Prototypes and Experiments

A Hovertruck?


Click on the image to enlarge

I’ve always been interested in hovercraft and similar vehicles, as they seemed to hold some promise as precursors to (somewhat) practical, (possibly) safe flying cars. I came across the picture above, and was intrigued by the notion of using a hovercraft for farming. Wouldn’t the airflow from the fans blow any plants or seeds away, or damage the plants at the very least? Then I looked closer at the picture, and noticed that the ‘hovertruck’ has four wheels that appear to be in contact with the ground. Eh? How does that thing qualify as a ‘hovertruck? Just exactly what is hovering? Is it a misprint and they meant to say Hoovertruck, as in a mobile vacuum? What the hell is a mobile vacuum doing in a farmer’s field, I wonder?

I couldn’t find a large enough image for me to be able to read the text in the picture, but I doubt that I’d be satisfied with what it said.

Anyway, is there any future for a personal hovercraft as something other than a swamp buggy? Is there a hope that they could lead to less-than-deadly flying vehicles?

  • In case of an accident, would the airbag below the vehicle deflate to inflate the airbags inside the vehicle? Would airbags inside the vehicle even be required, with a few feet of air cushion surrounding the vehicle? Would everyone be driving around bouncing off one another akin to bumper boats?

  • I was able to zoom on on the pic and discover the lift pressure is variable at most the hover part can only support 3/4 the vehicle weight. It was supposed to only create a light breeze when going over crops, but a much heavier force when traversing mud and muck, to reduce the ground pressure of the tires.

    To answer the question, no we won't see personal hovercraft as anything but toys, not transportation. Flying cars are out too.

    • The Professor

      "A light breeze.."? Hmmm, I'm afraid that I'd have to see what they consider a light breeze. Every hovercraft I've ever seen has quite a blast, even when the skirt just clears the ground (such as it is).
      Ah well, I guess events speak for themselves, since we don't see these things in farm fields everywhere. Or anywhere.

      I'm afraid that I agree about the flying cars, but when I was writing this up, in my head I was envisioning vehicles like the larger 'hovertanks' that appear in the Terminator movies. Very practical looking flying machines.

      • Mentioning "hovertanks" immediately brought this to mind

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        • The Professor

          Interesting idea. I'm trying to image one of those things flying overhead….and now I'm imagining moving somewhere else…

          • The home I recently purchased, I've come to find, is in the flight path of the Bluegrass Army Depot. About twice a month I hear/see military aircraft overhead. Mostly just Blackhawk's but occasionally a C-130 gets stuck in a holding pattern over my house. At an altitude of what seems like 300'. I think it's awesome but the Mrs. doesn't appreciate it as much.

        • CaptianNemo2001

          Sounds like another way to waste the taxpayers money. Also looks like a lot of fail that will fall over in a light breeze.

  • The text says the fans can compensate for up to 3/4 of the weight of the vehicle. So how is this better than a regular Land Rover at going over uneven ground? A pure hovercraft floats over small bumps and holes. How does this deal with change in inclination that require a big approach and departure angles?

  • pete

    while this was an interesting concept they eventually came you with a hover bed for the landrover (the defender) it was aircraft al up top you lifted the center seat to connect the drive shaft to the twin blowers I only got to see it once but i was fantastic they also had a train wheel attachment that would allow it to drive down the tracks there are proposals to use hovercraft up north in the pipie lines due to the soft earth issues they have. so its long from gone. there are plans to build your own hovercraft I saw one at oshkosh a few years ago I think pop mech mag had the plans the guy said it really worked well