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  The History of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.

Introduction: The Fifth Decade

Since the turn of the century, Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. has experienced rapid worldwide sales growth, and new dealerships have been established across the globe. Customers include the U.S. Department of Justice, Border Patrol; state airports; U.S. National Parks; and emergency, police, and fire agencies in nations throughout the world.

The 4-passenger Neoteric Hovertrek is now manufactured with a range of 70 options, including 65hp and 100hp engines, as well as fuel injected versions. In 1994, Neoteric developed a 6-passenger Hovertrek; the first of this model, a rescue version, was shipped to South Korea in 2005.

In addition to developing manufacturing systems to meet increased delivery schedules, throughout the 1990s and continuing today, Chris Fitzgerald dedicated considerable company revenues to expanding awareness of the hovercraft’s utility and versatility. He was appointed Chairman of the 2002 World Hovercraft Championship, the largest gathering of hovercraft enthusiasts in history, which brought participants and spectators from more than 18 nations to Terre Haute, Indiana USA.

The company’s most recent endeavors include the founding of the not-for-profit World Hovercraft Organization, and the production of its newsletter, HoverWorld Insider, which has an expanding global readership of more than 20,000. In 2003, the World Hovercraft Organization launched the DiscoverHover International School Hovercraft Program, offering free hovercraft plans, extensive curriculum guides and other support services to schools and youth groups worldwide. Today, DiscoverHover’s membership includes 1,000 schools and youth groups from 44 nations.

With nearly five decades of history, Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. moves into the new century as a world leader in the light hovercraft industry … but the story does not end here. The definition of the word neoteric is “new, innovative, modern” and, as exemplified by its company name, Neoteric will remain so in the decades to come.

