Eric Halvorson’s Blog
WISH TV 8, Indianapolis, IN
Eric Halvorson, News Anchor, WISH TV 8, Indianapolis, IN
October 31, 2007: A trip to Terre Haute gave me another
reason to enjoy my job. A photographer and I went there,
today, to visit Neoteric. That's the company that made the
hovercraft for Marion County's Emergency Management Agency.
We're still waiting for the official unveiling of the Marion
County craft. So, the demonstration today on the Wabash River
gave us a chance to see what the machine will do.
This would be a fascinating story, if we focused only on the
business side of Neoteric. The company's president, Chris
Fitzgerald, leads a company that devotes an amazing number of
hours -- 600 -- for each craft. He says you can compare that
to 35 hours for a boat. Even fewer hours for other vehicles.
It's not a mass production shop. So, most of the work is done
The skirt that rings a hovercraft is made of a fabric commonly
used in backpacks. But, it's not one piece. It's individual
pillows that fill with air when the engine comes on. Since
they are individual pieces, the craft can operate even if one
happens to snag on something and tear.
Seeing a hovercraft operate also becomes a science lesson.
Weight and balance. Physics. Aerodynamics. That's why
Fitzgerald also hopes teachers find the following website:
It teaches the hovercraft concepts and offers plans for schools
that might want to build a hovercraft of their own.