Forget flying with a jet pack, try this homemade hovercraft

Summary:After 13 years and 800 hours, New Zealander Rudy Heeman has finally built a winged hovercraft.

Flying on an airplane has lost its allure when it became a practical and affordable way to travel. However, the dream of flying the way the Wright brothers did, a la jet pack fantasy , seems to be taking off. At least this time around, we can watch their trials on YouTube.


Meet New Zealander Rudy Heeman, creator of a homemade hovercraft. It's been called an "aircraft, aeroplane, hovercraft and flying boat." I can relate to a hovercraft's motions. I played with a remote control hovercraft over the lake near my childhood home.

But clearly, Heeman had greater visions and saw the hovercraft as more than a toy. After 800 hours and more than a decade in — Heeman has built a winged machine that hovers at 10 feet above the water and travels at 56 mph.

Last week, Heeman sold the hovercraft on Trade Me for about $14,000. And like the jet pack, requires no pilot's license.

Watch this video of the hovercraft in action:

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech,, and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.