A Photo History of Neoteric Hovercraft, 2000-2009

2000 To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the World's First Hovercraft Race, planning was begun for HoverWorld Expo 2004 in Canberra, Australia.
1961 – present Neoteric Australia provided technical services, prototype components and occasional manufactured parts as well as experimental testing and model building.  Neoteric operates its testing facility at Hastings, Victoria, Australia to the present day.  A new Hovertrek model test program took place in 2001.
2001 – present Neoteric developed, tested, manufactured and marketed its Hovertrek model with a range of 70 options, including 65HP and 100HP engines as well as fuel injected versions.
2001 Chris Fitzgerald was appointed Chairman of the World Hovercraft Championship 2002; he brought the event to Terre Haute, Indiana USA.
2002 Neoteric sponsored and organized WHC 2002, which became the world's most successful and largest gathering of hovercraft enthusiasts in history.
2002 Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. experienced considerable growth. Hovercraft were purchased by the U.S. Department of Justice, Border Patrol; state airports; U.S. National Parks; and emergency, police, and fire agencies throughout the world.
Two rescue hovercraft were purchased by Anchorage International Airport.
A fleet of five hovercraft were purchased for an environmental survey project in Kuwait.
Two rescue hovercraft were purchased by Ministero dell'Interno in Italy
2003 Chris Fitzgerald founded the World Hovercraft Organization, a not-for-profit organization to represent and serve as an information resource for the international hovercraft/air cushion vehicle world.
Neoteric hovercraft were purchased by US National Parks in Big Bend, Texas and Lake Amistad National Recreational Area.
Planning continued for HoverWorld Expo 2004 for Canberra, Australia.
Factory and machinery upgrades continued. A search for a Production Manager was launched.
Development continued for HoverWorld Expo 2004 and the World Hovercraft Organization. Fitzgerald visited Australia three times during 2003 in May, August, and November.
January, 2003 Chris Fitzgerald traveled to Italy for acceptance trials with the Department of the Interior.
May, 2003 Neoteric's single-user manufacturing system was upgraded to a dynamic, web-based system.
A comprehensive rewriting and redesign of the Neoteric web site was commenced.
June, 2003 Neoteric purchased its own dedicated web server and developed a co-hosting relationship.
August, 2003 Neoteric began the development of Hovercraft Training Schools and established a web site, HovercraftTraining.com
David Atkins designed logos for DiscoverHover!, Hovercraft Training, World Hovercraft Organization, and HoverWorld Expo. These were later refined by Aaron Hogan.
September, 2003 The World Hovercraft Organization's DiscoverHover International School Hovercraft Program was founded and the DiscoverHover.org web site was launched..
AutoCAD online design service was established from Neoteric Engineering Affiliates Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne, Australia.
October, 2003 Fitzgerald attended a conference at the British Hovercraft Museum in Southampton, England to present a paper on hovercraft promotion.
Fitzgerald traveled to Kuwait to train and organize those conducting a country-wide coastal survey using Neoteric Hovercraft.
January, 2004 Negotiations began with Igor Lavrov, President of Christy Hovercraft, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation for a Neoteric dealership in St. Petersburg. Since then, Christy Hovercraft has participated in numerous trade shows, performed demonstrations over a huge variety of different terrains, and has submitted a vast number of photographs for Neoteric to use on their website. Extremely capable technically, Lavrov has also set and documented speed records in Russia. By these enthusiastic efforts, he has produced a considerable number of orders.
February, 2004 Development began on a 6-passenger Hovertrek™ utilizing a 100 horsepower liquid cooled Hirth engine. This work was commissioned by long-time customer Tom Dienhart of Wisconsin USA.
  Former Neoteric dealer, High Tech International S.r.l. [HTI] of Gorgonzola, Italy, began an illegal process of unauthorized copying and manufacture, using splash-mold techniques, of Neoteric products. This company also continues to plagiarize copyrighted content from the Neoteric website. This intellectual property infringement is apparent on the HTI web site. HTI continues to manufacture and sell, primarily to government agencies, rescue hovercraft that are unauthorized copies of several Neoteric models.
Neoteric Hovercraft Inc. has no affiliation with HTI, or with other hovercraft companies in Italy who are marketing copies of Neoteric designs. Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. does not condone, authorize, or support HTI, its president Carlo Guido Passoni, or Matteo Passoni.
A dealer contract had been previously signed with HTI and both Matteo Passoni and his wife, Tatiana Rasskazova, received hovercraft training in October 2001. HTI acquired two dealer demonstration units from Neoteric, but subsequently purchased used Neoteric models in the US marketplace and shipped them to Italy.
March, 2004 Chris Fitzgerald visited Canberra and Melbourne, Australia to organize HoverWorld Expo 2004 and to conduct a press conference when the HoverWorld Expo Official PaceCraft arrived in Australia after shipment from Neoteric Hovercraft USA in January 2004.
May, 2004 Chris Fitzgerald conducted a joint hovercraft training seminar with the company RevCor in Carpentersville, Chicago, Illinois USA.
June, 2004 DiscoverHover.org released the first set of free hovercraft construction plans.
Over a period of ten years, a web-based manufacturing system containing 15,000 lines of code has been written by company employees. This purpose-built information management system should position the company to experience rapid expansion.
July, 2004 Neoteric president, Chris Fitzgerald, traveled to Jecheon City, South Korea for dealer negotiations and training. Fitzgerald also demonstrated the Hovertrek™ Rescue Deluxe Model #3626 to Korean National Fire Authority at Kyungpo Beach, Kangnung Province, South Korea. More Photos …
Korean National Fire Authority Hovertrek™ rescue hovercraft, South Korea, 2004
Korean National Fire Authority Hovertrek rescue hovercraft, South Korea, 2004
August, 2004 British adventurer Robert Hodson visited Neoteric for two weeks to undertake light repairs during his two year excursion crossing the United States from east to west via rivers, dams, lakes and seas. Read more about it here.
October, 2004 The National Capital Authority in Canberra, Australia declined the opportunity to stage HoverWorld Expo 2004. To read more click here.
Neoteric president, Chris Fitzgerald, driving the Hovertrek™ prototype, competed in the first endurance race in more than 25 years and took third place. This was a practice event staged by the Hovercraft Club of America, Inc. in order to develop a practical scoring system for the development of future hovercraft endurance racing. More about endurance racing.
Bryce Woods, Neoteric Hovercraft dealer in New Zealand, visited company headquarters for sales negotiations.
November, 2004 South African Neoteric dealer, Winstone Jordaan, visited Neoteric for pilot and assembly training. During the same month JJ Youn, Neoteric Korean dealer, visited for sales negotiations.
December, 2004 Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. experienced rapid worldwide sales growth, and meeting timely delivery schedules became a challenge.
February, 2005 Neoteric Technical Director, Robert Wilson, visited from Neoteric Australia for two months to assist with production planning and with engineering refinements.
Neoteric launched the new Work in Progress section of its web site. Updated weekly, this section gives customers, as well as site visitors, access to extensive step-by-step photo galleries of their hovercraft proceeding through Neoteric's hands-on custom manufacturing process.
April, 2005 Neoteric contracted with retired airline training pilot Robert Rossier to produce hovercraft training manuals along with a PowerPoint presentation for hovercraft pilot training. This project is ongoing.
August, 2005 Robert Wilson, Neoteric Technical Director, again visited for production consultation and began development of a rotary engine powered Hovertrek™.
Neoteric's first 6-passenger Hovertrek™ was shipped to South Korea. Development time exceeded 2000 man hours.
October, 2005 Neoteric contracted with Rotamax in Ohio USA to supply a proof-of-concept engine for evaluation. This initiated a long-term testing and development phase.
February, 2006 DreamAir Co. Ltd. president Jong Jun Youn visited Neoteric to discuss the status of his current orders.
June, 2006 Ralph Weas joined Neoteric as Business Manager for the purpose of helping to expand the company and meet demand.
July, 2006 An electrically operated deployment system for an ADCP was developed for the hovercraft to be used by the US Bureau of Reclamation to survey the Yakima River in Oregon.
  A private company, Lakemaster Lake Maps, of Minnesota, purchased a hovercraft for sonar mapping of lakes in North America, including Canada.
August, 2006 Neoteric Technical Director Robert Wilson visited Terre Haute, Indiana USA headquarters for new engine development, product development, testing, and to assist with organizing the factory for increased production capacity.
  Tristan Linck produced curriculum guides for DiscoverHover, which continued to grow and exceeded 2000 participating students, teachers, and schools from throughout the world.
  Futurist Extreme Fun President Winston Jordaan, Neoteric's dealer in South Africa, achieved his first sale, for a 4-place Inline Deluxe to Natal Nature Conservation.
  Hovercraft pilot training continued and a comprehension test and student pilot surveys were added to the training regimen. Photos of training and certified pilots may be viewed on HovercraftTraining.com.
  The World Hovercraft Organization continued to be funded by Neoteric Hovercraft, who produces its free email and online quarterly newsletter, HoverWorld Insider, publishing a wide variety of news pertaining to the global light hovercraft industry. As of August 2006, HoverWorld Insider had more than 18,000 subscribers worldwide.
December, 2006 The newly-developed body mold for the Hovertrek™ 6, Neoteric’s six-passenger hovercraft, was completed and placed in production. See Hovertrek™ 6 photos here.
  Neoteric’s manufacturing facility was expanded, with three new mezzanines, a new spray booth and a new sanding room in the Fiberglassing Division.
February, 2007 Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald traveled to Australia to train the company’s first Australian customer, Frederick (Ted) Crocker from Geelong in Victoria. Mr. Crocker purchased the unused HoverWorld Expo Official PaceCraft, stored in Australia since 2004, which he will use for duck hunting.
 
