Winter Hovering


My friend Walt was in town for a few days to do some hovering.  He brought along his camera and took some footage of the LHD.  Click on the link to view the video.  Warning, you'll really enjoy yourself!  Quicktime is needed.
Click here: VIDEO!

    Here I'm hovering down the boat launch in December!  See folks, you can't do this with a water plow (boat :-)  I'm at Keller lake in the Twin Cities, MN.

    Going for a high speed run.  Well, not that high speed.  Keller lake is broken up into two lakes.   Between the lakes are two narrow bridges with a bay right in the middle.  This is where the boat launch is, and where the first four pictures on this page were taken.

    Stopping on ice and snow is best done by doing a 180 and holding the throttle down until you're stopped.  Another method I learned which can only be done on smooth ice or snow is to slowly drop the lift as you're going backwards, thus skidding to a halt.  I accidentally did this going forward before I saw a rather large ice chunk in front of me.  Before I could reach full lift, I hit the chunk and held on tight.  A little bobble here and there, and I was on my way again.  No damage as far as I can tell, but a huge lesson learned.  Always be aware of your surroundings!

    You can see one of the bridges that separates the two lakes.  It's pretty cool heading for them and going under'em.  People on the other side have no idea what's coming until you suddenly appear.  On top of this bridge is Hwy. 36 in St. Paul.  On several occasions, I've stopped a few cars right there on the Hwy.

    This is a wide part of the St. Croix River in Hudson, WI.  Most of the bay is frozen, but the main channel is still wide open.  There were also parts of the bay with open water.  I'm guessing these areas had water shooting to the surface preventing ice over.  I'm the one in the yellow giving my brother a ride.

    I believe we're coming in for a landing.  I did a 180 both to slow down, and to face the river again for the next outing.  Notice how bad the skirt corners look.  I screwed up making the S curve required for a uniform contact line.  The next skirt should look better.

    Just playing on the ice.  I believe I dropped the lift to slow down a bit which is why the skirt looks so deflated.  So far, I've had the craft up to 48 mph with just myself on it.  Out on Lake Minnetonka in MN, my brother and I had it to 45 mph.  Not bad, 3 mph difference with two people.

    Heading for some open water.  I love ice to water to ice transitions.  I even took the hover on both the main channel and ice at the same time.  Half and half.  That was a blast!

    Coming back from a fun outing with my mom.  She'd never been on a hover before and just loved the water transitions.  We toured the pressure ridge down river a ways which was pretty neat.  Not something to hover over though, unless deskirting the hover is desired.

    I had plenty of spectators that day.  I offered several of them rides, but none were dressed for it.  On that note, if you're in the area and would like a ride, I'm always willing to take people out when my schedule allows it.

    Saturday, Jan. 12th, Dennis Alm joined me hover skating on the St. Croix river.  Check out the enclosure on Dennis's craft.  I love the gull wing door!

    The same day, I gave a few people rides.  Several months earlier, I offered a newly wedded couple a ride on the hover as their wedding present.  Today, they took me up on my offer.  It was a little windy, maybe 15-20 mph winds whipping through the river valley, but it was still fun!  It had also been very warm the week before, so there was more open water this trip than in previous trips.

    This is right in front of the boat launch.  You can see much more water than in the pictures above.