'Fast And Furious' Flying Hovercraft For Sale
1:13pm UK, Monday March 01, 2010
Huw Borland, Sky News Online
A New Zealand inventor has put a bizarre floating machine that can also take to the skies up for sale.
Mechanic Rudy Heeman took the model of a hovercraft to create the WIG or "wing in ground effective vehicle".
It rides like a normal hovercraft but, once it reaches a speed of 70km an hour, it becomes airborne.
It took Mr Heeman more than a decade to complete the machine.
Over those years, he taught himself to laminate fibreglass, modify car engines and gain an understanding in basic aeronautics in order to drive the vehicle himself, reports said.
Some of the parts used to create his flying hovercraft are household items, including "an old gas bottle of a barbecue", he said.
The wings are removable - a handy feature for transporting the WIG, but deadly if they are not secured properly.
Joking while he attached the wings before a flight, he said: "That's called the Jesus pin, when that pin comes out, you see Jesus."
Mr Heeman is now trying to sell his "flying boat" on a website called trademe.co.nz and the current highest bid is 20,050 New Zealand dollars (£9,334).
Its advertisement says: "This machine is fast and furious. It roars like a lion and is not for the faint-hearted. It is adrenalin pumping and exciting."
He said the vehicle is an efficient way of transport and could be used for people like farmers.
"You can land on your paddocks and you wouldn't have to worry about opening or closing your gates, you just go over them," he told a Network Nine reporter.
Reports said the vehicle does not need a flying licence because New Zealand aviation and maritime authorities have agreed to classify the vehicle as a "marine craft".
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