With a Hiss and a Roar

Nelson hovercraft inventor Rudy Heeman is auctioning his unconventional vehicle on TradeMe for a reserve price of $20,000. Heeman’s machine is a hovercraft in the conventional sense, but with the addition of detachable wings, the vehicle cruises at 56mph when flying, has a range of more than 140 miles, and reaches a height of about 10 feet. The sale has already received more than 100,000 hits and has shot well past the reserve price. Heeman, who has been building hovercrafts as a hobby in his back yard for more than 13 years, said this is his first flying model. He says on his website: “It has been called all sorts of things, including aircraft, aeroplane, hovercraft and flying boat. It is in fact a WIG [a wing in ground effect] in the form of a hovercraft. This machine is fast and furious; it roars like a lion and is not for the faint-hearted. It is adrenalin-pumping and exciting. Having a go on it is like a bungee jump, however, the thrill lasts as long as the ride.” He said he was selling the craft because he needs the funds to get started on more “secret projects”.

Tags: Hovercraft  Nelson  Rudy Heeman  Telegraph (The)  TradeMe