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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Techie Tuesday: Hoverwing

Pelican Taxis or Yellow Water Cab? Posted by Hello

With the daily commute getting ever more gridlocked, I am curious why we don't see any water taxis here in the Bay Area. Before the Bridges were built you could take the ferry or hire a private boat to cross the bay. Think of how much traffic could be avoided if you could commute by hovercraft; no bridge tolls too.

But it be cooler if you could fly half-way there. That's whay makes this kit for the hoverwing super cool. Now you can:Hovercraft in style:
Universal Hovercraft's 2002 Hoverwing can be built with 4 removable box seats and one full-length stationary seat that also serves as the belt system lift guard. For flying in ground effect, the four box seats are removed and the pilot and passenger sit on the center seat. The pilot sits in front of the forward wing spar and passengers just behind.

Flight controls consist of two movable rudders and a large elevator. A joystick gives precise control through a simple cable steering system that is designed for easy pre-flight inspections.

Calm winds are ideal for the most enjoyable flying. Open the throttle and hold a slight backpressure on the stick. When the air speed indicator shows 55 mph pull back a little more. The nose begins to rise and the water starts to fall away. It feels like you are 10 feet high when the bottom of the craft is only 1 - 4 feet above the surface. Reduce power to maintain the minimum flying speed (55 - 60 mph) and try some gentle turns. A small force on the stick left, or right results in a bank angle and gentle turn. Pull back on the joystick and the HoverwingTM climbs a little higher to clear large boat wakes or debris. Fly over waves and across land without noticing any change in the smooth ride. Landing is very easy because your runway is always underneath you. You don't have to line up on the centerline, just reduce power, level the wings and you are down. Pull right out of the water and park on land. No tying up is needed.

Check out the video of it in action.