Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

Personal Hovercraft - Swim, Drive And Fly Over The Ground

What I am going to introduce to you now is not exactly an aircraft. It won't let you soar above the mountains. Hovercrafts are not airplanes. But still many ultralight aviation fans are interested in having their personal hovercraft. There are few reasons for that:
  • The enjoyment of driving a hovercraft over grass, water or snow is quite similar to flying an ultralight airplane
  • Hovercrafts are safer than aircfats
  • Hovercrafts are easier to maintnain
  • They don't need airports and runways
  • You don't need a license to drive a hovercraft
These are pretty strong arguments in favor of the hovercrafts. The topic worths further exploring.

So, What Is a Hovercraft And Personal Hovercraft?

The hovercrafts are amphibious vehicles supported on a cushion of high pressure air. In fact the hovercrafts fly on this thin cushion over the land or water, but unlike the aircrafts they need a flat surface very near under them.

The personal hovercrafts are small crafts usualy handling up to 10 passengers, but most often they are made for just 2 or 4 persons. One typical small hovercraft would look very simple to a flying boat or float except the wing. The construction and way of flying of course are very different.

The Famous HovPod

This great vehicle can be used on water, grass, snow, road and other flat surfaces. You can even see people with personal hovercrafts climbing on mountains.

Where To Find A Hovercraft

If you intend to buy a personal hovercraft, I can recommend you to have a look at The HovPod. You can even get additional information on email if you fill this form. There are hundreds of others manufacturers of personal hovercrafts which you can find thru the search engines and on other web sites.

The personal hovercrafts can be as small as your car or even smaller, and, you guessed right, you can keep it in your garage.

Hovercraft Kits And Building It Yourself

Many hobbyists build hovercrafts themselves or use hovercraft kits. Building a hovercraft is easier than building an ultralight airplane because there are less things to care about - like aerodynamics - and the hovercraft kits have less details.

Some enthusiasts build their hovercrafts from scratch, just purchasing plans online for $100 - $150. You can play even smarter than them and get a complete step-by-step guide for $27.

In general owning a hovercraft is more affordable than owning an ultralight airplane - not so much because of the price itself, but because you don't have to pay licensee and education fees neither you have to pay for hangar. The hovercrafts do not impose such high requirement to your health and learning to drive them does not take so much of your time.

Of course nothing can really replace the enjoyment of flying an ultralight airplane :) But the hovercraft is a great option if you are just looking to have some great fun without too much of a hassle.

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Post Your Comment

User comments:

Lloyd at Jul, 01 '09 13:19
I was surprised to find hovercraft here. But after finding hovercraft, I then wondered why there were no "Ground Effect Vehicles" here. A few of the hovercraft companies are also building and selling these ground effect vehicles in completed form, or are else selling kits for home builders.
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Bob at Jul, 02 '09 20:23
Thanks for the comment, Lloyd, sounds very interesting. I'll need to research on these vehicles :)
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