Indiana Outdoor Adventures, broadcast to 44+ million U.S. households, devoted an entire episode to Neoteric Hovercraft. See hovercraft in action, watch them being built, and hear Neoteric Founder/President Chris Fitzgerald discuss how hovercraft came to be, how they work, their capabilities, why they’re so safe, the background story of Bubba’s Hover … and lots more …
15 February, 2018
For #ThrowbackThursday let’s go back four years and watch one of the most informative videos about hovercraft you’ll ever see!
12 February, 2018
In 1983, Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald was honored to be selected as the very first Entrepreneur in Residence at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the #1 undergraduate engineering college in the U.S. for the last 19 years.
A productive relationship has flourished between Neoteric and Rose-Hulman in the decades since then. Scores of Rose-Hulman students find employment, internships and involvement in special engineering projects at Neoteric. The first World Symposium on Hovercraft Rescue was held at Rose-Hulman as a part of World Hovercraft Week 2002, chaired by Fitzgerald.
Last week, 20 Rose-Hulman Master’s Degree students came to Neoteric for an introduction to hovercraft and our manufacturing process, accompanied by Dr. Diane Evans, Professor of Engineering Management and Dr. Terry Schumacher, Associate Professor of Engineering Management. Their department has a seminar for its graduate students every quarter and, as Dr. Evans explains, “I decided that I’d like this seminar to be an opportunity to show the students some companies that practice quality in the workplace. I had been to Neoteric before during an American Society of Quality (ASQ) tour and I knew the students would really appreciate what Chris is doing right in the middle of Terre Haute.”
Watch a video clip of Chris Fitzgerald discussing Neoteric’s manufacturing process …
How did the students react to the tour? According to Dr. Evans, “They loved it. The students couldn’t believe that this awesome facility was in Terre Haute. They were amazed at how the hovercraft works and how much Chris knew about the whole process. They thought he was incredible – they enjoyed listening and learning from him. They also loved the actual demonstration of how the hovercraft works with the smaller tube-like one.”
Dr. Evans is referring to the company’s Hovering Billiard Ball, one of many Neoteric developed for Gallagher, the U.S. comedian. Here, Fitzgerald uses the Hovering Billiard Ball with the ball top removed to demonstrate hovercraft lift, daylight clearance and cushion stability to the students …
Even the wintry weather didn’t hinder the students’ fascination with hovercraft and Neoteric’s production processes. Here, outside the manufacturing facility, Fitzgerald demonstrates how the company’s skirt flagellation text rig assures Neoteric’s high-quality, durable hovercraft skirts …
Dr. Evans was also quite pleased with the visit. She said, “This is one of the best tours on which I’ve taken students. There were so many aspects of the visit that pertained to what I teach – for example, the Kanban system and the Toyota Production System process. Chris’ dedication to continued learning and growing is inspirational.”
These feelings are mutual. We at Neoteric, as always, enjoyed our visit with the students, Dr. Evans and Dr. Schumacher, and look forward to continuing our valuable relationship with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for years to come.
08 February, 2018
For #ThrowbackThursday, let's hover back to the early 1980s, when Neoteric's new LeMere and Neova II hovercraft gained international fame in television commercials. They were featured in TV ads for Canada's Labatt's Beer, Germany's Lord Extra Cigarettes and Brazil's Hollywood Cigarettes.
Watch the Labatt's Beer commercial, filmed on Lake Isabella in California. When commonplace boats are too ordinary for the job, it's Neoteric to the rescue! ...
01 February, 2018
To say that Neoteric Founder/President Chris Fitzgerald has devoted his life to hovercraft is no exaggeration. He began designing award-winning hovercraft in his early teens and quickly attracted the interest of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne, Australia, who hired him as a technical assistant.
Here’s an article the Melbourne Sun published about Fitzgerald in the early 1960s …
YOUNG AUSTRALIAN BUILDS HOVERCRAFT
A young Australian, Christopher Fitzgerald, is anxiously awaiting the results of this year’s Science Talent Search.
Christopher’s main interest in life lies with hovercraft, and last year he won £10 in the same competition for the design of a wind tunnel for use in the design of these oddly shaped means of transport. He is hoping for even greater success this time.
has recently left school and has found himself a job at the Aeronautical
Research Laboratories in Melbourne. There he is doing the thing he most wants
to do - working with hovercraft.
|Christopher Fitzgerald with his experimental hovercraft.|
“Three years ago,” he said, “I was reading an article in a magazine about one of these strange crafts. At that time little was known about them. I became very interested and later built my first one, which was three feet by three feet, and constructed from balsa wood. It weighed a total of 6 lb. including the engine, which was a 3.5 c.c. model aeroplane one.
“It could carry a payload of 28 lb. but the weight was hard to distribute. To a degree I overcame this problem by building four little boxes on each of the corners of the hovercraft and these were filled with weights until it balanced from its point of gravity, which in my case was the prop on the engine.”
“In comparison with a model plane with the same size engine, it was found that the plane could carry only 3 lb., but the hovercraft could take 28 lb.
“Studying further, I found that a wind tunnel would be a great asset to the construction and designing of hovercraft, so I set about to build one. The first attempt was made out of wood and sheet metal.
“It was 15 feet long and had a vacuum cleaner engine, but this did not satisfy my needs. I then built another which was all metal and 18 feet long with a 5 phase electric motor with an air speed of 50 m.p.h.
“With this tunnel I won my £10 at the Science Talent Search but even so, it still does not do all I want it to do. I plan now to lengthen it and install a 28 h.p. truck engine with an estimated airspeed of 100 m.p.h.”
Christopher’s next hovercraft was constructed of aluminum and weighed 10 lb., being powered by a bigger engine than the first. He has made a number of attempts to use the air jets as a means of propulsion, but to date, none has been successful.
“Early last year when the Avalon pageant was announced, The Ultra Light Aircraft Association, of which I am a member, asked me to display my hovercraft on their stand.”
Since then, Christopher has taken his interest further by started a Hovercraft Research Association in Australia.
“We intend to develop hovercraft as a means of transport,” he said. “The reasons for such hopes are that we believe these craft to be the potential machine to revolutionise transport.
“A full-scale research plan has been started for the eventual building of a prototype machine.”
Because his interest in the air is not entirely limited to hovercraft, Christopher is also keen to learn to fly, and recently he and a friend bought a Puss Moth with money they earned from week-end clearing jobs. His pilot’s license is the next step.