April 22, 2008 Readers of Gizmag may remember Roel Verhagen Kaptein’s Skimmer – an affordable, PWC-like powered ground-effect airplane that takes off and lands in the water. Roel describes his latest design, a chair-to-sofa concept, as “a solution for when living space is limited and needs to be adaptable for different purposes.” It’s a low cost way to add flexibility to your core living environment.
“In everyday use”, says Kaptein, “it is a single seat chair, taking up not too much space. The folding movement is easy and self-locking. With one side folded up it can be used as a chaise longue, and when you have a party, you can turn it in to a three seat sofa.”
“The pictures explain it all really”, says the Dutch designer.
Sadly, the Skimmer project requires more development time than the young designer has within his budget at present and he has temporarily shelved his hopes of “actually getting it into production.” “Calculations have shown that the actual size should be twice as big as the initial design to be able to fly, and due to my personal situation, I have not been able to put in as much time as needed to get a project like this to the next level.”
Personal ground effect aircraft have a future, as clearly does Kaptein. Though we love the flexible furniture concept and think it has great relevance to anyone who lives in an apartment, the thought of the skimmer still raises goose-bumps.