Flying Fish back hovercraft racing in 2013!

added by russ on March 25, 2013 at 06:44

With the last couple of years being massive ones, there's been very little time to think of anything except the business (although 'business' means talking about, demonstrating and working on hovercraft design so it's pretty enjoyable most of the time!) and we've not had much time to go racing. But it feels like the time's right once more so I'd planned to build a bespoke racer from a hull kit. But with one thing and another, there was insufficient time so I started looking around for a complete craft and just happened to stumble across some interesting information about a Formula 2 hovercraft that was for sale in Belgium. I'm too big for Formula 50 or Formula 3 - and too scared to race in Formula One, so Formula 2 seemed like my natural home.

So, late last week, my dad and I jumped into his motorhome with a trailer on the back and shot over to Belgium to look at the Formula 2 'Cobra 5P' Hovercraft of Jos Vanderhoven, the creator of the fabulous 'Cobra' racing hovercraft. Jos is retiring from racing and had his own craft for sale, a Cobra 5P built to a very high specification. Looking over the craft, we were extremely impressed with the build quality and standard of finish. So what makes it go?

In the front is a separate lift engine, a 200cc Simonini Mini 2 Plus which is producing approximately 20bhp at 5500rpm. In the to push her along... oh boy... a Suzuki GSX-R600 motorbike engine which has a full Akropovic exhaust and piggyback ECU fueling system to provide something around 140bhp. So that's around 150-160bhp in a GRP hull which weighs a bit over 325kgs with me on board. Gulp.

Current fashion for racing craft features a long, tapering bow, which helps with lift at high speed and has advantages in the turns and the Cobra follows that design, it looks great and whilst it has only had three outings in Jos's hands, it's already been noted for it's performance. As a result of it's limited use, it's in fantastic condition and is quite ready to race.

So - with just six weeks to go before the first UK Meeting in Accrington, there's plenty of time to try the craft out and find a set up that we're happy with. If all goes well, we'll be racing the European Hovercraft Championship (EHC) which consists of four rounds, two in France, one in the UK and one in Flottsbro, Sweden. In the meantime, hopefully we'll also compete in a few of the popular UK rounds run by the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain (HCGB) If you're not familiar with Hovercraft racing, take a look at this Youtube video from Prudhomat, one of the French rounds of the EHC.

Spectacular stuff eh? Surprised If you want to know more about hovercraft racing or cruising, then get in touch and join up to the with the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain, at just £27/year, you'll have access to loads of information and events.

So, watch this space for updates, it's going to be an interesting summer!




KCC Expansion East Kent article on Flying Fish Hovercraft

added by emma on March 13, 2013 at 09:15

KCC Promotional film about the Expansion East Kent Loan scheme and the part of it we've successfully applied for. We're atthe beginning, a couple of minutes of interviews with Emma and our factory manager Bruce and clips of some craft in action.

Formation of the Hovercraft Manufacturers Association (HMA)

added by emma on March 12, 2013 at 11:17

Dear All

It is with enormous pleasure that I can announce that the Hovercraft Manufacturers Association was formed on Friday March 8th 2013.

The aims of the Association are to develop and mature the hovercraft industry, promoting their use in recreational and commercial roles, represent the industry to the media and legislative authourities and work together to ensure that our members produce safe hovercraft.

It is open to all full-time, professional hovercraft manufacturers all around the world and expressions of interest are encouraged from companies who could not make the inaugural meeting. An associate membership is available to manufacturers of craft exclusively for racing. The initial fee for each company is £200.00 (£100 Associate) to cover the initial set up costs (website/design/PO box etc) but it is anticipated that subsequent years shall be considerably less.

The contents of a draft constitution were discussed and will be made available in revised form in due course, as will full meeting notes.

The officers elected were as follows.


Chairman : John Gifford

Secretary / Treasurer : Russ Pullen


Formative Members

Norfolk Hovercraft

Vortex Hovercraft

Flying Fish


K&M Products (Eagle Hovercraft)

BBV Hovercraft

Flying Fish Hovercraft


Work will now commence on website, logo, organisation and administrative work.

The HMA would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the President of the  'World Hovercraft Organisation,' Tony Drake, for his kind offer to chair the meeting. The meeting ran efficiently and was kept firmly to the Agenda for which we were all grateful. The HMA hopes to strengthen and develop its ties with the WHF, EHF and HCGB Organisations as well as  and enthusiasts, distributors and other operators.

For more information, contact the HMA via secretary, Russ Pullen on (01304) 619820 or

How Hovercraft Save You Money!

added by emma on March 4, 2013 at 05:22

This photo from Australia gave us a chuckle.

Leigh Parkes, launching his hover next to the boat ramp pointing out that he doesn't actually use it. It's straight off the trailer and down the bank... so he's exempt from boat ramp charges!








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