06 December, 2018

#TBT: World’s First Hovercraft Race

For #ThrowbackThursday, let’s go back to March 14, 1964 when Chris Fitzgerald, Neoteric’s future founder and president, participated in the World’s First Hovercraft Race in Canberra, Australia ...
The Age Newspaper, 14 March 1964: This hovercraft will take part in the world’s first hovercraft race over Lake Burley Griffin today. In the cockpit, Edward Thomas;
from left, Ron Davies, Christopher Fitzgerald and Robert Wilson.
The race was a remarkable success. It drew more than 30,000 spectators and received extensive media coverage. London’s Flight International magazine reported: "March 14, 1964, may become a famous date in ACV history, for on that day, at Canberra, the world's first competitive hovercraft trials took place. An analogy may be drawn between the Canberra trials of 1964 and the Rheims air meeting of 1909: both mark the beginning of competitive development in their respective fields.”

Watch a video filmed during the race ...

In a 2001 article, journalist Eric Shackle related Neoteric’s evolution since the World’s First Hovercraft Race  ...
Melbourne Entrant’s Success Story

One of the entrants in the World's First Hovercraft Race, Australian Air Cushion Vehicle Development, vigorously pursued its interest in hovercraft, transferred to the US, and is now one of the world's leading manufacturers of the craft: Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.

In 1964, the company competed in the first world hovercraft race. As experience mounted, the Rotary International Foundation awarded AACVD's president, Chris Fitzgerald, a scholarship for a world hovercraft study tour which resulted in contact with virtually every hovercraft project in existence.

Innovations continued and, by 1973, a prototype hovercraft, the Neova, was completed and AACVD formed a new company, Neoteric Engineering Affiliates Pty. Ltd., which created staggering world interest when it introduced the Neova at a press demonstration in July, 1974 in Melbourne, Australia. All were anticipating a promising future for this curious new flying machine.

Hoping to sell their technology to the burgeoning recreational vehicle market in the United States, the engineering team made what was intended to be a temporary move to the USA in 1975. After a short time, however, they discovered that there was a virgin market for the manufacturing of hovercraft and began reorienting their company's focus in that direction. This spurred the spin-off company, Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.

Today, Neoteric boasts a clientele that spans 50 countries and includes Disney World, local and national [and international] rescue departments, dive teams, gold mines, environmental and fishery research departments at universities, oil-spill clean-up, the US Army Corps of Engineers and, of course, numerous people who enjoy exploring remote areas that cannot be reached by any other means.

They've come a long way since taking part in that historic 1964 race on Lake Burley Griffin!

29 November, 2018

#TBT: Neoteric Rescue Hovercraft in action at #FDIC

Firefighters and first responders: Kick off this #ThrowbackThursday with a video of a Neoteric Rescue Hovercraft in action at last April’s Fire Department Instructors Conference. Watch how the only hovercraft with reverse thrust for braking and backing up can be critical in rescue operations. First responders, this lets you easily reach the victim without having to submerge yourself in water, ice, snow, mud, etc. …

On to the future ... Mark your calendars now so you can get off to a flying start at FDIC 2019. Come to Neoteric Demo Booth 19403 to experience a rescue hovercraft flight every half hour. This is your chance to see why your fellow #firefighters and first responders in more than 50 nations rely on Neoteric hovercraft to keep them safe and take them where no other apparatus can go.

This is an ideal opportunity for you to see firsthand why Neoteric hovercraft are recognized worldwide as the fastest, safest, easiest way to rescue water, ice, swift water, mud and flood victims. Don't miss out!

17 October, 2018

Build your own hovercraft from a kit – the perfect family project!

Looking for something to make your time with family and friends extra special? Here’s a way to do something you’ve never done before … and then go where you’ve never gone before – while saving money!

All you need is a Neoteric Partially-assembled Hovercraft Kit and you can easily build your own hovercraft, which will let you explore and enjoy places other vehicles can’t go – over water, ice, snow, mud, sand … you name it.

