You Don't Need an Avatar to Have Fun in 3D

If there’s one thing I love more than hovercraft, it’s ground-effect aircraft. Why not have both? Shockingly, this crossover contraption is not from Russia, the motherland of strange transportation solutions to questions only a Soviet bureaucrat could have asked (ekranoplan anyone?), it’s from New Zealand. And you thought they were just good for comedic musical troupes and yeast extract spreads.

We say, hats off to Rudy He-Man Heeman. $15,000, 60 MPH capable, and able to traverse land, sea, and sky (well, the optimal altitude is around 6 feet off the deck) … anything that gives inexpensive access to real-world thrills is ok in my book.

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  1. muthalovin Avatar

    This will make traffic a breeze!
    Sadly, it is an ekranoplan, so that tag is useless!
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  2. dragon951 Avatar

    Inexpensive? I guess it's all relative. The height too: $15k = 5 feet, $150k = 50,000ft, $1.5m = 500,000ft.

  3. marque911 Avatar

    Oi! You there! Don’t credit New Zealand with the invention of Vegemite. It’s the staple food here in Oz. Matter of fact I’m eating some right now on toast. The only the thing the Kiwis can come up with are new and interesting positions in which to shag sheep. I’ll end this with a heart-felt harrumph. Harrumph!! But I do wish we could claim credit for the Caspian Sea Monster. I’ve been aware of them for 20 years and they do fascinate me. I’ve even found two of them on Google Earth. A sad admission, I know.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      New Zealand? I thought that was Wyoming. Hey, is it really true that your toilets swirl around anticlockwise down there, as opposed to the proper clockwise rotation that we have here?
      Oh, and I think that that hoverplanecraft thingy is absolutely bitchin', and would require one if I didn't live hundreds of miles from enough water to swim a dog.

      1. coupeZ600 Avatar

        Well that's exactly why we need to fly above the water, rather than swim in it. A little itty-bitty one of these flying down the San Pedro would be a complete gas! Probably scare off every endangered fish and bird too….

        1. CptSevere Avatar

          Yeah, it would be a hoot. Especially during monsoon season, when there is actually enough water in the poor thing to call it a river. Getting busted by the BLM for having a motor vehicle in the Riparian Conservation Area would be a drag, though.
          I knew you could find all kinds of rare bird species there, but the river's usually so dry that the only fish that lives there is the Arizona Sand Trout. Another species indigenous to our great state is the Arizona Retriever. You know how a Labrador swims out to get a duck after you shoot it? An Arizona Retriever just walks down into the wash and picks the bird up.

      2. muhnkee_2 Avatar

        i would be careful with the use of the word "proper"…. but from my own limited experimenting it seems that the shape of the sink and the placement of the taps has more effect on the direciton of the spin than the coriolis effect…
        so i rate it as an urban myth, but one that is widely believed!

  4. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    Those Kiwis invent the coolest stuff…
    I believe they are also responsible for that bicycle powered monorail race thingy…

  5. muhnkee_2 Avatar

    Not only is this machine cool, but he lives in my home town of Nelson, New Zealand – a town previously only famous for producing the bloke who split the atom – Ernest Rutherford and a hell of a lot of marijuana…
    Many kiwis attribute all this madcap dangerous inventing and hooning to the fact that in nz you cant sue anyone…
    Thats right folks, anytime you get any injury for any reason, the govt gives you a pay out, its a set amount based on the type of injury and its all paid for by a tax on payroll that employers pay. So for example if your father was trying to change a 4×2 piece of wood into a 2×2 with a circular saw and a steady hand, and he inadvertantely cut two of your brothers fingers off – your big brother would get a payout within a month of $4,400 (in 1985 dollars at least)
    so when you cant sue anyone – even if its their fault that you got injured, you get an environment where people are much more likely to take risks and also inversely people are much more aware of their personal responsibilities…… this has led to invention of such important things as bungee jumping, zorbing, jet swings, wrx engined quad bikes and now flying hovercraft!!!
    so once again nz – we salute you!!!