For Sale: Homemade flying hovercraft

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For Sale: Homemade flying hovercraft

The ultimate in big boys' toys is leaving adrenalin junkies salivating in its wake. A homemade flying hovercraft that can travel on water, land and air has been listed for sale on TradeMe and is attracting plenty of attention.

The machine was designed and built by Nelson's Rudy Heeman and with more than 5000 hits, has reached its reserve price of $20,000.

Mr Heeman, a mechanic, has been making hovercraft in his spare time for more than 13 years but says this is his first attempt at a flying version.He said he has spent 75 hours flying his hovercraft, and the thrill is unreal.
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It's like a bungy 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. With a 1.8-litre engine and a range of over 225km, the flying hovercraft cruises at 90kmh when flying, and has a smooth ride above the waves. The fuel economy is far better than a boat of the same size and speed.
He said he attracts plenty of spectators while out on test flights, and admits he refused to let his two daughters watch when he took it for its first flight just before Christmas.

That test flight ended in a crash landing, but a single bruise to his leg meant he knew exactly what adjustments he needed to make.

Mr Heeman said the project had cost tens of thousands of dollars and he had built a new workshop, learnt how to become a fibreglass laminator and modified a Subaru car engine to power the vehicle in the process.

The flying hovercraft listing expires on March 13.

flying-hovercraft.jpg - 60.89kb
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