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Internet software for the arachnoid cow?
October 8th, 2011
08:21 pm


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To try to clarify my thoughts, I went to Suffolk.

There, I visited Flo-Ridaz (<http://www.flo-ridaz.co.uk>) to see what it was like to drive a Hovercraft, and took Owen and Ian along as well. The experience was an entertaining one, and while I'm still not entirely convinced of the practicality of a hovercraft, I do know that they're a lot of fun.

Hovercraft, having no wheels or keel, can only change their direction of travel by thrusting. Thus, I had expected driving one to resemble playing something like Xpilot or Asteroids. I was wrong, because it a hovercraft you can only turn the craft (and hence change the direction of thrust) by thrusting as well.

I got to drive two Flying Fish hovercraft, a Snapper and a Marlin II. The Snapper was easy to drive and felt very much at home zooming around a small field. The Marlin, despite being only slightly heavier and more powerful, was much more of a handful, and I managed to make enough of a mess of one corner in it to fall off the edge of the track into a ploughed field. On the other hand, it felt like a much more capable craft, one which wouldn't let one down in the middle of, say, the Wash.

Ian and I took quite a lot of pictures. Even after vigorous editing, there are still far to many of them here:


(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 9th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
That does look like a lot of fun. What sort of speeds were you getting up to? I suppose they don't have an easy way to measure speed, though...
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, I left my GPS receiver on my bike, so the only accurate answer I can give is "as fast as I dared". Since I was driving an expensive plastic tub with no brakes in a field 300m long, I suspect that may have been embarrassingly slow.
[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
I went back last weekend for more fun experience, and kept my GPS receiver in my pocket this time. It claimed a maximum speed of 30mph, which seems plausible.
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