October 21, 2004 Over land, water, ice or snow - the hovercraft offers a cost-effective, multi-purpose vehicle for recreation and transportation with the thrill of travelling on air. And now Universal Hovercraft has marketed a range of affordable hovercraft kits to house up to ten people in this dynamic mode of travelling, including the striking Hoverwing XR with retractable wings.
Universal Hovercraft has been producing hovercraft technology since 1967 and has grown to become the world's largest supplier of hovercraft plans, kits, and parts. They have dozens of hovercraft, Wing in Ground Effect (WIG) and scale model kits available and their crafts can host single passengers all the way up to groups of ten plus people.
Sick of Ads?
Join more than 500 New Atlas Plus subscribers who read our newsletter and website without ads.
It's just US$19 a year.More Information
A hovercraft rides on air under pressure continuously supplied by a lift system and directed into a chamber under the craft. A flexible curtain called a skirt is attached to the outer perimeter of the craft that forms the air chamber and contains the air beneath. It is propelled forward with a thrust propeller. There are no brakes on a hovercraft (!) and stopping is achieved with a reduction of engine power or turning 180 degrees and applying full thrust. Steering is accomplished with moveable rudders mounted behind the thrust propeller and short period of training is required to learn how to drive.
Hovercrafts ride much smoother than boats because they travel over the surface of the water, not through it, with no concern for depth or hidden obstacles or swimmers. They will go against the current of a river with no speed reduction. The hovercraft also works well in rapids and white water, making it an excellent rescue vehicle. Hovercrafts are perfect for yearlong use, mimicking a boat in the summer to enable water skiing, fishing, or camping, and an all terrain vehicle in winter that can travel over soft or heavy snow.
A well-designed hovercraft is superior to a boat because it has less drag and requires less horsepower to operate. Rising fuel prices make the hovercraft increasingly competitive as a means of transport as a hovercraft is 100% more fuel-efficient than a boat with similar capacity or size. Hovercrafts will launch from almost anywhere and do not require a special launching ramp like a boat, eliminating the need to climb in and out at crowded docks or piers. You simply drive up onto land, shut off the engine and step out!
The UH-18SPW Hoverwing XR is one of the most popular new models and it's easy to see why. A fully operational and ready to fly Wing in Ground Effect (WIG) craft that carries two people from 5 to 10 feet above all terrain or water, it is easily and quickly convertible into a 4 to 6 person hovercraft in only 10 - 15 minutes, with no pilot's license required.
It is the only light hovercraft on the market capable of pulling a water skier on one or two skis, barefoot, or a wakeboard.
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 and 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 Hoverwing climbs higher to clear large boat wakes or debris.
Check out the video clip of this versatile machine skimming across the top of the water and it's exciting flight capabilities.
The full component package for the H-18SP Hoverwing XR includes the Hardware, Hull, Wing and Drive kits for US $4,680.00.
UH-15C Cargo/Passenger Transporter
A completed hovercraft ready for immediate operation - the UH15C is a versatile go anytime vehicle perfect for camping, fishing, hunting, or just having a good time. In addition, it can be outfitted as a cargo hovercraft to handle real-world jobs of moving cargo or passengers into places that boats or all wheel drive machines simply cannot go.
Available with an optional enclosed cabin and several engine options, this is all season workhorse that knows no bounds. Loaded with standard features such as two powerful four stroke (very quiet) engines, handle bar steering with 4 steering rudders, your choice of two standard color combinations, and many more, the UH15C has a low price of US $18,500.00.View gallery - 6 images