Monday, March 01, 2010

It's called the Jesus pin, when that pin comes out, you see Jesus

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 kilometres an hour, it becomes air-bourne.

It took Heeman 11 years to create this machine and over those years, he taught himself to laminate fibreglass, modify car engines and gain an understanding in basic aeronautics in order to drive the vehicle himself, according to media reports.

Some of the parts used to create his flying hovercraft are household items. "This is an old gas bottle of a barbecue," he said. The wings are removable -- a handy feature for transporting the W.I.G, but deadly if they are not secured properly.

"That's called the Jesus pin, when that pin comes out, you see Jesus," he says jokingly as he is attaching the wings before a flight.

Heeman is now trying to sell his "flying boat" on a website called and the current highest bid is 20,000 New Zealand Dollars (13,982 U.S. Dollars). He says the vehicle is an efficient way of 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," he told a Network Nine reporter. The flying hovercraft doesn't need a flying license, according to media reports, as New Zealand aviation and maritime authorities have agreed to classify the vehicle as a "marine craft".

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