Flying Fish Coastal-Pro Hovercraft

added by Emma on April 28, 2014 at 06:38

Testing out a Coastal-Pro Hovercraft which is off to Finland for a rescue organisation. Delighted with the performance - when she gets to Helsinki and our Finnish dealer RAF HOVERCRAFT , she'll receive her lights and graphics, plus all the other kit required.

 

Some of the historical 'haunts' on the River Medway.

added by Emma on March 20, 2014 at 07:14

The Medway is a spectacular river for those interested in maritime history. Last weekend, we used small hovercraft to explore some of the more interesting sites. There's still lots to see in the tidal area leading right up to Allington Lock. Check back for more updates as we explore this fascinating intertidal world!

 

View the video on  Youtube


www.flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk
0044 (0)1304 619820

Mercier-Jones Hovercraft - I'm calling you out!

added by Emma on March 18, 2014 at 07:21

 

 

The hovercraft community is pretty small, and the industry manufacturing them even smaller. So it's been very frustrating to watch the hype surrounding the Mercier-Jones hovercraft which has been created in Chicago and has secured so many column inches of newsprint over the last year or two.

It's fair to say, it looks very striking, and the manufacturers have clearly spent their money on the design, styling and marketing, which has landed them huge amounts of coverage in the media. Mercier-Jones  modestly claim the aesthetic inspiration of high end sports cars like Bugatti Veyrons & Audi R8's and make some incredible claims as to its performance and how their product will revolutionise an 'old-fashioned' industry. This is 'the future of personal transportation' apparently and it's amazing new system of steering paves the way for a 'street- legal' version… oh please, its vectored thrust, it's not new, it doesn’t work and the day will never come when one of these things drives legally down the road in a civilized country.

They claim 'hybrid technology' - Ah! All those batteries will explain why - at 400kgs plus - it's far too heavy for its size, leading to an unrealistic skirt pressure which means, it quite simply cannot work - these guys might be geniuses for all I know, but they can’t defeat physics.   

My hobby - away from building recreational and small commercial hovercraft - is racing them. I race in Formula 2 - my craft weighs half what the Mercier-Jones does, and has three times the horsepower. I reckon its good for 60mph. You should see what the 200kg Formula 1's can do with their 200bhp engines.  Take a look here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6YHz6YwlBo and you'll get the idea!

I doubt the bespoke, lightweight 200bhp hovercraft in this video are achieving much above 70mph, yet the Mercier Jones is faster than these apparently! "With top speeds estimated at over 80 MPH and acceleration that will rival it’s supercar cousins, Mercier-Jones hopes to handily beat the hovercraft land-speed record this summer of 56.25 mph and go after the water-speed record of 86.5 mph." It's rather like claiming your Dacia Duster will lap Spa Francochamps faster than Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

Unfortunately, Mercier-Jones aren’t the first company to flood the hovercraft market with ridiculous claims  The industry seems to have attracted lots of bullsh****rs over the years. They tend to come and go, usually leaving an investor or two considerably poorer.  But I have to say, this is certainly the most far-fetched, unrealistic  and misleading set of claims I've seen in my 30 years involvement with hovercraft. I'm sure their intentions are honest and this is a huge misunderstanding on my behalf.  

One of the outrageous claims that Mercier-Jones make is that their hovercraft works.

And that's an outrageous claim because….  it doesn’t! Look here for their test video….

http://www.independenttribune.com/news/concord/video_60c6a380-1ffb-11e3-8213-0019bb30f31a.html

There it is in a pond on the end of a rope (maybe that’s what they mean when they claim it's fly-by-wire?) in a big ball of spray hovering no more than one inch off the ground!  It's a fair way from this to their 87mph ambitions, that hovercraft does not produce a thrust ratio "which is slightly better than the supersonic B-2 Stealth Spirit" I've got to ask, what exactly are they celebrating at the end? That nobody drowned?

