Walt Sitz is building a hovercraft from a Neoteric Partially-Assembled Kit so he can use it to help others. He and his aircraft business, Eagle Wings, Inc., belong to Crisis Response International, a non-profit organization that provides rescue and relief support to humanitarian missions worldwide. His interest in hovercraft peaked when he was deployed to New York after Hurricane Sandy:
“You can try to row a boat through the flood debris, but if I could deploy with a hovercraft, that’s what would be used. It’s a natural addition … and your reverse thrust system – you need that kind of control. I want to push the usefulness of this amazing machine in all situations. I went to Terre Haute and took hovercraft training with Chris Fitzgerald and was sold on its potential after that!”
December 15, 2013: Our trip home was good. The roads were slick through Wyoming, but the hovercraft trailed right behind us without ever sliding – great trailer! I got the craft in place in our hanger and washed off all the road grime and got started. I have the skirts and thrust buckets on and trimmed, fit the engine and fan pieces, installed instruments and the windshield. It is really taking shape and looks awesome. I’m enjoying putting it together!
December 19, 2013: It is going together quite well – around 20 hours so far and ready to start wiring. I’ll be out of town for the holidays so won’t get back on it until after the first of the year. Excited to get it going!
January 22, 2014: I will hover it tomorrow and check the rest out - all works well statically. I am excited! People who have seen it so far are excited also – some have commented that it’s like a Star Wars machine!
I have about 10 hours of operation so far and everything is working perfectly, starts right up. I’m getting more comfortable in hovering it in a tight place with the use of the reverse thrust buckets and proper throttle. You can do some really precise maneuvering when you have these working together. It’s awesome – a big smile comes across my face when I get it right. These machines are absolutely amazing!
I took Pat out in it and she really liked it! We were on ice because the lakes here are still frozen over; there are some open areas of water showing up. Pat is an ice skater, and she said it was like dancing on ice! All we were missing was the music! We’re really excited about all the potential it has. I can’t emphasize enough how much we like it, Chris!
Also I want to order a complete skirt set for spares and showing it at the sportsman show at the end of February. Here are some photos. I’ll send you a video we’re doing, along with more photos of it in action …