Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is that a real Delorean?
A. I'm flattered that you might think so, but it's actually a sculpture of one. The body is made out of styrofoam insulation that I glued together and carved into the shape of a Delorean, fiberglassed, and painted with metallic paint.
Q. Is that a hydrofoil?
A. No. "The term 'hydrofoil' is commonly used for the wing-like structure mounted on struts below the hull of a variety of boats, which lifts the boat out of the water during forward motion, in order to reduce hull drag" (from wikipedia). A hovercraft does not have any hydrofoils lifting it up.
Q. Is that like one of those Louisiana swamp boats?
A. No, you're thinking of an airboat. While being driven, the hull of an airboat is skimming across the surface of the water, but a hovercraft's hull is hovering above the surface.
Q. How does a hovercraft work?
A. The fan in the front pushes air down. Some of that air is diverted into the flexible vinyl "skirt", which is like an innertube around the perimeter of the hull and traps the rest of the air, which goes down under the hull. This pocket of high-pressure air lifts the craft about 6-8 inches off the ground/water. Some air is escaping under the skirt at all points at all times, so in theory, even the skirt isn't touching the ground/water (in reality the skirt drags on the surface in many conditions). A second fan pushes air behind the craft, driving it forward and rudders behind this thrust fan turn the craft.
Q. Will it sink if the engines stop?
A. No, the hull is made out of styrofoam; it floats.
Q. What kind of engines does it have?
A. There is a six horsepower lawnmower engine in the front powering a 24 inch fan that provides the lift. The 36 inch thrust fan in the back is powered by a 23 horsepower Briggs and Stratton twin cylinder utility engine.
Q. How fast can it go?
A. 88 mph in theory, 31 mph in practice.
Q. Did you design it yourself?
A. It's based on the blueprints for a popular kit hovercraft from Universal Hovercraft. The materials and shape of most of the hull, the skirt, and the thrust fan duct came from those blueprints. I designed pretty much everything else, including the engine mounts, steering, electrical and fuel systems, engine covers, and trailer unloading system.
Q. How long did that take you?
A. It took about 4.5 years to get it operational for it's debut in August 2012, and I've been continuously working on and improving it since then.
Q. Are you crazy?
A. If building this makes me crazy, I don't wanna be sane.