They claim the first craft will be delivered in May 2014, really? Who would witness this and splash out $75,000 on something which obviously doesn’t work? I've only ever seen one real one on film - everything else has been computer generated images.

You may well have picked up on the fact that I'm angry about this and may ask why. Well, it's not jealousy, (though I wouldn’t mind my company getting 1/10th the press coverage they've managed!) but I know just how much damage the Mercier Jones may cause the industry with their high profile shenanigans.  As secretary of the 'Hovercraft Manufacturers Association' (HMA) I'm very keen to mature and develop this nascent industry. Together with our some of our members, I've spent two years dealing with the UK Authorities to develop a new 'Hovercraft Code of Practice' and we're constantly lobbying government organisations and commercial operators who've had bad experiences with small hovercraft - and are firmly of the opinion that they simply don’t work. The Mercier Jones is simply going to further that opinion - negatively impacting on honest manufacturers and operators who are trying to develop their own businesses.

What I don’t know is what the aim of this whole project is - they've already attracted some funding from the IndieGoGo website - is the ambition to attract more, whilst they draw a decent wage? The problem is that plenty of people are excited by the idea of a hovercraft (when I finally invent a hoverboard, I'll be richer than Bill Gates) and I've seen some rather naïve investors and overexcited buyers jump in without first checking their facts.

One thing's for sure, the Mercier Jones doesn't work - yet they claim they’re taking orders. And that worries me.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/mercier-jones/hovercraft/prweb11664961.htm

Michael Mercier, Chris Jones - I'm calling you out to protect my industry and the sport I love. My company manufactures and sells over 100 of those 'old fashioned' hovercraft each year, and I'm happy to take on any dynamic challenge you can come up with. Flying Fish hovercraft steer accurately, hover a foot above the ground, do 40mph and work with up to four people on board - you can see them on the internet cruising  on rivers and the sea, beaches, ice, snow, sand, mud and estuaries. Can you provide a single piece of evidence that any of your claims are justified?

Because, if your company is ever going to achieve  100 hovercraft sales a year, one thing is pretty important.

They need to work.

 

 

 

Happy St.Patricks Day!

added by Emma on March 17, 2014 at 05:46

A pretty substantial road-trip last weekend, saw this Volantis Extreme III delivered to Cork in Southern Ireland - just in time for St Patricks Day (and some 6 Nations celebrations...grumble grumble!)

Fully specified with a 50bhp Rampage, LED lighting, complimenting chrome kit and two-tone metal-flake coachwork..,. this is a colour scheme we've never done before and will soon be seen exploring the southern coast of the Emerald Isle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three more Minnow Hovercraft leave tomorrow!

added by Emma on March 13, 2014 at 11:52

I'm pretty sure my toys weren't this much fun when I was a lad - a hoop - and a stick if I was lucky.

Anyway, three more Minnow Hovercraft leave us tomorrow for their lucky new owners. Enjoy yourself lads!

 

WANT TO WORK IN THE HOVERCRAFT INDUSTRY?

added by Emma on January 2, 2014 at 05:38

WANT TO WORK IN THE HOVERCRAFT INDUSTRY?

WANTED : General Manager / Accounts Manager for SE Kent based manufacturing company. Flying Fish manufactures around 100 small hovercraft each year, employs 20 people and exports to a dozen countries from our factory in Sandwich. In  order to achieve consistent, targeted, production deadlines, we need an experienced full-time manager to join the management team,  overseeing all aspects of production staff management including fibreglass hull manufacture, engineering and fitting out. In addition, the manager will be required to administer company book keeping and accounts, including VAT reconciliation and filing, deal with suppliers and customers and have knowledge of Quickbooks or similar accounts software.

This role will suit a mature and experienced person with a working mechanical knowledge, a management and accounts background and the ability to motivate and organise staff.
 
Flying Fish is a small but expanding company, and this is a key role - so  you'll need to display a flexible, committed and proactive approach which can assist the management team at the highest level.

