In 2010, A California man named Matthew Riese raised $5,644 on Kickstarter to build a hovercraft version of the Back to the Future DeLorean time machine. On August 10th, Riese’s dream became a reality and Doc Brown’s creation finally was able to show off real hover technology as it debut at McCovey Cove outside AT&T Park and the San Francisco Giants game. Watch a video clip from the baseball telecast embedded after the jump.
Riese’s original Kickstarter stated:
When it is done, the craft will be able to hover on anything flat (asphalt, sand, water, etc), but it will be mostly driven on the San Francisco Bay. The hovercraft is registered with the DMV in California as a boat (it is not street legal). The top speed should be around 45 mph, which is pretty impressive for a vehicle with no breakes (it’s not touching the ground, remember!). If you have never seen a hovercraft, the basic concept is that a fan pushes air underneath the middle of the craft and a “skirt” (basically a flexible inner-tube around the perimeter of the craft) traps that high-pressure air under the craft, which lifts it off the ground. Some air is escaping under the skirt at all points at all times, so in theory, even the skirt isn’t actually touching the ground/water (in reality the skirt drags on the ground occasionally). A second fan pushes air behind the craft, driving it forward. Rudders behind this thrust fan turn the craft. … Just in case you were wondering, the craft will not be able to reach 88 mph and so I won’t be installing a flux capacitor.
(Story submitted by reader Ryan S)