In 1928 Herbert Hoover used the campaign slogan “A Chicken
in Every Pot and a Car in Every Garage”. Times have changed and our Kickstarter campaign slogan here at MarkWel
Technology is “A Hovercraft in Every Garage”, but not in the way you might
think. The Wingman™ Kickstarter campaign
is a product development project, using hovercraft technology, which will eventually
replace wheelbarrows, garden carts, wagons and dollies in every garage with an
easy to use, high-tech Wingman™ hovercraft hauler.
We need your help to do this. Kickstarter Backer funds will allow us to
complete Wingman™ engineering & design, build prototypes and set up
manufacturing for the initial Version 1 products. Most Backer rewards (to the right) include a
Wingman™ in some form. Be a Backer and you
can be the first on your block to have a real hovercraft in your garage!
Here is the best part. As a Kickstarter Backer you will also be able
to work directly with us on developing the product via our private online
community. Community members will provide a vital crowd-source
element to the entire project. We will
constantly update, survey and seek advice from Backer members on design features,
functional uses and technical requirements as we complete this Kickstarter project
and develop future Wingman™ products.
So get your GEEK on and join us!
Our founder, Mark Welker, is an award winning inventor and
engineer who loves to tinker in his garage.
One day Mark was struggling, like we all have, with his
wheelbarrow. “The darn thing always had
a flat tire and just didn’t fit anywhere that wasn’t in the way.” It then dawned on him that there were many
more things wrong with the tool and that no real improvements had been made for
thousands of years.
Later that day Mark was watching a video on hovercrafts and
a second thought occurred to him, “If hovercraft technology has been around for
50 years, why are there no consumer products that use this technology for
lifting and hauling?”
Thus Wingman™ was born and has become the latest in a long
list of ground-breaking, patent protected products invented by Mark. (Click here to see Mark's engineering design notes). We at MarkWel Technology are excited about
the potential of Wingman™ and are thrilled at the prospect of our Kickstarter Backers
helping us design the product and set up manufacturing for the initial Version
You’ve seen them in James Bond movies and perhaps at a swamp
tour or your local golf course. They
have also been highlighted on a past episode of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and a recent episode of BBC
America’s Top Gear. Hovercrafts have been around for many years
and the concept is incredibly simple.
When a pocket of air trapped underneath a vehicle is pressurized, it
will cause the vehicle to lift and lose inertia. In other words, it’s easy to move around,
gliding on a cushion of air over various terrains including dirt, grass, water
puddles, mud, ice, sand, gravel, concrete, and any other hard surface.
So why are no practical consumer hovercraft products
available for simple lifting and hauling?
We have no idea. With your help
we can change that, immediately! (Actually we do have an idea, but don’t want
to embarrass the traditional hovercraft industry experts by exposing their market
oversights, besides they think we are crazy and won’t speak to us.)
We’re glad you asked. Here is a short video explaining the product
concept complete with early prototype demo.:
YES - that is exactly what we need, your ideas and
creativity. Our simple minds need help coming
up with all the ways you may want to use the Wingman™ hovercraft hauler: gardening, landscaping, camping, picnicking,
hunting, ice fishing, sporting events, beach activities, furniture moving and
We know the uses are unlimited and want to hear them all
through our private online community for Kickstarter Backers. Once the Kickstarter campaign has been
successfully funded, each Backer will receive an email invitation to join the
private online community. Be sure and
join as there will be additional savings and rewards offered on the community
website for your efforts.
This isn’t our first rodeo.
Mark has gathered a team of experienced engineering, marketing,
financial, manufacturing, legal and business experts to create MarkWel
Technology. We have all successfully
launched numerous products and businesses in our careers. Plus we love getting our GEEK on! (Click here to meet the GEEKS at MarkWel)
The current Wingman™ hovercraft hauler is in early prototype
stage. This is how we got here. First Mark began with a simple design that your high school science club or the GEEK next door probably uses, only with some advanced modifications. This design included the following fundamental parts:
Once the parts were assembled, a standard wheelbarrow was attached to the base and loaded with 420 lbs.
For the second early prototype version, Mark recognized that the skirt would need the most engineering work. He then created and tested a segmented skirt design, similar to modern hovercrafts.
Design engineering for Wingman™ Version 1 is 90% complete. The last 10% involves very specialized fluid dynamic analysis and a fan impeller re-design that will be paid by Kickstarter funds. A team of international experts are waiting patiently to begin this work.
Once the final design engineering is completed, Kickstarter funds will also allow us to build prototypes using the most advanced Laser Sintering, Stereolithography, CNC Machining and 3-D Printing technologies available. This effort will also provide all necessary inputs and data for tooling manufacturing.
In order to get Wingman™ to
market, we need to finalize the Version 1 prototype for testing and to
start up an initial production line.
Project plans and resources have been defined. Our best estimate is that $85,000 will be
needed to complete product engineering, build the final prototypes and to set
up the manufacturing environment. If the
pledges in this campaign exceed the $85,000 goal, the additional funds would be
used primarily to purchase materials for the first production run of Wingman™
and deliver Kickstarter Backer rewards ahead of schedule. (Click here for more information on how the GEEKS at MarkWel plan to launch Wingman™)
Our estimated timeline for the Wingman Kickstarter project
is as follows:
While Wingman™ Kickstarter funds do not include the cost of materials for the first production run of Wingman™, the GEEKS at MarkWel have established a number of production material funding channels and are already working with regional US manufacturing companies for the first production run. We plan to have our selected manufacturing partner source the needed components, assemble products, design packaging and fulfill order shipments. Indeed some components will be made overseas but our goal is to have the Version 1 Wingman™ product assembled in the US. This outsourcing strategy will allow the GEEKS at MarkWel to focus their geekery on creating more Wingman™ innovations.
