20 December, 2010

Neoteric Hovercraft Rescues Flood Victims

A Neoteric hovercraft played a vital role rescuing numerous victims in last week’s devastating flooding in Washington State USA, where neighborhoods along the Stillaguamish River literally became lakes. In this news video, the Snohomish Valley Volunteer Search and Rescue team’s Neoteric hovercraft, piloted by John Morton, rescues a woman from her flooded home in Granite Falls:

In flood rescue operations, hovercraft are able to access areas that other rescue vehicles can't reach. And, as this video illustrates, the Neoteric Hovertrek's unique reverse thrust system gives it maneuverability that no other hovercraft can achieve, allowing it to brake, back up and hover in place.

Snohomish County's rescue Hovertrek has for years allowed the volunteer rescue team to be the "calm in the storm" for local residents. In 2006, their hovercraft rescued hundreds of flood victims when the Stillaguamish River spilled over into neighborhoods outside of Granite Falls.

20 September, 2010

Students from Seoul National University of Technology, South Korea, tour Neoteric Hovercraft

In 1983, Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald was named the very first Entrepreneur in Residence at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the leading undergraduate engineering college in the United States. A solid relationship has flourished between the company and the school since then, with many Rose-Hulman students finding employment, internships and involvement in special engineering projects at Neoteric.

This summer, 15 engineering students from Seoul National University of Technology, South Korea, were hosted by Neoteric for an introduction to hovercraft and a tour of our manufacturing facilities. The students were attending a month-long educational experience in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) at Rose-Hulman.

In this video, Fitzgerald discusses the concept of 'ground effect' and explains to the students why helicopters are 33 times more expensive than hovercraft ...

Here, Fitzgerald treats Seoul student Somi Shin to a  ride on a hovering chair ...

Dr. Michael McInerney, professor of physics at Rose-Hulman, explains that he arranged the tour because, "I wanted the students to see an American factory. I also wanted them to see Neoteric's hovercraft, which are a unique vehicle." The students were particularly intrigued by Neoteric's unique reverse thrust buckets that give the Hovertrek the ability to brake and back up ...

Coincidentally, on the day the Seoul students toured Neoteric, we were shipping a newly-manufactured 4-passenger rescue hovercraft by air freight to a fire department in South Korea ...

18 September, 2010

Hovercraft Pilot Training: Central Fraser Valley Search & Rescue Society

First responders Gerry Haak (left) and Scot Sinclaire (center) from the Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue Society, Abbotsford, BC, Canada, have completed basic and advanced hovercraft pilot training courses at Neoteric Hovercraft with instructor Chris Fitzgerald (right).

Haak completed the basic Class III Hovercraft Pilot Training course; Sinclaire completed Advanced Hovercraft Pilot Training with an emphasis on night rescue operations. Steve Stafford of Project H.E.R.O. participated in the training, providing a standby rescue hovercraft as well as night vision binoculars and infrared cameras. Project H.E.R.O. is a non-profit group of first responders who own Neoteric Hovercraft and donate their search and rescue services in times of disaster.

Below, Scot Sinclaire attends to the drowning victim during night training exercises. Project H.E.R.O. member Nick Pridemore, a U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran from Bloomington, Indiana, played the role of the victim. Pridemore was repeatedly rescued from swift water and transported back to land in the hovercraft. Portraying a drowning victim who is close to exhaustion and unable to provide any assistance, Pridemore was lifted into the hovercraft each time by Haak while Sinclaire piloted the craft. Night vision binoculars were used to take photos in total darkness.

Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue Society is an all-volunteer organization who has owned a Neoteric Rescue Hovertrek™ for two years. Sinclaire explains the decision to purchase a Neoteric craft: "I'd researched hovercraft for 10 years. A lot of manufacturers are fly-by-nights, they come and go, but you need a company who will be there for you. A big seller was Neoteric's reversing capabilities - that's what Chris' hovercraft are known for. And it's great; with brakes you're able to control that hovercraft in an uncontrollable environment."

Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue Society works with other rescue teams in their area, providing assistance on mutual aid calls. The Fraser Valley is prone to inland flooding into farmlands and residential areas, primarily from the Fraser River. The river systems in the area are subject to rapid change due to glacial runoff and snow melts from the mountains.

The team owns a jet boat, but Sinclaire says, "The hovercraft gets us into areas that before we weren't able to reach, areas that our jet boat can't get into because we ingest debris into the impeller. And the hovercraft saves us a lot of time ... Christopher Cockerell invented the hovercraft and I think Chris Fitzgerald perfected it. The Hovertrek™ is a great little machine!"

Scot Sinclaire (left) and Gerry Haak in the Neoteric Hovercraft factory.

