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Mercier-Jones Hovercraft

By: on December 31, 2012

The Mercier-Jones' Hovercraft can achieve a lift of 8 inches. Wait, don't stop reading! I know that's not an epic flying car, or even Hoverbike, altitude, but consider this: would Big Brother really allow a private company to make and sell mile-high Maseratis to the general public? Even the very rich general public? We already have proper aircraft small and large that individuals can buy and self-navigate (following very strict regulations). Why do we need another plane that, yeah, goes way yonder in the sky, but cannot realistically be driven to Comic-Con?

By replacing clunky, problematic wheels with an uplifting cushion of air, but retaining a reasonable proximity to the earth, a Mercier-Jones Hovercraft could potentially integrate seamlessly with other vehicles on the road (read: you could use it to cruise for chicks) yet also veer off-road over mud and dirt, lakes and rivers, and the neighbor's lawn for coffee-spilling kitchen window fly bys reminiscent of buzzing the tower. Minor floods and snowfall, things that fall off the backs of trucks, idiot squirrels darting into the street, none of them will hinder the Hovercraft. And speed bumps? F speed bumps! Speed bumps, my friend, will be no more. No more!

That said, the space age mobiles' immediate intended, and most practical use seems to be as water toys. Which still gets a thumbs up, as I understand from those who own them that boats that actually touch the water require an enormous amount of maintenance and repair, and are generally pains in the ass. Also, have you seen the body on the Hovercraft?In case it isn't obvious from the low-profile hull, no-BS front end, side thrust ports, and sheer sexiness of it, Mercier-Jones' Hovercraft design took inspiration from the Bugatti Veyron, Maserati Gran Turismo, and Audi R8 amongst other sports cars. Its open-air cabin accommodates two, and side decks supply additional seating for marine use. Lower level hull steps allow boarding from the water, top decks enable entry from a dock, and a set of recessed side steps make it possible to enter and exit from dry land.

As mentioned, Mercier-Jones structured its Hovercraft to float on a cushion of air, similar to the levitation and movement of air hockey pucks. The vehicle's air cushion is suspended inside a flexible skirt to help compensate for changes in terrain and provide clearance for obstacles. And in addition to mugging high-end sports car aesthetics, the Hovercraft was also designed to drive like one. Its directional control system promotes advanced maneuverability in the forward, lateral, and reverse directions, and intuitive pilot inputs help make the learning-to-fly process relatively easy.

Hovercraft run on a single gasoline engine that generates electricity for three independent, electric drive system motors. A battery pack is used to hold reserve power that can be applied to the motors for quick boosts in performance. Surrounding the engines are carbon fiber and metal alloy materials assembled using techniques from the automotive, marine, and aerospace industries.

Mercier-Jones is still developing its fancy of flight, but once manufacturing begins, it is to take place in Chicago, IL. Those wishing to own, or receive updates about, the Hovercraft can add their name to the company's wait list by emailing info@mercier-jones.com.

Hovercraft Specs

  • Length: 149"; Width: 74"; Height: 41"
  • Empty Weight: 800 lbs
  • Payload: 500 lbs
  • Hover Height: up to 8"
  • Cruise Speed: 35 mph
  • Max Speed: 80 mph
  • Acceleration: 0 to 50 mph in 10 seconds
  • Duration: 5 hours at cruise speed
  • Range: 150 miles
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