Homemade flying hovercraft a hit on auction site

Posted By: Staff
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London, Mar 3 (ANI): A homemade flying hovercraft, that can travel on water, land and air, is said to have attracted a lot of attention on Internet auction site, TradeMe's hovercraft page, where it is being sold off.

The unusual machine, which was designed and built by Rudy Heeman, a mechanic from Nelson in New Zealand, has already received more than 44,000 hits and bidding has exceeded the reserve price of 20,000 dollars.

Heeman has been making hovercrafts in his spare time for more than 13 years but says this is his first attempt at a flying version, and he has spent 75 hours flying in the craft at heights of up to three metres.

"It has been called all sorts of things including aircraft, airplane, hovercraft and flying boat. It is actually a W.I.G, a Wing In Ground effect vehicle in the form of a hovercraft," the Sun quoted Heeman as saying.

"Having a go on it is like a bungee jump, however the thrill lasts as long as the ride.

"This machine is fast and furious, it roars like a lion, and is not for the faint hearted. It is adrenalin pumping and exciting," he explained.

It comes complete with a 1.8 litre engine and a range of more than 140 miles (225km), and the hovercraft cruises at 56mph (90 km per hour) when flying and reaches speeds of more than 62mph (100 km per hour) on water.

"The fuel economy is far better than a boat of the same size and speed," he said.

"This machine is classed as a boat and comes under marine rules, but can operate as a hovercraft or a flying machine when the wings and tail are put on," he stated.

Asked what mode of transport he liked best, Heeman replied: "Flying as an aircraft. The best part is the takeoff and landing. This machine is always in takeoff and landing position and there is always a runway beneath you."

He took his first test flight in the machine just before Christmas, after 800 hours spent building it, but admitted he refused to let his two daughters watch him in case the worst happened.

The first test flight ended in a crash landing, but he only suffered a small bruise to his leg.

He has since made some minor adjustments and has flown countless times. Each flight attracts a large crowd of spectators.

He said the project had cost "tens of thousands of dollars", and that he is selling his flying hovercraft because he needs the funds to get started on more "secret projects".

"It's got the potential to go into mass production. I've got all the moulds and patterns and am selling this machine to fund more developments," he added.

The auction ends on March 13, but the bidding is already at NZ20,200 dollars. (ANI)

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