29 August, 2013

Bob Vanderheiden’s Corvette Orange Neoteric Hovercraft

As Ol’ Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) once said, “Orange is the happiest color.” Maybe that’s why Nebraska’s Bob Vanderheiden, who describes himself as “courageous, self-reliant, young-at-heart and happy” chose 1973 Corvette burnt orange as the color of his new Neoteric recreational hovercraft …

And it’s also the color of all his other toys, as well, including his three Jeeps …

Bob decided on a hovercraft while searching for a recreational vehicle he could use year-round. “I live on the Platte River, plus we have a lot of lakes and sand pits, so I figured it’s something I can use 12 months a year, since it will go just as well over ice and snow as rivers and lakes.” And Bob says he decided on a Neoteric craft because, “I’m always interested in American-made products - and the reverse thrusters are what sold me.”

When he traveled to Terre Haute to undergo pilot training at Hovercraft Training Centers, Bob was no stranger to operating unusual vehicles. “I drove the largest man-made maneuverable object for four years, the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier in the Navy. I logged thousands of hours. Other than that, Jeeps, airplanes – now it’s going to be a hovercraft.”

With a thumbs-up, Bob is ready to board his new craft for an afternoon of flight training …

Wireless headsets in place, HTC instructor Chris Fitzgerald gives Bob a preflight briefing …

Before launch, Fitzgerald gives Bob a preview of what Neoteric's reverse thrust buckets can do …

And with another thumbs-up, Bob’s new craft is launched onto the Wabash River …

In short time, Bob takes over the controls and is flying his craft smoothly upriver …

We can’t promise you it will be in a Corvette orange craft but
you, too, can take a spin in a Neoteric Hovercraft at HTC – for only $250!

24 August, 2013

Hovercraft help Terre Haute soar “A Level Above”

A decade ago, the Chamber of Commerce began using the slogan “A Level Above” for the city of Terre Haute. As the Chamber readies for its 100th anniversary annual meeting on August 28 in Hulman Center, what better way to promote it than soaring a level above … in a Neoteric hovercraft!

As B.J. Riley, Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board and Publisher of the Tribune-Star said before he literally took a spin in a hovercraft piloted by Neoteric president Chris Fitzgerald, “As we start down the road towards the next 100 years, I am confident our business community will work together. Of course, with the innovative spirit we have in Terre Haute, perhaps we won’t need roads … where we’re going!

Hovercraft are definitely attention-getters. Watching B.J. spin, his wife Mary, the Chamber's Membership Coordinator said, "You're like a kid, just watching it!"

A recent Tribune-Star editorial credits Neoteric's innovative spirit for bringing world attention to Terre Haute: "[Neoteric] deserves the community's congratulations. It joins DADC, Bemis, the old Columbia Records, Larry Bird, Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and others in bringing worldwide distinction to Terre Haute. But the difference with Neoteric is it truly is riding on air."

But why is this hovercraft burnt orange? That's another story of innovation. The craft belongs to Neoteric customer Bob Vanderheiden, who was in town that day to pick up his new craft. He was pleased to offer its use before undergoing training later that day at Hovercraft Training Centers. Stay tuned - a post is coming up that tells the story of Bob's hovercraft. In the meantime, enjoy a few photos of the Hulman Center action ...

Bob Vanderheiden (second from left) meets the Chamber of Commerce staff ...

B.J. Riley is all smiles after his literal spin in a Neoteric Hovercraft ... 

 Chris Fitzgerald takes a moment to relax in his creation and enjoy the fun - before the hard work
of an afternoon of pilot training begins ...

22 August, 2013

Shanghai Ocean University to use Neoteric hovercraft for fisheries research

Shanghai Ocean University, a leading aquaculture and marine science institution in China, has made a Neoteric hovercraft part of its 101 year history. Founded in 1912, the University houses China's Ministry of Agriculture Ocean Fisheries Training Center and has established the China Fisheries Network, which serves the nation's fisheries industry. The hovercraft will be employed in the University's fisheries research operations.

The four-passenger Neoteric craft will also be used at two of China's leading research institutions - the Chinese Academy of Fishing Sciences and the Yellow Seas Fisheries Research Institute.

As manufacturing begins on the Shanghai Ocean University craft, fiberglass mat is hand-laid into the hovercraft hull mold where it is then bonded with resin ...

 As the craft nears completion, the engine module is carefully fitted into place and securely bolted ...

The completed hovercraft undergoes thorough performance testing on the Wabash River ...

The hovercraft is carefully loaded into a container for shipping to China ...

11 August, 2013

Hovercraft: Not just boys' toys

If you think hovercraft are only a guy thing, check this out: TrailBlazerGirl.com finds the most interesting gear and amazing getaways for adventurous women who love the outdoors … and here’s their new find:

Hovertrek by Neoteric Hovercraft

Wouldn’t it be great to zoom over land and water without changing vehicles? Well, you can with a Hovertrek by Neoteric Hovercraft. A hovercraft floats on a cushion of slightly pressurized air so that you can travel easily over a variety of surfaces – land, water, mud, sand or ice. Neoteric offers different sizes and styles of hovercraft, including side-by-side seating, reverse thrust systems for braking and maneuverability, even a four-person golf cart. As they say, it’s an “all-in-one, all-season recreational vehicle”.

