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Forget flying with a jet pack, try this homemade hovercraft

Forget flying with a jet pack, try this homemade hovercraft

Posting in Science

After 13 years and 800 hours, New Zealander Rudy Heeman has finally built a winged hovercraft.

Flying on an airplane has lost its allure when it became a practical and affordable way to travel. However, the dream of flying the way the Wright brothers did, a la jet pack fantasy, seems to be taking off. At least this time around, we can watch their trials on YouTube.


Meet New Zealander Rudy Heeman, creator of a homemade hovercraft. It's been called an "aircraft, aeroplane, hovercraft and flying boat." I can relate to a hovercraft's motions. I played with a remote control hovercraft over the lake near my childhood home.

But clearly, Heeman had greater visions and saw the hovercraft as more than a toy. After 800 hours and more than a decade in — Heeman has built a winged machine that hovers at 10 feet above the water and travels at 56 mph.

Last week, Heeman sold the hovercraft on Trade Me for about $14,000. And like the jet pack, requires no pilot's license.

Watch this video of the hovercraft in action:

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Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech,, and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure