations. An airboat’s propeller usually runs close to the speed of sound and generates considerably more noise than a hovercraft. Airboats can consume up to three times more energy than hovercraft, so they use more fuel.

Hovercraft can be safer than airboats in ice rescue operations. For example, a news article from earlier this year, Dive team set for ice rescues stated,  “Emergency personnel practiced rescuing victims who have fallen through ice by getting as close as they can with airboats - too close and the boat will push the ice and crush the victim - and then, with insulated, waterproof suits on and an attached rope, swimming out and bringing the victim back." 

Of course, every situation is different, but hovercraft have the ability to fly on top of thin or broken ice while an airboat cannot, and hovercraft often break the ice into small pieces that are of no danger to the victim. Hovercraft can also approach the victim directly, keeping rescuers out of the water.

An example of an airboat's tall propeller and high center of gravity.
The airboat's high center of gravity makes them prone to flipping over. However, their large propeller produces a lot of thrust, enabling airboats to push through tall vegetation where a hovercraft cannot.

Finally, airboats are generally less maneuverable than hovercraft, particularly Neoteric craft whose patented reverse thrust system allows them to brake and otherwise outmaneuver every other hovercraft on the market. Reverse thrust is essential for hovering on ice and swiftwater. Airboat control comes from propeller thrust and airflow across its rudders, so it takes full power to achieve real control. In contrast, a hovercraft with reverse thrust is more easily controlled, no matter how much power is applied.Operating an airboat at full power is a bit like running a bucking bronco! But flying a hovercraft with reverse thrust, even at full power, is nothing like fighting a monster - it's more like dancing with a ballerina.
 

Have a question about hovercraft?
Just leave a comment and we'll answer! 

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03 May, 2012

Can I build a hovercraft from a kit?


All you need is a Neoteric partially assembled hovercraft kit and you can easily build your own hovercraft. This is the only production hovercraft available in do-it-yourself kits. Not only does a DIY hovercraft save you 25% off the price of a manufactured hovercraft, it gives you a great project to enjoy with family or friends.

The kit hovercraft is easy to assemble because much of the work has already been completed at the factory and the kits come with full hovercraft assembly instructions, including a DVD. It takes about 40 hours to finish and all you need are basic workshop skills, a work area about the size of a one-car garage, and common hand tools such as an electric drill, a pop rivet gun, a set of screwdrivers and sets of open-ended and allen wrenches.

Our customers have built personal hovercraft, as well as commercial and rescue hovercraft, from our partially assembled kits. A few examples …

Dirk Lohry built his recreational hovercraft from a Neoteric kit. He lives on a lake in South Dakota and his hovercraft lets him fly for the first time on the lake in winter over thin and broken ice. Read Dirk’s comments and see a photo gallery of his experience building a hovercraft ...

The Butler Group Co. Ltd. in Phuket, Thailand built their commercial hovercraft from a kit ...

Another commercial hovercraft builder is the Winous Point Shooting Club. The Club is a part of the Winous Point Marsh Conservancy on the shores of Lake Erie in Point Clinton, Ohio and is the oldest duck hunting club in America. Their hovercraft is used to transport hunters over water, mud, sand and thin ice to suitable hunting spots. Follow along as they assemble the hovercraft

You can learn more about what’s involved in building a hovercraft and see step-by-step photo galleries from our customers in the Neoteric Hovercraft HoverGarage.

Questions about building a hovercraft? Just leave a comment!



24 April, 2012

The danger of counterfeit hovercraft


The phrase “counterfeit goods” usually brings to mind fake designer handbags and knockoffs of expensive wristwatches. In recent years, however, the trafficking of counterfeit goods has expanded to products that threaten consumer health and safety – products such as medications, electrical components, aircraft and automobile parts … and hovercraft.

According to Brett Brenner, President of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, counterfeit products that appear to be exact copies of the genuine article are “the scariest type of counterfeit because the danger is within, and there is nothing on the outside to alert you that there might be a problem.”