Australian Hovercraft pilot training
Neoteric’s first Australian customer received pilot training from Chris Fitzgerald at Neoteric’s test & training facility in Hastings, Victoria. More photos here
  While in Australia, Chris Fitzgerald met with co-designer engineers David Atkins and Robert Wilson concerning Hovertrek™ design upgrades and production/manufacturing improvements.
  Testing continued on evaluating and improving a new rotary-powered hovercraft.

Robert Wilson began full-fledged design and model construction of a new Hyper Performance Hovercraft for racing. This machine will utilize technology developed by Neoteric in the early years (1960s and early 1970s) but never used until now. The anticipation is that this machine will continue to ensure Neoteric’s forefront position and set a new high mark for this burgeoning new industry.

April, 2007 David Atkins returned to the US to undertake design improvements, to upgrade seating and lighting, and to assist with corporate planning.
May, 2007 Work started in earnest to combat the illegal theft of Neoteric identity and technology by Matteo Passoni of HTI in Italy.
6 July, 2007 Neoteric received a Demand to Cease and Desist from lawyer Gary P. Barket of Little Rock, Arkansas USA on behalf of PhD Ing Matteo Passoni, General Manager of Hi Tech International S.r.l. of Gorgonzola-Milan, Italy concerning a Trade Disparagement of Hi Tech International. HTI's demands included a $20,000 cash payment, removal of HTI and its principals from the Neoteric website, and altering the history section to exclude the names of Matteo Passoni, Tatiana Rasskazova, and Carlo Guido Passoni. HTI’s actions were dropped as their unlawful activities were exposed.
July, 2007 Neoteric demonstrated the Hovertrek™ 6 Rescue craft to a delegation from India.
 
