Subaru-Powered Homemade Hoverwing Is A DIY Mini-Ekranoplan

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Soviet-era ekranoplan

Soviet-era ekranoplan

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DIY Hoverwing. Image via The Nelson Mail.

DIY Hoverwing. Image via The Nelson Mail.

The Cold War-era Soviet ekranoplan--Russian for "sea skimmer"--was one of the most ridiculously awesome high-speed cargo-movers ever devised. Capable of carring 544 metric tons (that's 2.4 million pounds, or 1,200 tons) in its most extreme form, the ekranoplan is basically a ground-effect aircraft crossed with a ship. And now you can build your own Subaru-powered version in your back yard.

Well, sort of. A New Zealand man built a Subaru boxer engine-powered vehicle he calls the Hoverwing, which is a cross between a conventional hovercraft and a ground-effect airplane, capable of 61 mph at 4-5 feet above the water's surface.

The concept isn't actually new--even of the Subaru-powered, DIY type--but new or not, it's still unreasonably dangerous, looks unspeakably fun and it's something you can build yourself if you're sufficiently motivated and capable. That's the sort of thing that deserves another look.

Check out Universal Hovercraft's site for a good start on building your own.

[The Nelson Mail via Gizmag]

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Comments (7)
  1. Ok, I have go admit that was pretty cool. My brother made DIY hovercraft a few years back and they were pretty fun but this blow them out of th eater!

  2. Pure awesome, looks like an rts unit waiting to happen.

  3. Dangerous? Flying 4 or 5 feet above potential obstacles it seems safer than a boat, and you are less likely than a plane to have a fatal accident flying slowly (as this does) at such a low altitude.

  4. This is pretty old but cool none the less. I once built a kit hovercraft but nothing near as fast as this and mine couldn't fly...

  5. Watch the video closely. If he turns too tight and dips a wing into the water, he's headed for a spin and crash. Maybe that's why it's for sale!

  6. Damn, I gotta get me one of those. I think I'll paint the ORBITZ logo on the side of mine!

  7. To the poster: Dipping a wing in the water doesn't faze it a bit. The cushion of air underneath makes it 'self-righting'

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