The Skud
Like all hovercraft, it goes much better in a straight line - cornering was never their best attribute! Allowing for this, however, a reasonably skilled 'pilot' can take them almost anywhere there is a little room. They should sell well, Search & Rescue all over the world needs machines that can go into, and out of, difficult terrains.
Doesn't seem to be good at either. Not great on snow and a bit scary on water. Last time I checked there were helicopters designed for rescue.
Roman Korotin
ATASD was designed not for pleasure rides, but to operate 24/7/365 with highest efficiency especially in narrow streets of flooded cities and towns, full of the debris and underwater obstacles where helicopters or regular watercrafts are almost impossible to use.
LOL - video#2 3.5ft and 20kts? No chance - those ripples weren't even 3 inches, let alone foot, and I'd guess maybe 8kts wind or so - anything above 15kts make whitecaps, which were nowhere to be seen...
Looked very scary on the water as soon as it got out of the sheltered area it could barely hand those small waves...back to the drawing board..
Mel Tisdale
Perhaps the University of Lisbon might find buying one of these to be more cost-effective than spending large sums on in-house solutions to their RiverWatch programme as discussed in the earlier article.
I've tried a smaller "Rescue" hovercraft on a protected bay in Massachusetts. They are not easy to drive in any kind of cross wind. Load this one up with the 1800 lbs stated as payload and it will be a brick with a crab angle. A very, very wet brick. This will never sell here in the Trade Winds. Every demo will be a disappointment.
That's the trouble with enthusiastic inventors; they often come up with solutions for problems that nobody has had yet..... No matter how they pitch it, this is just another hovercraft and, despite the claims, there are plenty of places it can't go where an amphibious 4x4 or tracked vehicle could. Horses for courses, as they say. The leisure market may well prove more lucrative for them than the cash-strapped Search & Rescue boys.
Stephen N Russell
Apps for: Rescue, Search Rescue, Medevac, Tourist rental use: select locales, Security, Boat Tug Tow, Firefighting Unit.
Speaking as a Transport Canada (TC) certified air cushion vehicle operator with hundreds of hours logged, I believe this craft is an advance on the art. ATASD is not a hovercraft, TC certifies it as an inflatable pontoon boat. It just happens to utilize some hovercraft features. Similar sized hovercraft have a number of limitations, expecially in terms of controllability, low payload (to get over hump on water) low freeboard and minimal inherent buoyancy off cushion. For all of these reasons, hovercraft haven't had widespread success as a SAR/EE machine. In comparison, as an inland waters/ice/mud/swiftwater/flood response craft I don't know of any other single machine that has the capabilities of this one, not to mention the fact that it costs $20 bucks an hour to run. See how far you can get in your helicopter for $ 20. ATASD will save lives for progressive SAR groups, of that I have no doubt.