The role is 40 hours per week, plus extra hours as required in busy times and the successful candidate will start at the end of January.

For more details, please send your CV to Emma or Russ at Flying Fish Hovercraft,  via email : russ@flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk

Best ebay Hovercraft advert...ever!

added by Emma on December 4, 2013 at 04:55

For those that aren't challenged enough by buying a fully working hovercraft... the ebay advert below may be of interest. 

You'll need access to some tools of course.... a strimmer, shears - possibly a JCB. But once swept up, fixed up with a new hull, new engine, new fan assembly, transmission, skirt and steering, 'Triggers Broom' will be a fine hovercraft.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hovercraft-Project-/251395146100?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3a88518174

And do remember, this bargain is a BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) as there's a second craft included with this one free of charge (though the vendor does say it's one worse condition than the one pictured.)

 

 

Buy a hovercraft - end of year/end of line bargains!

added by Emma on November 21, 2013 at 10:53

End of year Bargains!!

View this email in your browser

The world's best selling hovercraft - last chance to grab a bargain!

From only £7000.00 + VAT!

 

With the introduction of the new Marlin III, we have just a handful of slots available for production of the Marlin II and we're making available at an 'end of line' price!

These UK, hand built machines provide incredible thrills and are a fantastic first craft for leisure or recreational use. They're easy to drive, look after and store and are absolutely the most exciting and addictive way to get onto the water… or mud, sand, snow, grass or beach!  In fact, these amazing little machines will travel over almost any 'sealed' surface at speeds up to 45mph.

They're absolutely fantastic in intertidal areas, and can travel straight from water to land and back again without any change in the sensation of 'floating on air.' And floating you are - 25cms above the ground on an air cushion which means you glide effortlessly over small obstacles and can fly straight up the slipway or beach to the waiting trailer!

Choose from either the 'Freestyle' - the basic version or the more highly specified 'Extreme.' The Freestyle offers a simply equipped craft with all the thrills of its more highly specified brother which has also found a home amongst many 'driving events' businesses both in the UK and overseas - and is priced at just £7,000.00+VAT


 

Alternatively, the 'Extreme' adds a dial kit, upgraded engine, padded seating, lights, and increased colour choice. The last few bargains will be priced at £8900.00+VAT.



 

But be quick - when they’re gone, they're gone, and the Mark III has to be more expensive!

The Hovercraft

  • Your choice of colours from our standard range.
  • Powered by Briggs & Stratton 35bhp (freestyle) or 37bhp (Extreme) engine
  • Revs at just 3800rpm
  • Low noise (78dbA at 25m) at a low frequency
  • Electric start
  • Very frugal – drinks just 5-6 litres fuel per hour.
  • Commercial engine power means long service intervals and long service life.
  • Very robust craft and engine.
  • Cheap and easy to maintain segmented, flexible skirt.
  • Simple driving controls consisting of handlebars and throttle – that’s it!
  • Training takes less than ten minutes per driver.
  • The only small hovercraft to have made multiple two way crossings of the English Channel.
  • Completed eight challenging 1000km ‘Rhone Raids’ on Rhone & Soane Rivers.
  • National Coastal Racing Champions in 2005/2006
  • Inaugural National ‘Formula 503’ champions and current front runners in Formula 2.
  • Suppliers of craft to the makers of the BBC’s ‘Frozen Planet’ for use in Arctic conditions.
  • As driven (and loved!) by 'Top Gear's' Jeremy Clarkson, and the 'Nitro Circus' crew.
  • The only small hovercraft to have completed a two way crossing of the Irish Sea.
  • In use around the world in hundreds of different applications from flood response to cockling and from mud-sampling to yacht tenders!

 For more details, take a look at our website at www.flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk or contact Emma on 01304 619820 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01304 619820 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting for a chat.

 

Or a Marlin II Extreme for only £8900.00 + VAT

Call or email us today for spec and availability!

 


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