Hovercrafts have the distinct advantage of being just as comfortable on water as they are on land, but usually at the cost of a pretty ugly design. It was only a matter of time before someone thought to design a more luxurious hovercraft and that is exactly what two engineers decided to do.
The co-founders of Mercier-Jones, cousins Michael Mercier and Chris Jones, took a new approach to create the hovercraft of the future. Their hovercraft is made from carbon fiber and metal alloys and combines construction methods from the automobile, marine and aerospace industries. A gas engine powers three independent electric motors on the drive system and a battery pack can be used for a quick boost to performance. The Mercier-Jones hovercraft is equipped with side thrust ports and a low profile hull. It features a directional control system for precise maneuverability.
The Mercier-Jones hovercraft is still in development and not yet for sale. Currently, they are in the process of redefining the lift hull for prototyping and manufacturing. There is an ongoing campaign to help gain additional funding for their hovercraft concept to become a reality.
In August 2012, we posted a story about a hoverbike designed with a Kevlar reinforced carbon fiber with a foam core frame. Unlike the Mercier-Jones hovercraft, Aerofex Corp. designed their hovercraft to be used for military patrols.