Hovercraft manufacturers are increasingly experiencing this type of industrial and economic espionage. The World Hovercraft Organization’s Hovercraft Ripoff Report alerts consumers to counterfeit hovercraft on the market; for instance …
  • Among numerous other offenses, Hi Tech International, S.r.l. of Gorgonzola, Italy posed as a Neoteric dealer then counterfeited the Neoteric Hovertrek™ and its patented components through an illegal process known as “splash molding”. HTI is now marketing these hovercraft copies as their own design.
  • New Zealand’s Pacific Hovercraft NZ Ltd. reports that China Hovercraft Ltd., Shanghai, China (aka Lianyungang Supreme Hovercraft aka Shanghai Supreme Hovercraft) has committed offenses including unlicensed production/sale of counterfeit hovercraft and intellectual property infringement.
Startup companies such as these are threatening consumer safety by marketing these counterfeit hovercraft. As one example, even after their offenses against Neoteric, Hi Tech International, S.r.l. urgently tried to get help from Neoteric’s engineers to solve the problems suffered by HTI’s rescue hovercraft – life-threatening problems such as exploding fans.

Since hovercraft are increasingly utilized in rescue operations, such counterfeit rescue hovercraft pose a serious threat to the lives of first responders and to the lives of those they are tasked to save.

Our advice? Never buy a hovercraft before you thoroughly research companies to be certain you’re purchasing from the original, reputable, experienced manufacturer and not a counterfeiter. Your life could depend upon it.

To read more, or to file a complaint, visit Hovercraft Ripoff Report

14 April, 2012

Hovercraft at play


Whether you spend your leisure time on land, water, ice, snow or sand, a hovercraft is the only vehicle that will fly you across any terrain in any season.
Neoteric customer Dave Reyburn cruises Florida's Suwannee River ...

Here, a Neoteric Hovertrek glides over tall grass on a tidal estuary ...

Neoteric customer Aki Kaisla flies across thin ice and water in his Hovertrek to explore the frozen Sea of Finland ...
 
Check out a photo gallery of personal hovercraft owners worldwide using their craft for recreational activities ranging from shooting the rapids to ice fishing, fly fishing, beach cruising and more.

Have a question about leisure hovercraft? Just leave a comment!


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09 April, 2012

Michigan first responders complete pilot training in their new rescue Hovertrek™


The Norman Township Fire Department’s Assistant Chief Dennis Jolicoeur and Medical First Responder Larry Waligorski traveled to Neoteric’s headquarters on the day before Easter to take delivery of their new craft and complete their hands-on flight training and maintenance certification. The funding for the department’s rescue hovercraft was provided by a grant.
From the left: Instructor Chris Fitzgerald, Medical First Responder Larry Waligorski, Assistant Chief Dennis Jolicoeur and Instructor Steve Stafford prepare to launch two craft on the Wabash River for the first training session.

A volunteer on call department, the Norman Township Fire Department in Wellston, MI provides fire protection and ambulance service to an 80 sq. mile area in Michigan’s Manistee County.

Waligorski explains the department’s need for a hovercraft: “We perform water and ice rescues on the rapidly running, narrow, difficult to access Pine River, with rocks, downed trees and steep banks.”

The Pine River is considered the premier paddle sports venue in the Midwest; it attracts canoers, kayakers, rafters and fishermen from across the nation year-round. The first responders say that one asset of the hovercraft will be to replace, “ice rescues done the old fashioned way: with rope and ice rescue suits.”
Instructor Chris Fitzgerald briefs Jolicoeur and Waligorski and walks them through a preflight inspection of their new hovercraft.
The department had considered purchasing a jet boat, but the problems with that rescue vehicle were quickly made apparent when, during a company demo, rocks in the river caused the jet boat to break down.

After discovering Neoteric Hovercraft online, Norman Township Fire Department personnel visited the Muskegon, Michigan Fire Department, “who had great things to say about their Neoteric craft,” says Jolicoeur.

Steve League, Fire Chief of the North Muskegon Fire Department recently told Neoteric, “Both the North Muskegon and Muskegon Fire Departments use hovercraft for their ice rescue operations. The hovercraft have saved more lives than our engines have. Since 1985, 255 people have been rescued or removed from Muskegon area lakes using hovercraft. 50% would have drowned not having the hovercraft as a safe rescue tool.”

