Though the US Army reportedly developed the Internet in the mid-20th century as a means of “battlefield communication”, the web has proven to be useful in a far more important sense: sharing CAD images of hovercrafts, like this one from Mercier-Jones.
The Illinois/Oklahoma design firm has a simple mission on its simple website: “to make the future of of personal transportation a reality today.” Apparently, the future of personal transportation is a fearsome, sportscar-cum-bumpercar amphibian that shares the snout nose of a BMW 850, the body lines of the Batmobile, and the precision cockpit of a fighter jet.
Powered by a single gasoline engine (which, in turn, powers three independent electric motors, and charges a reserve battery), Mercier-Jones’ hovercraft will employ a Star Fox-esque directional handling system for maneuvers, and’ll be able to transition seamlessly from water to land thanks to a proprietary air skirt. The company explains:
Essentially, hovercraft work like big air-hockey pucks. The air cushion is suspended inside a flexible skirt which helps compensate for changes in terrain and gives clearance for obstacles.
You’re probably wondering, Is any of this real? God, we hope so. The company has yet to respond for comment, but check back on our Mercier-Jones coverage for more information soon, or hit its website for more details.