Picture India Hovercraft demonstration
Oct. - Nov., 2007 The Indianapolis Fire Department purchased a Neoteric rescue hovercraft, triggering a flurry of news stories in the Indianapolis Star, WTHI television news in Terre Haute, and Fox 59 and WISH TV 8 in Indianapolis (here), as well as WISH TV anchor Eric Halvorson's blog entry of 31 October, 2007.
February, 2008 Neoteric amplified focus on improving manufacturing efficiency in order to meet demand. The establishment of work station cells for machinery, general assembly, electrical, cables, skirts, and upholstery were accelerated.
13-14 February, 2008 Neoteric dealers Igor and Ella Lavrov, of Christyhovercraft in St. Petersburg, Russia, visited Neoteric for business meetings.
March, 2008 Neoteric’s new Fiberglassing Division was placed in operation.
  Design work and model testing research of the new NeoRacer Model 6153 SuperSport 100 mph racing hovercraft proceeds in Australia. Rob Wilson is responsible for the design work while David Atkins is involved with craft styling.
April, 2008 Work was completed on new 6-passenger hovercraft body, hull, seat, and cabin molds.
May, 2008 Chad Steimel, company engineer, began parts and assembly drawings in AutoCAD and ProE.
June, 2008 Testing on MZ and rotary engines continued in order to evaluate engines for future use.
September, 2008 In its Hovercraft Ripoff Report, the World Hovercraft Organization web site details the industrial and economic espionage, intellectual property infringement and trade disparagement committed by Hi Tech International S.r.l. against Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. and publicizes safety concerns about HTI’s counterfeit hovercraft.
January, 2009 Rob Wilson, Neoteric Technical Director, continues development of the 100 mph Neoteric High Speed Craft, with body design by David Atkins.
  Development of AutoCAD drawings, and systems and standards are continued by company engineer Chad Steimel.
February, 2009 The Neoteric factory established assembly bays in continuation of the process of improving manufacturing efficiency.
  As a result of its plagiarism of the Neoteric Hovercraft web site, Hi Tech International S.r.l. was found in violation of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the majority of its web site pages were banned from Google search engine results. Google placed the following notice on each search results page that formerly contained HTI links: In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed [#] result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.

Other major search engines such as Yahoo! are also removing HTI web site pages from their search results.
March, 2009 Neoteric began consultations with MediaSauce, an Indianapolis, Indiana marketing firm, to expand Neoteric’s marketing program.
  The rotary evaluation engine was rebuilt and the 50-hour test program continued.
  Neoteric designed a new 25-seat gas turbine-powered hovercraft.
April, 2009 Neoteric trains and certifies US Air Force Utah Test and Training Range Fire Department in whitewater rescue piloting. See video and photos.
  Alan Fitzgerald, Australia, visits Neoteric to streamline the company’s accounting processes and assist with an Indiana state audit.
15 May, 2009 Neoteric trains and certifies personnel from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to pilot their new 6-passenger commercial HoverTrek™. The hovercraft will be used to measure water currents on the Skagit Bay Tidal Flats in Washington, USA. See photos and read comments.
May - Dec., 2009 Neoteric contracted 3D Engineering Solutions, Cincinnati, Ohio to undertake a complete digital mapping of all master plugs and to prepare CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine tool paths for new tool building. The project was completed in December 2009.
July, 2009 MediaSauce, an Indianapolis, Indiana marketing firm, was contracted to partner with Neoteric to design and implement a continuing marketing evolutionary philosophy for the company and to position Neoteric in the digital marketplace.
August, 2009 Neoteric terminated its three year 50-hour Rotamax 70 HP rotary engine evaluation, in part because Rotamax was liquidated and could no longer support their engine technically. At the same time, Neoteric began the evaluation of all 4-cycle high performance engines suitable for hovercraft use.
  Neoteric engineering team Rob Wilson and David Atkins continued their work in Australia on the design and development of the new Neoteric High Performance Hovercraft.
  Neoteric began a major upgrade of its computer-based manufacturing system.
18 August, 2009 Neoteric trains and certifies pilots from the ST-5 Hovercraft Team and the Hovering Across Canada Foundation. Their Neoteric Hovercraft will make history by being the first light hovercraft to fly 11,000 km from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, NFLD to raise funds for the fight against prostate cancer. A film crew will accompany the team to shoot episodes for a national/international reality show.
September, 2009 A documentary film crew travels to Neoteric’s corporate headquarters film its Rescue HoverTrek™ performing a water rescue on the Wabash River. See a photo gallery of the day’s events, including the filming of the water rescue and a tour of the Neoteric Hovercraft manufacturing facility.
7 November, 2009 Neoteric makes headlines by using hovercraft technology to move a 7,000-pound steel building. Neoteric’s hoverlifter technology is used for such purposes as moving half-ton units around on top of a 140-acre factory roof. See Building Floats for photos and details.
  Neoteric launches a new blog providing an inside view into the hovercraft industry: Neoteric Hovercraft Blog
18 December, 2009 Neoteric signs its first hovercraft dealer in Taiwan, Yoshine Helicopter Company, and Chris Fitzgerald trains Yoshine hovercraft pilots Gordon, Charles and Peggy Lin. See photos
 
   
Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.
1649 Tippecanoe Street Terre Haute, Indiana USA 47807-2394
Telephone: 1-812-234-1120 / 1-800-285-3761 Fax: 877-640-8507

Homepage:
www.neoterichovercraft.com / www.rescuehovercraft.com
E-mail: hovermail@neoterichovercraft.com
© 2003 Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc
All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of any content on this website is illegal.
Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain,
is investigated by the United States FBI and is punishable by up to
5 years in U.S. federal prison and a fine of US $250,000