We also want to emphasize that a major wholesale distributor
has already expressed serious interest in purchasing a large quantity of
Wingman™ units when the product becomes available, so we are anxious to get the
first production run started as quickly as possible.
Every new product in the prototype phase has risks, and this project does as well. While we are not aware of any potential design issues with the Wingman™ that could delay or stop our project, there is always the possibility that some unforeseen issue could come up during the prototype development that might cause a delay or even make the project financially unfeasible.
We believe strongly in the Wingman™ product and we are committed to bringing it to market as quickly as possible. Our management team has years of experience overcoming crises in business, and we are ready to tackle any potential unforeseen problem that may surface. However, we need to make everyone aware that there is always the possibility that any business venture may not succeed.
There are several Wingman™ models planned. They will vary in price between $199 and $599, depending on motor type, lift capacity, cargo attachment and handle option. A Version 1 Wingman™ with barrow bucket and dual push handles will list for $399.
Wingman™ costs more than plastic tub wheelbarrows, a little more than commercial grade wheelbarrows and quite a bit less than motorized wheelbarrows.
However, comparing Wingman™ to a wheelbarrow is like comparing the Starship Enterprise to a bicycle. Wingman™ is a multipurpose hovercraft that gives you the flexibility to haul many types of loads for many purposes.
Just as many as the majority of customers want. Currently the GEEKS at MarkWel are working on designs for models and attachments to be used around the house, at the beach, in the park, at the ball field, on the farm and in the warehouse. We want to hear your ideas and would love to have you join our online user community.
Load stability is a concern for any hauling device such as wheelbarrows, carts, wagons, dollies, etc. The same rules apply to a Wingman™, the more your cargo is centered and evenly disbursed, the more stable it will be.
Very little debris will fly out of the bottom of a Wingman™. The GEEKS at MarkWel have worked hard to minimize the typical hovercraft “helicopter dust effect” with proprietary skirt design and impeller optimization engineering.
In principle, yes, but DON’T. Puddles are OK. Last time the GEEKS at MarkWel checked, most people can’t walk on water. Unless you can, do not try to use a Wingman™ over the family swimming pool. The only good thing that can come from this is that you will get to buy a new Wingman™.
Version 1 Wingman™ skirts will be made of the same industrial grade material used on large hovercrafts. Under normal use, the Wingman™ skirt will last longer than the car you are driving. If you should happen to go over razor wire and rip the skirt, segments are easily replaced.
Less than a leaf blower, lawn mower or rock concert, more than a baby sleeping. There is a motor, there is a fan, there is air moving through the device. This will make noise. Once the GEEKS at MarkWel build the final prototypes of the Version 1 Wingman™ we will be able to tell you just how much noise.
FAN GEEK - Any and every show of support is greatly appreciated and a five spot will get you an invitation to our exclusive on-line community website. Even if you can’t toss us a five spot, please “Like” us on Facebook or “Follow” us on Linkedin or Twitter. We appreciate all the cosmic support we can get. Live Long and Prosper!
DO-IT-YOURSELF GEEK - Want to build your own Wingman™ prototype? For a $25 contribution you will receive a set of Mark’s very own early prototype plans and detailed instructions. Follow these plans and you will have a fully functioning early prototype Wngman™ that will amaze your friends and neighbors. In addition you will receive an invitation to our exclusive on-line community website.
EARLY-BIRD WINGMAN™ GEEK -- As one of the first 200 Backers at this level, you will save an additional $50 when you get your GEEK on by receiving a Version 1 Wingman™ unit when production begins. The Wingman™ unit will consist of the base unit, barrow bucket and dual push handles. The MSRP is $399, so your total savings will be $200. You will also receive an invitation to our exclusive on-line community website.
WINGMAN™ GEEK-- Be the first on your block to have a hovercraft in your garage. As a WINGMAN GEEK Backer you will get your GEEK on by receiving a Version 1 Wingman™ unit when production begins. The Wingman™ unit will consist of the base unit, barrow bucket and dual push handles. The MSRP is $399, so your total savings will be $150. You will also get an invitation to our exclusive on-line community website.
WINGMAN™ LIMITED SIGNATURE EDITION – Every GEEK wishes they still owned their signed original Macintosh 128K today. Imagine owning a signed original Wingman, complete with a stamped registration number and a certificate. Forget George Jetson, this Wingman™ Limited Signature Edition could make your 401K jealous!!
You will also get an invitation to our exclusive online community website, and you will be placed on a prestigious Design Input Team where you will be allowed to participate in teleconference sessions to discuss design strategies for the Wingman™.
WINGMAN™ LIMITED SIGNATURE EDITION - PIMP-YOUR-HAULER OPTION – Custom design the finish of your limited signature edition Wingman any way you want, pink, camo, cow, advertisement, logos, etc., as long as there are no copyright conflicts. The GEEKS at Markwel will work with you to paint and finish your LIMITED SIGNATURE EDITION WINGMAN any way you want within reason!
Not only will you “pimp your ride”, but when you receive your Limited Signature Wingman with custom finish, stamped registration number and a certificate, it will have even more investment potential as it will be truly one of a kind.
You will also gain access to our exclusive online community website, and you will be placed on a prestigious Design Input Team where you will be allowed to participate in teleconference sessions to discuss design strategies for the Wingman™
WINGMAN™ HOLLYWOOD SUPER GEEK – Imagine yourself in pictures? Just want to ensure our success? Either way you will receive anything you want from the previous rewards plus an acting/demo role in at least one of our product demo videos alongside inventor Mark, including coach airfare for two from anywhere in the continental United States and two nights’ lodging on location. If you are camera shy do not worry, we can use famous actors as doubles. We’ll have a great time and whether on or off camera, you’ll truly be a star!!!