It’s easy to build from a Neoteric kit hovercraft, since much of the assembly has already been done for you at our factory and our kits come with full instructions, including a DVD. It takes about 40 hours and all you need are basic workshop skills, a work area the size of a 1-car garage and common hand tools, i.e. screwdrivers, wrenches, an electric drill and a pop rivet gun.

Here’s just one example of our many customers who chose to build their own hovercraft in order to have an enjoyable experience – and save 25% off the price of a manufactured hovercraft: Nebraska resident Tim Juzyk decided to build his own 4-passenger personal hovercraft from our Model #3706 Deluxe Kit, shown here in his garage after its completion …

The capabilities of Neoteric’s reverse thrust system, along with side-by-side seating, were major factors in Tim’s decision to go with Neoteric.

And building his hovercraft was a family project.  He says, “I enjoyed working with my nephews and brother to build the hovercraft. Andy (in the photos) is one of my nephews. He’s 8 years old and he’s sure eager for a ride in the hovercraft!” ...

Following his Neoteric Hovercraft Kit’s full instructions, Tim easily installs the HoverTrek’s skirts and side-by-side seating …

Why did Tim decide he needed a hovercraft? As they are for many hovercrafters, family, friends and adventure were major factors. Tim explains, “My ranch is just a mile from the Platte River. The word “Nebraska” is derived from a Native American word that means “flat water” because of the Platte. It’s a great place for a hovercraft because it’s wide, shallow and extends for hundreds of miles. I plan to use my hovercraft mostly to explore the nearby Platte and its tributary, the Loup River, with family and friends.

And after helping his Uncle Tim build the hovercraft, Andy is ready to start hovering! …

See how to build your own hovercraft from a kit in the

07 August, 2018

Neoteric Rescue Hovercraft excel in Homeland Security exercise

Last week, three Neoteric rescue hovercraft were featured in a major Indiana Department of Homeland Security flood rescue exercise, attended by the Directors of numerous Emergency Management Agencies.

The attendees expressed great surprise at how fast Neoteric hovercraft can maneuver and perform water and flood rescues. After all, Neoteric craft can safely and successfully complete these rescues in a quarter of the time it would take with boats!  

The event took place at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex in southern Indiana, the Department of Defense’s largest urban training facility – and immediately appeared as the cover story in the IDHS publication, The Hoosier Responder

Neoteric Vice President Steve Stafford arranged for the hovercraft to perform in the exercise. Stafford is also a Captain with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and the founder of Project H.E.R.O. (Hovercraft Emergency Response Operations), a non-profit organization that uses Neoteric hovercraft to assist rescue and law enforcement agencies in search and rescue missions.

Along with Steve and Susie Stafford with their Project H.E.R.O. hovercraft, other participants included Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald with a Neoteric flight training hovercraft and first responders from the White River Hazleton Fire Department with their Neoteric rescue hovercraft.

Fire Chief Mark Ellis came to the exercise already impressed with the performance of his department’s hovercraft. As he says, “Our hovercraft can go right over a log, rocky shallow waters, sand, mud, you name it.

The Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex is used for a variety of training scenarios by a multitude of civilian and military organizations, both foreign and domestic. The 974-acre site offers a globally unique urban and rural multi-domain environment that includes a 180-acre reservoir and more than 120 structures. As described on its website, the facility is “As Real As It Gets.”

As for the Neoteric rescue hovercraft, as this exercise demonstrated, when it comes to water rescue vehicles, they’re as fast, safe and effective as it gets!

Enjoy these few photos of the training exercise, then don’t miss the full gallery …

The attendees playing the roles of victims take their places on the submerged structures
at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex.
The three Neoteric hovercraft prepare to launch and perform flood rescue exercises.
Steve Stafford pilots his Project H.E.R.O. Neoteric rescue hovercraft.
White River Hazleton Fire Department's Neoteric hovercraft performs a water rescue.

First responders: