Hovercraft Today, Landspeeder Tomorrow?

When Luke Skywalker’s beloved T-16 skyhopper wasn’t functioning, his only escape from moisture farm drudgery came from his beat-up brown landspeeder. Hovering aloft on a cushion of antigravity, the speeder got Luke and his passengers (droids and a wacky Jedi Master) around maybe not in style but it did the job.

Well, if that’s happening a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, why aren’t we commuting in our own landspeeders yet? Good question. Luckily for us, Wired magazine takes a look at the history of the hovercraft, from mid-1950s Popular Mechanics covers to Survival Research Laboratory’s Pulse-Jet Hovercraft!

Here’s a snippet from Gareth Branwyn’s stellar article:

An artist friend of mine once said: “When I think about the future, all I wanna know is: When do we get to wear the tinfoil?” That statement perfectly encodes those kitschy, iconic images we have of the future, a world in which we dress like space people from bad ’50s sci-fi, and travel through elevated cities on jetpacks or in flying or hovering cars. We’re still waiting for the jetpacks and skycars, but, to paraphrase sci-fi author William Gibson, “the hovercraft is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” And it likely never will be.

Read the full article here:
“Fifty Years of Hovercraft: The Tech That Barely Takes Off”



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