Larry Waligorski (left) begins his hands-on pilot training as instructor Steve Stafford (right) demonstrates the operation of the hovercraft's controls and how to achieve the proper trim.




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03 April, 2012

Hovercraft save lives


First responders worldwide recognize that the hovercraft is the only rescue vehicle able to perform fast, safe rescue operations on swift water, thin or broken ice, flood waters and snow. Because it safely hovers 9 inches above the terrain, a hovercraft keeps the rescue team above the danger – not in it – and gives rescuers access to areas boats and helicopters can't reach.



Have a question about rescue hovercraft? Just post it as a comment.

30 March, 2012

Neoteric Hovercraft assist in Kuwait mega-project disputed by Iraq


Conflicts in the Middle East are a fact of world history. The Neoteric Hovertrek™ has a long history of navigating challenging terrain, but only recently has it traveled to the midst of a dispute between two Persian Gulf nations: Kuwait and Iraq.

Neoteric hovercraft are being used by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. in the building of the new Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port at Kuwait’s Bubiyan Island on the Khor Abdullah waterway. The project is disputed by Iraq, who argues that the port would choke its only access to international shipping lanes. Territorial claims to Bubiyan Island were a factor in Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Hyundai E&C Civil Engineer Min Suk Lee and Scheduling Engineer Seung Uk Paik embark upon a day of training in rare clear weather. On the following day this training location had been buried under several layers of bulldozed sand.
Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald recently traveled to Kuwait to conduct hovercraft pilot and maintenance training for Hyundai E&C personnel, much of which took place during a severe sandstorm. He relates ...

“Bubiyan Island is a giant mud pie! Both the terrain and the weather made hovercraft training a challenging challenge. Construction projects of this size in these environments are a monumental feat, and the need for several hovercraft is clear. No other vehicle can carry personnel and equipment over this muddy moonscape quickly or perform rescues when emergencies arise. Breaking down or getting marooned in this semi-liquid land makes rescue a slow, difficult task.”
Left to right: Hyundai E&C Speed Boat Operators Saifull Islam and Aneesh Kumar take a photo break during training with Instructor Chris Fitzgerald. The sandstorm has completely obscured the company’s headquarters in the background.
 From ancient Middle East tensions to mud dwellers to sandstorms and disappearing training sites, we invite you to read the saga of Fitzgerald’s Kuwait experience in his own words – with a complete photo gallery:

 

14 March, 2012

Hovercraft at work


Hovercraft are used throughout the world for a wide variety of commercial applications, including mosquito control, oil spill cleanup, gold mining, wildlife conservation, commercial fishing and tourism.

Hovercraft were used on Kuwait's intertidal zone to survey the environmental damage inflicted by the 1991 Persian Gulf War oil fires. The hovercraft was the only vehicle capable of operating on the thick mud ...

The Racine, Wisconsin airport has a large quarry at the end of the runways in which geese collect - a hazard to aircraft operation. A hovercraft is used to haze the geese and drive them away. Read the full story ...

 Club Montee in Austria performs hovercraft shows to entertain audiences at special events ...



Have a question about commercial hovercraft? Just post it as a comment.

 

05 March, 2012

Light Hovercraft in the Military


Light hovercraft such as the Neoteric Hovertrek are used by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Border Patrol, particularly for search and rescue missions.

Because it safely hovers 9 inches above any terrain, a hovercraft keeps military personnel above the danger – not in it – and gives them access to areas that helicopters, boats and other vehicles can’t reach.

 Neoteric trained military hovercraft pilots from the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at Hill Air Force Base. Among the trainees is Capt. Cory Lingelbach (left), who used one of the base's Neoteric craft to rescue a downed F-16 pilot who crashed in 2006 on the Great Salt Lake mudflats, where no other rescue vehicle could travel.
Read the full story ...



Have a question about military hovercraft? Just post it as a comment. 


26 February, 2012

How are hovercraft used?

Hovercraft are so versatile that their applications are as diverse as the people who use them. They are most often used to reach areas that are inaccessible on foot or by conventional vehicles. Hovercraft can go where most other vehicles can't.
Hovercraft are the ideal vehicle for ice fishing and for ice rescue operations
due to their ability to fly safely over thin or broken ice.

