Ever since hovercraft popularity peaked in early 90s R/C toys, I'd mentally buried the sheer awesomeness of the technology. Luckily, Wired reminded me with a piece depicting researchers searching for asteroids in the Arctic while floating on air and rubber.
Rather than recite the piece, which you should definitely read, I thought these hovercraft factoids were pretty neat.
• A 6-ton hovercraft has such even weight distribution that it puts no more pressure on a point of ice than a seagull standing on one leg
• This means said hovercraft could cruise over 4-inch ice without cracking it
• Btw, that hovercraft can cruise up to 50mph
• And its range before refueling is 500 miles
Indeed, I could imagine worse scenarios than flying around the Arctic at 50mph, rocking AC/DC through the stereo. (There was no mention of a stereo, but give a man a dream, OK?) [Wired]