16 September, 2010

Hovercraft Pilot Training: Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, Hammond, Louisiana

Chief Deputy Dennis Pevey along with Captains Stuart Murphy and Robert Bel, emergency responders from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office in Hammond, Louisiana, spent two days at Neoteric Hovercraft to complete Neoteric's Class III Hovercraft Pilot Training Course. The Parish purchased a Neoteric partially-assembled rescue hovercraft kit with a Homeland Security grant and the Sheriff's Office has nearly completed final assembly of the craft.

Upon arrival at the Wabash River training site, instructor Chris Fitzgerald (third from left) assists Captain Murphy (second from left) in rolling the hovercraft from its trailer, while Captain Bel (left) and Chief Pevey (right) observe:

Fitzgerald and Bel fuel the hovercraft in preparation for launching on the Wabash River ... while a gaggle of unsuspecting Canada geese feed on the river bank:

Fitzgerald reviews the Hovertrek's operational systems before turning the controls over to Chief Pevey for his practice session on the river:

And now, with Pevey at the controls in this video, the hovercraft glides gracefully through practice maneuvers ... while the Canada geese peacefully observe, which testifies to the fact that the Neoteric craft is the quietest light hovercraft on the market!

There are numerous bodies of water in Tangipahoa Parish, including the heavy-current Tangipahoa and Tickfaw Rivers as well as Lakes Ponchartrain and Maurepas, requiring the Sheriff's Office to be well-equipped for rescue operations and towing stranded boaters and fishermen. The Office has at least 8 water rescue vehicles, among them flatboats and an airboat, but the unusual maneuverability of their Neoteric hovercraft will open areas to the first responders that other vehicles can't reach and will save valuable time in reaching victims.

23 June, 2010

Winous Point Marsh Conservancy Pilot Training

Opie Rohrer (left) and Jeff Miller (right) of Winous Point Marsh Conservancy,
receive their Class III Hovercraft Pilot Certificates from instructor Chris Fitzgerald.

The Winous Point Marsh Conservancy preserves a 5,500-acre marsh and maintains a wildlife habitat on the shores of Lake Erie’s Sandusky Bay in Point Clinton, Ohio USA. The Winous Point Shooting Club, a part of the Conservancy, is the oldest duck hunting club in North America, founded in 1856.

At times, weather can make the marsh difficult to reach. Strong winds can blow the water out of the access bay, which then becomes mud and soft sand and, in winter, thin ice can be a problem. The punt boats and Louisiana pero boats normally used by the club cannot operate in these conditions.

A club member who has experience in aviation recommended that the club purchase a hovercraft because it could easily travel over mud, sand and thin ice. The new Winous Point Neoteric HoverTrek™ will be used to ferry hunters to suitable hunting spots.

Because Opie and Jeff have experience building the club’s punt boats, they purchased a Neoteric partially assembled hovercraft kit and are assembling their Deluxe Model 3706 four-passenger hovercraft themselves.

10 June, 2010

Fishing Hovercraft for Sale

This previous owner of this newly overhauled Neoteric hovercraft was an avid fisherman, and the craft is specially outfitted with a fishing platform that covers the rear seat. The hovercraft has a 65 HP carbureted Hirth engine and is specially equipped to operate in salt water. A full cover and hovercraft trailer are included in the $22,000 sale price. See more photos

Contact Neoteric if you're interested in owning this hovercraft.

Visit the Neoteric Showroom for more used hovercraft for sale.

03 June, 2010

George Saponari Completes Hovercraft Pilot Training

George Saponari, a former police helicopter pilot from Tampa, Florida, has successfully completed the Neoteric Hovercraft Pilot Training course. He owns kayaks and a large cabin cruiser; his new hovercraft will give him additional versatility in his recreational activities.
George Saponari (left) receives his Class III Hovercraft Pilot Certificate
from instructor Chris Fitzgerald, President of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.

Saponari plans to use his Neoteric Recreational HoverTrek™ to cruise lakes and explore areas in small canals that are inaccessible by other watercraft. He says he "enjoyed the hands on training; it was very organized, complete and comprehensive" and he "would not change anything - great instruction."

24 May, 2010

Don Redetske Completes Hovercraft Pilot Training

Don Redetske, a Neoteric customer from Eau Claire, Wisconsin USA, has successfully completed the Neoteric Hovercraft Pilot Training course. Redetske particularly enjoyed the on-water portion of the training on the Wabash River.
Don Redetzke (left) receives his Class III Hovercraft Pilot Certificate
from instructor Chris Fitzgerald, President of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.

