Date:20 September 2012
After four years of effort, Matt Riese is putting the finishing touches on this Back to the Future-inspired ride, fulfilling a DeLorean dream that began in middle school.
Based on Universal Hovercraft’s UH-13PT Twin Trainer, Riese’s silver star is sculpted from foam insulation covered in glass fibre. The doors and frame are reinforced with wood and aluminium. A lift motor inflates the air cushion, and a 12 kW horizontal-shaft engine at the rear stands in for “Doc” Brown’s flux capacitor.
The thing can easily ferry two people across flat land, but Riese didn’t stop there: he made his DeLorean seaworthy, too. Registered with the California DMV as a boat (it’s not street-legal), the craft can travel close to 72 km/h. That doesn’t compete with Marty McFly’s 141 km/h, but it’s plenty fast for a vehicle with no brakes.
Watch the first successful test drive of the DeLorean Hovercraft…
Riese’s craft was recognised in PM’s Backyard Genius Awards 2012. Get your hands on PM’s October 2012 issue – on sale on 24 September – for more useful, outrageous, anbitious and, yes, electrifying amateur engineering projects.
Image credit: Kyle Johnson