The theory behind one of the most successful inventions of the 20th century, the Hovercraft, was originally tested in 1955 using an empty KiteKat cat food tin inside a coffee tin, an industrial air blower and a pair of kitchen scales. (source)
He became enthralled by the idea of the hovercraft, which would eliminate the friction of water by elevating a boat on a cushion of air. The first model consisted of a cat food can inside a coffee can in a bucket, powered by a vacuum cleaner. He obtained a patent for a two-foot prototype and coined the name “hovercraft” for it. Soon he was walking around with a two-foot long model on a leash that followed him like a buoyant dog.(source)
Ultra-Simple Hovercraft Can lift several adults!
Entry level hovercraft
Comments: hover craft
That question sucked!
Posted by Tony.T at February 25, 2005 11:38 AM
A knowledge vacuum?
The question should have been:
Who was the 31st U.S President.
Posted by boynton at February 25, 2005 12:32 PM
Got that close to crossing the Channel on a Saunders Roe-N4, but for the British Hovercraft Corporation scrappin' em. ("Hovercraft? The fuel consumption of a plane coupled with the speed of a ferry. What's to like?")
They just couldn't see the romance of the thing. Bastards!
Posted by Nabakov at February 26, 2005 05:44 AM
Was the romance to do with the (original lower)skirt line?
Maybe I need to brush up my knowledge. Our question only concerned the words "English inventor" + "Wife's vaccum cleaner" ... Yes there were sniggers but the answer eluded us.
Posted by boynton at February 26, 2005 12:02 PM
"I like the odd curly question at Trivia"
Q: Please mime Shirley Temple's hair do.
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at February 26, 2005 06:09 PM
A: I think I do that trying to think without thinking.
(The real Miss Boynton of the film would possibly upbraid her young charge for such stealing-the- limelight behaviour at Trivia. Curly Shirley would just run away from the Big Top again)
Posted by boynton at February 27, 2005 08:32 PM
The Hoover Vacuum Company had a model named The Constellation in the early 60's and the body of the machine was hemispherical and hovered "on a cushion of air' above the carpet - I wish I had one now they were a scream.
Posted by Brownie at February 28, 2005 11:33 PM
Yes I'd like a vintage one too:
But apparently the idea has been revived:
Posted by boynton at March 1, 2005 01:56 PM
No research needed here. SRN1 Built by Thorneycroft at Cowes, Isle of Wight, Eng. I actually had a (Ryde) ride on it , 'Weird'. In 2000 I remember a H/Craft commuter service which crossed from Ryde IOW, to Clarence pier Southsea near POMpey (Portsmouth)Where the first fleeters hailed from. Also Mary Spencer.Who was quite a nice bit of Skirt in her day too, still luvs ya Mary.
What was brown and steamy and came out of cowes backwards?
Posted by John Leonard Spencer at March 2, 2005 07:44 PM
That joke never seemed to work when transferred to our Cowes.
The ferry was blue and white, as I recall.
Posted by boynton at March 3, 2005 09:27 AM
Meaning in Vic? Checking the colour of IOW Ferries, the main colour beige, a sort of brown when helped by smoke and weathering.
Posted by John Leonard S pencer at March 3, 2005 12:05 PM
Makes sense now, in an IOW way.
Yes, people used to say this (or some variation that I've forgotton) about Cowes, Victoria. 3922. Maybe the local version left out the colour.
Then again, "green" could work. But I don't think the Seal Rocks or Stony Point ferry corresponds.
Posted by boynton at March 3, 2005 12:15 PM