It is surprising that you do not see more hovercrafts used in everyday life. They are the Swiss Army knife of vehicles. They are able to do something that no other vehicle can do. You can drive a hovercraft over almost any type of terrain. They can drive on ice, snow, water, sand, and most land surfaces. Their versatility is second to none. On top of their versatility, hovercrafts work in a unique and amazing way. All hovercrafts have what is called a skirt on the bottom of them. This skirt inflates with air which is what allows the hovercraft to essentially float on land. Once the skirt is inflated there is usually a couple of fans on the back which allows the hovercraft to move and be steered. While hovercrafts are amazing in themselves, we have compiled a list of the most remarkable ones in the world. Below is a list of the top 10 most amazing hovercrafts in the world today.
Number 10 – Volkswagon Aqua Hovercraft
The Volkswagen Aqua is a hovercraft concept that was created by a 21-year-old industrial design student from China. This hovercraft design was a result of a competition sponsored by Volkswagen, a huge German based manufacturer of different types of vehicles. As part of the design, the hovercraft is powered by multiple motor units that use fans to both propel and steer the vehicle. The unit that is responsible for inflating the rubber skirt around the vehicle is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. This is what is responsible for lifting the hovercraft above the ground. The fan units at the rear of the vehicle are used for steering and forward/backward thrust. These units are powered by individual electric motors. Aside from the technology behind it, the cosmetics are equally impressive. The hovercraft sports an amazing modern design and interior of the vehicle seats 2 people.
Number 9 – Airboard, Personal Hovercraft
The airboard is a personal hovercraft that you operate standing up. They can be used to trek through almost any terrain including grass, sand, concrete, water, snow, ice, etc. Airboards can even be used to do tricks at the skateboard park as you can see in the picture above. Reaching a maximum speed of about 20 mph, these peronal hovercrafts are surprisingly fast. Its speeds are attributed to a 5 liter engine. With a full tank of gas, it can be operated for over an hour. To steer the airboard you have to use your body weight to lean to right or left to change direction. There are no brakes either so coming to a stop sometimes can be tricky. If you want to buy one of these, they are sold for $15,000 US Dollars.
Number 8 – Hoverwing, Flying Hovercraft
The hover wing is a unique hovercraft that is designed to fly up to 20 feet in the air. It was designed this way so that it can fly over large objects in the water such as trees, debris, and anything else on the surface that poses a safety hazard. It can be operated in both freshwater and saltwater. One of the coolest things about the hoverwing is that you do not have to have a pilot’s license to fly. That is because it doesn’t fly high in the air to fire a pilot’s license.The way that it works is if you are traveling 50 miles an hour you can fly the hovercraft off the ground by pooling a joystick backwards.The max speed on land or water for the hover wing is 70 mph. If you would like to own a hoverwing yourself, you can get your very own for around $25,000 US Dollars.
Number 7 – Louisiana Police Swamp Hovercraft
Louisiana is the swamp capitol of the United States. It is famous for having more swamp area than any other state. Not only does it have a lot of swamps, it has a massive amount of people living in these areas. Just like any other area, there is crime. That is why the louisiana police department invested in hovercrafts for their officers. These hovercrafts allow the officers to get to destinations that could not be reached by car or boat. Thanks to the design of hovercrafts, they can easily speed through the wetlands with no risks to the officers safety.
Number 6 – Hoverspeed SN.R4 Hovercraft
The Hoverspeed SN.R4 is famous for being the largest hovercraft ever built. From 1981-2005 it was the primary mode of passenger transportation out of Dover, England to local areas. The SN.R4 took passengers from Dover to many other cities including Calais, Boulogne-Sur-Mer, Ostend, Dieppe, Cherbourg, and Folkestone. On the inside, the hovercraft was very spaceous having the ability to carry 254 passengers in addition to the staff and employees. While being large in size, the SN.R4 could still go very fast reaching speeds of 70mph.
Number 5 – Army Combat Hovercraft
As with the Coast Guard and several police agencies, the hovercraft has made its way into the Army. Hovercrafts are especially useful in the Army because they produce little noise and water disturbance. This makes them great stealth weapons. They are highly talented by the Army for their abilities to land on enemy shores during surprise attacks. One of the first things that happens when war breaks out is the deployment of ground forces on enemy land. This is probably where hovercrafts have the most military value. The US is not the only country that is adding military hovercrafts to their arson. China, India, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, Australia, and Brazil have all deployed new lines of hovercraft for military purposes.
Number 4 – Bubba Watsons Golf Cart Hovercraft
Bubba Watson is one of the best professional golfers in the world. Throughout his time on the PGA tour he has one a number of major championships. This has helped accumulate enough money to blow on things such as golf cart hovercrafts. While somewhat of a waste of money, Bubba’s hovercraft has led to one pretty unique discovery. Traditional golf carts take a toll on the grass and often smash it into the dirt making for lower quality golf. On the other hand, a hovercraft leaves virtually no footprint on the ground. To make this hovercraft idea a reality Bubba Watson had to team up with his sponsor, Oakley, and lay out the blueprints. Upon receiving the blueprints, it took the company Neoteric Hovercraft Inc. two months to adapt the prototype into a working hovercraft.
Number 3 – Canadian Coast Guard Hovercraft(CCGH Siyay)
The CCGH Siyay is a hovercraft used by the Canadian Coast Guard. It is currently deployed in Richmond, a city in the Canadian Province of British Columbia. The CCGH Siyay is primarily used for search and rescue missions in the Fraser River Delta and its tributaries. Since 2000 when first came into service, it has played a pivotol roles in the Canadian Coast Guard due its versatility. It has a top speed of 55mph and is 93 feet long. This hovercraft serves as a great example to the unique capabilities and useful applications of hovercrafts. Thanks to case studies like this you can expect to see more hovercrafts in active service in the future.
Number 2 – Raptor Hovercraft, Built For Speed
This is the raptor hovercraft built by freelance designer Jerry Coffman. The raptor was built for straight speed with its streamlined design. It takes on the shape of speed boat at the front with its pointed tip and uses huge single fan system to generate massive speeds. Even the drivers area of the hovercraft resembles that of a speed boat.
Number 1 – Mercier-Jones Luxury Hovercraft
This hovercraft has been nicknamed “The Supercraft” because it blends the concept of a luxurious super car with that of a hovercraft. It is also believed to be the most technologically advanced hovercraft ever built. Innovative features of the Mercier-Jones Hovercraft include a revolutionary jet propulsion system, hybrid drive train, and a cutting-edge design that allows for remarkable agility. The exterior design was inspired by the elements of the Audi R8, Maserati Gran Turismo, and Bugatti Veyron. Different elements of these 3 cars were used to create the cosmetics and final appearance of the craft. Other features include a 2-person cockpit, high performance carbon fiber body, and a gasoline powered engine designed for maximum fuel efficiency.