I don’t know about you, but for us, and especially for Chris Jones and Michael Mercier, hovercrafts have reached a weird limit in terms of design and innovation. With this in mind, the two aforementioned figures have joined forces to lay a 21st century veil upon the world of hovercrafts.
The Mercier-Jones Concept pictured on this page is a futuristic yet modern hovercraft concept, based on the high end supercars of today. It reportedly is a lot easier to maneuver, environmentally friendly and more silent than any other hovercraft of today.
In addition, given the almost non-existent maneuverability of these machines, they have also put together a patent-pending directional control system which will supposedly enable the craft to brake and steer similarly to a car. At a closer approach this is due to the fact that the front, side mounted fans provide fine tuned control in reverse, lateral and forward directions, with independent control over each side, which enables advanced maneuverability.
In solidarity to other machinery industries like automotive, aerospace and marine, Mercier-Jones Concept will be crafted from high end, lightweight materials, like marine plywood, fiberglass, carbon fiber and aluminum. But, due to modern manufacture techniques and existing technologies, we shouldn’t reportedly expect this thing to come at a very high price.
Their aim is to set it an entry level, low price at less than $20,000 – a mere bargain! Furthermore, it will feature a hybrid drive system, with a gasoline engine and an electric motor, the latter decreasing noise and air pollution while increasing the vessel’s efficiency.
In order to be able to raise the funds necessary to start the construction of their project and to test them in prototype mode, the two folk have aimed towards crowd-funding site “indiegogo”, where everyone can pledge between $1, price which ensures a ride in one of the first vehicles to be built, and $15,000, which will present the donors with one of the three pre-production models.
They’re also hoping to raise around $50,000 until the 22nd of August, but, sadly, their project has received just around $1,000 so far. If all goes well, they plan to have the crafts built and tested by May 2013.