We have been developing and testing our radical new hovercraft designs since 2007. We have fully tested all components and systems and are currently at the production engineering stage - we expect the Otter 4 leisure derivative to become available in early 2015.
Further development works has been carried out to further reduce the already very low noise levels
The Otter now has levels below the requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive and lower the road traffic regulations. The quietest commercially available hovercraft is TWICE as loud as the Otter.
Reliability testing is continuing with zero defects so far. One test craft has been deliberately left outside and uncovered for nearly two years to verify that the fittings and hull are suitably resistant to all sorts of weather (the craft has spent over 9 months sitting only 10 metres from the shoreline being sprayed by salt water during the winter storms).
Reliability and durability testing has continued through 2013 and we are pleased to report that the pre-production test craft have comfortably exceeded our high expectations!
Unlike any other hovercraft, the Otter is designed as a yearly-service vehicle with zero routine maintenance required. The engine and transmission have proved to be 100% reliable and, even at the annual service, all that was required was an engine oil/filter/plug change. The damage-tolerant skirt is a zero-maintenance design and the test craft have proved the design works in spite of having been used in some seriously skirt-challenging conditions. The Otter is the first of a new generation of hovercraft and represents a major step change in design!
We have been directly involved in discussions with the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency regarding the development of a new Code for commercial hovercraft. These discussion have been ongoing for almost two years ago - the Otter has been designed to fully comply with the older MGN280 Code and comfortably exceeds the new Code (which relaxes much of the older requirements on the request of other hovercraft manufacturers). The new Code will ensure significant improvement for the hitherto unregulated hovercraft industry - the Otter is the only hovercraft that complies with both MGN280 and the new Code - including the new stability and buoyancy specifications.
Our innovative frame-less hood has been thoroughly tested during the last 6 months in all kinds of weather from hailstones to snow! The Otter is large enough and has a flat floor meaning it comfortably sleeps two full-size adults onboard - no tent required!
The pre-production leisure models are currently undergoing 400 hour reliability testing (@190hours)
Reliability testing in October 2012 - @ 152 operating hours:
Basic noise testing - August 2012:
First test flight on June 2nd 2012: