Yet Another First From Nelson the 2010 Ekranoplan

2nd March 2010

Where else was someone going to invent such a ground effects flying machine, a “flying Hovercraft.”

When the Nelson Mail published this photo in October 2007, many folk probably went  “sigh”……….

…….and anyone that didn’t live here…..well it wouldn’t surprise me to believe they quite swiftly concluded it was a Photo-shopped image.

The reality was quite the opposite – in fact it was true, here we had someone locally following in the great tradition of Russian flying boats “Ekranoplan’s” ……..and doing it locally, and for a dollar budget, considerably short, seriously short, of those folks investment.

The above video comes from Youtube user nixontankgirl who commented – I was sitting on my yacht anchored in Nelson, NZ one morning. In the far distance I was vaguely aware of some type of boat racing up and down. I could hear the engine scream…

I’ve posed the question before is there something in the water.

And even though you have most certainly heard that ubiquitous statement before……..

………..there are undeniable grounds for asking that question, and making that statement.

Less than 65kms from Stoke, Nelson is the “Guinness Book of World Records” qualified (and scientifically backed up) the fact that locally we have the clearest fresh water in the world, yes the whole planet. That other place in Antarctica doesn’t really count though.

As the below graphic illustrates, its currently the most popular “clickable auction” on NZ’s most popular auction site, Trademe.

Mr Heemans creation (NOTE – link will not work once auction closes but is working as of 13th March 2010) is certainly attracting some attention, certainly not detract-able either from the fact that it was mentioned tonight on NZ’s main TV One 6pm News, alongside plenty of other national media attention.

Can’t help but mention here tonight another World First from NZ’s South Island, the Martin Jetpack, has recently secured some serious international funding, and is about to enter commercial production.

The good news according to some Radio Station Jocks on drive tonight was that at this stage, there is no law in New Zealand to ban you from texting while flying one of these apparatus’s.

Hmmm …..does NZ’s South Island – Middle Earth of NZ – have any other aviation links?


Well glad you asked, because the biggest one, and the subject of immense and intense debate is that we here, down under were actually the first in the world to fly…


……….and near Temuka, just a dozen km’s from where I was born in fact.

A chap by the name of Richard Pearce achieved that feat back in 1903.

UPDATE – 15th March 2010 unit has been sold for NZD$27,500 to a buyer from Christchurch – story here.

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