But hovercraft are not only for fun-seeking females: just ask Donna Jackson, a Lieutenant Deputy Sheriff who pilots a Neoteric rescue hovercraft for Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Department in Shreveport, Louisiana …

“We did a rescue after a rain of about 10 inches – people woke up to water in their living rooms. I had the whole family in the hovercraft AND their pets. That night we rescued about 27 people!” ...

Follow Neoteric on Facebook and Twitter

07 August, 2013

Ukraine's first Neoteric Hovercraft Golf Cart

With its massive publicity, most everyone in the world knows that Windy Knoll Golf Club in Springfield, Ohio was the first of the world's 35,000 golf courses to own Neoteric Hovercraft Golf Carts - the official replica of Bubba's Hover. And now we have another first: Superior Golf & Spa Resort is the first golf course in Ukraine to treat its members to the latest and greatest way to glide across the greens ...

As it nears completion in the Neoteric assembly facility, custom decals are applied to the reverse thrust buckets of Superior Golf's craft:

Like every Neoteric craft, Superior Golf's Hovercraft Golf Cart undergoes performance testing on the Wabash River before being shipped to Ukraine: 

The retractable roof of the Neoteric Hovercraft Golf Cart makes it easy for golfers to hop in and out of the craft:

Follow Neoteric on Facebook and Twitter

03 August, 2013

Hovering over a Terre Haute success

The Terre Haute Tribune-Star gives kudos to Neoteric Hovercraft, recognizing the positive impact Neoteric is having on our city and state ...

Tribune-Star Editorial
Aug. 1, 2013

Hovering over a Terre Haute success

Finally, the world knows about Neoteric

Chris Fitzgerald’s Neoteric Hovercraft company of Terre Haute has become an overnight international success and a viral novelty in cyberspace.

Overnight, though, only if you translate that as meaning decades of envisioning, designing and building hovercraft in relative obscurity. Overnight in the same sense as an actor who becomes a Broadway star after decades of toiling in summer stock.

To most of the world, the successes of Fitzgerald and his crew on Tippecanoe Street are breaking news – all owing to the game of golf.

It was April when a Floridian named Bubba flew one of Neoteric’s customized craft over a golf course. Other players in their wheeled golf carts watched in amazement as 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson floated on a bubble of air from shot to shot, nine inches off the ground, in a HoverGolf Cart, a craft whose footprint pressure is 33 times lighter than the human foot. And the craft leaves no spike marks, divots or golf cart tracks.

Fitzgerald was front and center in the video of Bubba’s hovercraft outing, narrating much of it and appearing in its opening section.

A few days later, NBC “Today” show co-hosts Matt Lauer and Al Roker showed a national morning TV audience how the hovering golf cart worked.

Last Friday, Indiana Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-8th, visited Neoteric’s plant to consider working to make Neoteric in Terre Haute a training center for the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

The next day, on a Saturday made for golf, Windy Knoll Golf Club in Springfield, Ohio, became the first of the world’s 35,000 golf courses to offer the Neoteric model, [the official replica of Bubba Watson’s BW1] to its players at what it termed the “Hover Bash.”

You’ll forgive Fitzgerald if he’s scratching his head and wondering what took so long. He said as much in an interview with Yahoo! News in April: “I’ve been in this business for 50 years. You can pull your hair out trying to figure out how to get this information out that this [hovercraft] technology exists. In one fell swoop, [Bubba’s Hover has] gotten across all these hovercraft concepts to people.”

Fitzgerald, a native of Melbourne, Australia, who says his first experience with hovercraft came in 1959, is “kind of a celebrity now,” Thinkmodo marketing company’s Michael Krivicka told Yahoo! News. “Millionaires from Russia are calling him, placing orders.”

Much less known than the golf outings is that two of Neoteric’s craft were used in May to help divers out of the water after the collapse of an Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington state.

And perhaps forgotten is that Fitzgerald’s craft have been used several times to rescue local residents who were threatened by flood waters, as in that terrible day in June 2008 when heavy rains fell and deep water rose, especially in southern Vigo County.

With Neoteric’s newfound international notoriety comes a definite benefit for Terre Haute. As Neoteric’s Filip Przbysz told our Arthur Foulkes in a story a few days ago: “This could put Terre Haute on the world map.”

And it already has, and deserves the community’s congratulations.

It joins DADC, Bemis, the old Columbia Records, Larry Bird, Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and others in bringing worldwide distinction to Terre Haute and Vigo County.

But the difference with Neoteric is that it truly is riding on air.

02 August, 2013

Yahoo! Finance features Neoteric Hovercraft in "Breakout Profile"

Neoteric is honored to be featured by Yahoo! Finance in its “Breakout Profiles,”  which are dedicated to innovative companies doing extraordinary things. As the media have reported in Neoteric’s recent blast of publicity, Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. “is certainly out of the ordinary” … and is far more than just the manufacturer of Bubba Watson’s BW1 hovercraft golf cart.

Neoteric is the world’s original light hovercraft manufacturer, and for half a century, has produced hovercraft for a diverse list of clients in more than 50 nations – from the U.S. Military and rescue agencies worldwide, to recreational and commercial customers … even for Disneyworld!