Redetske, a former pilot, also owns a large airboat, but he plans to use his Neoteric recreational hovercraft’s maneuverability and reverse thrust to explore the small rivers near his home with his family and grandchildren.

His brother owns an aluminum fabrication business that builds oil tanks for the auto racing industry. Drawing on these resources, Neoteric customized Redetske's HoverTrek™ to his specifications with a special aluminum tank and an airboat seat.

Redetske is the owner of J&D Manufacturing, an international distributor and manufacturer of ventilation products and equipment for agriculture, horticulture, industrial and commercial applications.

25 April, 2010

Neoteric Hovercraft in 2010 IPL Cricket Final, Mumbai, India

As posted earlier, eight Neoteric Hovercraft participated today in the closing spectacular of the Indian Premier League final match - cricket's grandest extravaganza and one of the six largest sporting events in the world.

The sold-out event, choreographed by the Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rehman, took place before 55,000 spectators and more than a billion worldwide television viewers at the Dr. D.Y. Patil Sports Stadium, a state-of-the-art cricket facility in Navi Mumbai, India. Within a couple of hours, the IPL's YouTube Channel had more than 50 million views.

The closing ceremony was splashed with glitz and glamour, featuring laser light shows, fireworks, a bevy of Bollywood stars ... and Neoteric Hovercraft. Even though performances by Indian superstars were featured, during the event Twitter teemed with praise for the hovercraft ... such as "The hovercraft are the best thing about the IPL closing ceremony!"

In this video, long-time Neoteric customer Phil Whitney hovers Bollywood star Bipasha Basu to the stage on the cricket field:

 (Indian Premier League video)

Here, Whitney transports actor/dancer Shahid Kapoor to the stage:

 (Indian Premier League video)

22 March, 2010

Hovercraft Pilot Training in Sweden

At the invitation of Neoteric’s dealer in Sweden, Ivanoff Hovercraft AB, Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald is in Sweden this week to train a team of hovercraft pilot instructors from the Swedish Sea Rescue Society, Svenska Sjöräddnings Sällskapet. The organization utilizes two Neoteric HoverTrek™ Rescue hovercraft …

The Swedish Sea Rescue Society already operates a fleet of rescue hovercraft from Ivanoff Hovercraft. To enable the expansion of their rescue operations into inland lakes and rivers, smaller craft such as the HoverTrek™ provide more versatility.

The rescue hovercraft pilot training will consist primarily of open water training, with additional ice rescue and swift water rescue training depending upon the existing level of trainee experience.

Neoteric Hovercraft has trained and certified rescue, recreational, commercial and military hovercraft pilots for more than 30 years. Neoteric’s Hovercraft Pilot Training program is the most comprehensive light hovercraft pilot training course available.

The Swedish Sea Rescue Society plays a crucial role in sea rescue around the Swedish coast and is responsible for 70% of all sea rescues in Sweden. The Society has 160 vessels ready for use at all times by 1,700 volunteer crew members. The Society celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2007.

07 March, 2010

From Indiana to India

Neoteric is pleased to have been chosen to provide 8 hovercraft and pilots to perform the closing ceremony in the Indian Premier League (IPL3) 2010 Cricket Championship in Mumbai, India. Neoteric was selected because of the HoverTrek's stylish design and versatility - it's the only craft on the market able to pirouette, go sideways, travel in reverse and hover in place to perform a complicated, choreographed routine. Hovercraft are the only vehicle that will not damage a fragile cricket field.

Here, 6 of the 8 hovercraft await loading into a 40-foot shipping container on March 1 to begin their 6 to 8-week journey to India by train, rail and ship ...
The hovercraft pilots will be Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald and Neoteric customers Magnus Ivanoff, owner of Ivanoff Hovercraft AB, Sweden; Steve Stafford, a police officer from Bedford, Indiana; Phil Whitney, a Midas Muffler franchisee from Bowling Green, Kentucky; Dave Reyburn, a MasterCAM computer programmer from Goshen, Indiana; and Tom Dienhart, a pet store owner from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Additional pilots and craft are expected to be provided by Neoteric’s Indian dealer in Jammu, Kashmir.

Here, the first of the six 600-pound hovercraft is loaded into the shipping container by Chris Fitzgerald (rear left) and Neoteric employees ...
The IPL Final will take place on April 25 at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Stadium, a state-of-the-art cricket facility in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, India. Considered an engineering marvel, the stadium is four times the area of an American football field and seats 55,000 spectators. The IPL is fourth on the Forbes list of the world’s hottest sporting properties, and the televised Final will be viewed by more than a billion people worldwide.

This could be the first time in history that hovercraft have been involved in a cricket match - stay tuned for updates!

See more photos ...