Power-to-weight ratio? Forget it. Who needs horsepower when you can have a thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.208.
The wild, ice-skimming sled you see above is the aptly-named Mercier-Jones Supercraft, and it’ll technically outperform a B-2 Stealth Spirit stealth bomber. That is, if you can manage to get it off the ground, snow, water, or whatever.
Wondering how the Supercraft achieves these aircraft-like numbers? Mercier-Jones used a chromium-alloy tube chassis and composite hull that floats at a feather-weight of just 700 pounds.
Pushing that lightweight body is a liquid-cooled, twin-rotor engine, which makes 60 horsepower. To boost the amount of thrust, a pair of electric motors are used in combination with a fancy lithium-ion battery pack. The gas-electric combination provides a total of 120 ponies, which a number that should not be taken lightly … get it?
Delightfully, Mercier-Jones backed up its innovative machine with a high-tech look. The hovercraft should be similar in size to a Morgan three-wheeler but ditches the wheels in favor of vectored thrust control and twin, six-blade thrust fans.
If you happen to have $75,000 lying around, you can cruise your neighborhood like the Jetsons at 40 mph for around 120 miles. Or you could attempt to take the Supercraft up to its top speed of at least 80 mph. Keep in mind that the hovercraft leaves you at a cushy 7 inches off the ground.
What can’t this hovercraft do? Well … fly. But Mercier-Jones is positive that its Supercraft will beat the 65.2 mph hovercraft land-speed record and demolish the water-speed record of 86.5 mph. If you’re wondering; that is faster than any jetski and around 10 times as luxurious.
The Supercraft will be up for grabs in May. Only 10 collector’s edition examples will be made. But an additional production run of 50 should be available before October.
I wonder, though, if the Supercraft is too “super” to be true. Hovercrafts are supposed to be indestructible, and this one looks like it wouldn’t take kindly to being thrashed over rough terrain and choppy water.
Who knows, maybe Mercier-Jones has created something that looks strange but also works. I hope to find out in May.
(Images © Mercier-Jones)