Hello to my wonderful Kickstarter backers!
As you may have seen, a video of me hovering on Crissy Field beach in San Francisco last Saturday went viral this week. One version of the video has over 558,000 views on Youtube right now and the version on my Youtube channel has over 27,000 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okwGzZbjZnc ). That hover session was even more fun than it looks, until I ran out of gasoline on the way back to the boat ramp due to a very strong current running against me. I had some extra gas, but couldn't get the engines started after I ran out because air got in the fuel lines. Fortunately, a power yacht called the Wanderlust was nearby and towed me back to the dock (Thank you!). Then a couple days later I was contacted by a National Park Service ranger who informed me that I could have gotten a ticket for reckless driving and for operating a hovercraft within 500 feet of a National Park. He was kind enough to only give me a warning. So now I'm home doing occasional repairs to the craft and continuing my job search (if anyone has a job tip in the Bay Area, please let me know!).
A lot of people have been asking me for rides in the hovercraft lately, and I owe many of my Kickstarter backers rides. I have recently found out that the craft is a little too under-powered and heavy to carry a passenger on water. I tried removing the doors and carrying less gas to lighten up the load, and I was able to carry a passenger, but the craft was sluggish, we got even more wet than usual because the doors weren't there, and then we ran out of gas. I've been intending to upgrade the thrust engine from a 16 horsepower to a 23hp, which should give the craft enough power to carry two people. I'm planning on buying this engine: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Briggs-Stratton-Vanguard-23-HP-Horizontal-Engine-Electric-Start-NEW-/330847290222?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d0809036e as soon as I can find $1300 in extra spending money. I also can get more thrust power if I replace the thrust fan with a custom propeller, but that would be another $300 at least. So to everyone whom I owe a ride: please be patient, it will happen!
Sometime around the beginning of February the local ABC news station KGO 7 should be airing a segment on me that they filmed during a hover session on January 8th in Emeryville. I will keep you all posted about that.
aka David Lorean