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  The History of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.

Introduction: The Fourth Decade

The company’s global growth continued during the 1990s, during which Neoteric expanded its customer support systems. New instructional literature was produced, as well as a 3 hour assembly video to assist customers who purchased partially-assembled models. A full relational database manufacturing software computer program was established to better manage the company’s increasing growth, and plans for a web site were begun.

While Neoteric produced several unique designs, including a 5000-lb Hoverlifter for use in cranberry farming, and a series of hovering billiard balls for a popular US comedian, the company’s primary focus centered on developing tooling and manufacturing systems for its Hovertrek 4 passenger hovercraft in three separate variants for rescue, commercial and recreational applications.

An earlier model Questrek was used to perform several hovercraft water rescues in Terre Haute, Indiana USA during flooding, paving the way for the recognition of Neoteric hovercraft as the industry standard for rescue hovercraft.

A Photo History of Neoteric Hovercraft, 1990-1999

1990 Neoteric designed and developed a series of hovering billiard balls for the popular US comedian, Gallagher.
1990 A hover platform was designed, developed and constructed for California Polytechnic State University, to be entered in a National Robotics Competition, in which it took second place.
1991 A prototype model, then a full scale 5000-lb. Hoverlifter, was designed and developed for placing sand atop a cranberry farm in Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts.  This machine introduced an entirely new hovercraft construction concept utilizing aluminum tubing and fabric.
 
Hovercraft for cranberry farming
1991 Neoteric performed several hovercraft water rescues in Terre Haute, Indiana during flooding.
 
Drug enforcement hovercraft
Questrek Rescue hovercraft photo
Two navy blue hovercraft during testing on the Wabash River prior to shipping to the Bahamas to be used for drug enforcement, Dec. 1991.
 
Questrek Rescue hovercraft photo
1991 – present Neoteric founded and registered the North American Light Hovercraft Manufacturers Association, which it continues to support today.
1992 – 2001 Neoteric designed, developed, manufactured, tested and was awarded US Coast Guard Certification for the 8-passenger Neova 8 hovercraft.  Several units were built by Neoteric and kits were shipped to Japan. Later kits were shipped to Harbin Shipbuilding in China for assembly and use. Neoteric provided all components and technical support.
 
Neova 8 US Coast Guard certification
Swamp navigation hovercraft
 
Hovercraft 360 V8 engine
Neova 8 cockpit
1992 – present Neoteric infrastructure improvements were begun, including office modernization; new sidewalks; a break room; new roofs and windows; painting the factory inside and out; site beautification; landscaping; and the construction of a courtyard patio. Factory improvements continue.
 
Hovercraft history Indiana Business Magazine
Indiana Business Magazine, July 1993
1993 – present The development of a full relational database manufacturing software computer program was begun, in order to manage parts, vendors, customers, materials, costing, invoicing, etc.
1994 – 2001 Neoteric designed and produced a full color information pack with promotional photographs.
 
Esso Colombia Rescue hovercraft
Esso Colombia Questrek rescue hovercraft during on-site training near Cartagena, January 1994
1994 – 1995 Neoteric designed diesel powered 12- and 24-passenger hovercraft for an India contract with SICO.
1997 A 5-member team from Harbin Shipbuilding, China visited Neoteric for 3 months of training.
Neoteric produced the specifications, developed the prototyping, and tested and developed all tooling and manufacturing systems for the Hovertrek 4 seat model.  The first test was conducted in 1999.  Three Hovertrek variants were developed -- recreational, commercial and rescue -- along with partially assembled kits and more than 70 options.
A hovercraft assembly operation was established in Bengbu, China. Neoteric employee Doug Ihrig visited China to conduct assembly training.
1999 In-house development began for a Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. company web site.
2000 In April, Chris Fitzgerald visited China Hovercraft Company in Bengbu, China and Harbin Shipbuilding in Harbin, China to negotiate contracts.
 
Harbin Shipbuilding China
China Hovercraft contract
Chris Fitzgerald with the head of Harbin Shipbuilding
Contract meeting with Harbin Shipbuilding officers
 
Hovercraft history Harbin Shipbuilding
Harbin Shipbuilding hovercraft
 
Photo Hovercraft test China
Hovercraft demonstration photo
Test drive of one of twelve Neova 8 craft built under license by Harbin Shipbuilding, China
Chris Fitzgerald demonstrates hovercraft operation to Bengbu, China city officials.
 
China Hovercraft ride
Picture Hovercraft demonstration
Bengbu city officials on board the hovercraft
Demonstrating hovercraft operation on a wheat field.
 
Rice paddy hovercraft demonstration
Hovercraft pilot training
Demonstrating the hovercraft crossing a berm on a rice paddy.
Chris Fitzgerald conducts classroom instruction during hovercraft pilot training in Bengbu, China.
1999 – 2000 Neoteric produced a commercial quality, 3 hour Hovertrek assembly video to assist customers who purchased partially-assembled models.
A video library for product marketing was begun.
Chris Fitzgerald served as Judge in the London-produced Hovercraft segment of Junkyard Wars.
A new brochure, showing its different applications, was produced for the Hovertrek.
An extensive marketing report was developed.
1999 – present Various models of the Hovertrek were manufactured and marketed.
 
   
Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.
1649 Tippecanoe Street Terre Haute, Indiana USA 47807-2394
Telephone: 1-812-234-1120 / 1-800-285-3761 Fax: 877-640-8507

Homepage:
www.neoterichovercraft.com / www.rescuehovercraft.com
E-mail: hovermail@neoterichovercraft.com
© 2003 Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc
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Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain,
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