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On the Rise
Neoteric Hovercraft featured on Travel Channel

Cronicle Online
31 July 2004

Hovercraft pictureA [Florida USA] businessman hopes some attention from a program on the Travel Channel will help boost his new business.

A film crew for "Travel Gear" arrived Friday morning in Crystal River to shoot an 8-minute segment that will include footage of a hovercraft, which will be assembled in Homosassa. "Travel Gear" is a weekly half-hour show devoted to new gadgets and products for travel.

Gerry Gibb, president of Microfast Inc., is licensed to assemble the Hovertrek vehicles manufactured by Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc., a company based in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Gibb said he recently purchased 20 acres in Homosassa, where he plans to assemble the hovercraft and develop an RV park. Depending on the demand for hovercraft, Gibb said he hopes to hire about 20 employees within a year to assemble the vehicles.

Gibb said a two-stroke Hirth engine for an ultralight aircraft powers the hovercraft. The hovercraft he brought to Fort Island Trail Park for the film crew had a 65-horsepower engine, but he said some Neoteric Hovertrek models have a 55-horsepower engine.

He said the Neoteric patent for the hovercraft is unique because it has reverse thrusters, which work like air brakes on a jet, making the hovercraft easier to operate.

Gibb said the Neoteric design is also unusual because the hovercraft is powered by a single engine, which runs on a mixture of premium gasoline and oil, the same mixture as a jet ski engine.

Gibb said the price of a Neoteric hovercraft is between $17,000 and $27,000, depending on the options.

The hovercraft works because one-third of the wind generated by the engine goes into the hull of the vehicle, creating a cushion of air held within the skirts at the bottom. Gibb said this cushion of air lifts the vehicle about 10 to 12 inches off the ground.

Gibb said the remaining two-thirds of the wind generated by the engine propels the hovercraft forward. Depending on the number of occupants and whether or not it is windy, Gibb said the hovercraft can reach a top speed of between 40 and 50 miles per hour.

The hovercraft can be used on water or land, often traveling on surfaces other vehicles can't - such as ice.

Katrina Charmatz, a senior field producer with Dan Sexton Media, the producer of "Travel Gear," said the film crew in Crystal River also planned to film another hovercraft and a flying, inflatable boat on Friday.

Charmatz said the eight-minute segment featuring the hovercraft will be part of a 30-minute "Travel Gear" episode that will also include golf and tennis gear and swamp and wood buggies, all filmed in Florida. She said the episode featuring the hovercraft should air on the Travel Channel in October or November. "Travel Gear" airs between 5 and 6 p.m. Saturdays.

Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.
1649 Tippecanoe Street Terre Haute, Indiana USA 47807-2394
Telephone: 1-812-234-1120 / 1-800-285-3761 Fax: 877-640-8507

www.neoterichovercraft.com / www.rescuehovercraft.com
E-mail: hovermail@neoterichovercraft.com
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