 A partial listing of hovercraft uses includes:

• Exploring the vast number of shallow and narrow waterways that cannot be reached by boat
• Rescue work on swift water, ice, snow, mud flats, deserts, wetlands, shallow water, swamps, bogs, marshes and floodwaters.
• Affordable, safe way to fly without a pilot's license.
• Transport in environmentally sensitive areas where habitat, erosion and soil compaction are a concern; wildlife conservation research; environmental testing
• Oil spill cleanup
• Tourism; transportation or "island-hopping"
• Fishing anywhere ... including ice fishing
• Military services
• Water management
• Port authorities/drug enforcement
• TV and film companies; entertainment at Disney World water shows
• Agricultural spraying
• Survey work
• Heavy load movement across difficult surfaces
• Mosquito abatement
• Removing leaves from Pecan farms
• "Bird hazing" – chasing geese from lakes in the vicinity of airports 

To learn more about hovercraft, read About Hovercraft

Have a question about hovercraft? Just post it as a comment.



15 February, 2012

Do hovercraft hurt the environment?

The answer is no. The unique characteristics of the hovercraft make it one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles in the world. 

One of these characteristics is the hovercraft's low "footprint pressure." The pressure a hovercraft exerts on its operating surface is about 1/30th that of the human foot! The average human being standing on ground exerts a pressure of about 3 lb per square inch, and that increases to 25 lb per square inch when walking. In contrast, the average hovercraft exerts a pressure of only 0.33 lb per square inch - even less as speed increases. 

This "footprint pressure" is below that of a seagull standing on one leg! Hovercraft have literally flown over a pedestrian without inflicting harm.

A film crew from the cable network WeathTV 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.

To learn more about hovercraft, see Hovercraft Q & A …

Have a question about hovercraft? We’re here to answer – just post a comment.


30 January, 2012

How does a hovercraft work?


Although often seen as a mysterious, even bizarre mode of transportation, it is conceptually quite simple. To understand how hovercraft work, it is necessary to realize that the dynamics are more closely related to aircraft than to boats or automobiles. 


As a member of the family of air cushion vehicles (ACVs) or ground effect machines, which includes wing-in-ground-effect or ram wings, surface effect ships, sidewall hovercraft, and surface skimmers, hovercraft, are the amphibious member of the air cushion vehicle family. They are the most novel among vehicles that are supported by pressurized air …


Have a question about hovercraft? We’re here to answer – just post a comment.

16 January, 2012

History of the Hovercraft


A hovercraft is a flying machine, a type of air cushion vehicle. When it comes to flying machines, ideas easily date back to ancient Greece. This is not the case with air cushion vehicles.

The first recorded design for such a vehicle was in 1716 by Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish designer, philosopher and theologian. Swedenborg's design appeared in the fourth edition of Sweden's first scientific journal, Daedulus Hyperboreus, and is the first detailed technical description of a flying machine of any type.

Swedenborg's man-powered air cushion platform, basically a circular aircraft, resembled an upside-down boat with a cockpit in the center or a "flying saucer." His manually-operated device required the would-be pilot to use oar-like scoops to push air under the vehicle on each downward stroke in order to raise the hull out of the water. A working model of the design was never built, because Swedenborg soon realized that a human could not sustain the energy needed to power the oars. His concept required a source of energy far greater than any available at that time.

As with many other forms of transportation, significant progress had to wait until a lightweight motor was developed in the nineteenth century …

Read the full History of the Hovercraft, from 1700 to the present day …

Have a question about hovercraft? Just leave us a comment.

03 January, 2012

Exactly what is a hovercraft?


A hovercraft is one of the children of the air cushion vehicle (ACV) family that flies above the earth's surface on a cushion of air. It is powered by an engine that provides both the lift cushion and the thrust for forward or reverse movement. The hovercraft child is a true multi-terrain, year-round vehicle that can easily make the transition from land to water because it slides on a cushion [bubble] of air with the hovercraft skirt slightly brushing the surface.

To learn more about hovercraft, read Hovercraft Q&A …

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