It's a boat, it's a plane...it's a hovercraft with wings

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by RTV New Zealand

KREM.com

Posted on March 1, 2010 at 4:53 PM

NEW ZEALAND -- A New Zealand mechanic has created a machine that can be used on land, on water and in the air.  Rudy Heeman took the model of  a hovercraft and created a floating machine that could also take to the skies.

The W.I.G. or "wing in ground effective vehicle" rides like a normal hovercraft but once it reaches a speed of 70 kilometers an hour, it becomes air-born.

It took Heeman 11 years to create the machine and over those years, he taught himself to laminate fiberglass, modify car engines and gain an understanding in basic aeronautics in order to drive the vehicle himself, according to media reports.  Some fo the parts used to create his flying hovercraft are household items.

The wings are removable which is a handy feature for transporting the W.I.G. but deadly if they are not secured properly.

Heeman is now trying to sell his "flying boat" on a website called trademe.co.nz and the current highest bid is $13,982.  He says the vehicle is an efficient way to transport and could be used for people like farmers.

"You can land on your paddocks and you wouldn't have to worry about opening or closing your gates, you just go over them," said Heeman.

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