Hovercraft's 50th anniversary and a human-powered version

 Images Front Picture Library Uk Dir 8 Fortean Times 4114 7-1

Fifty years ago this summer, Sir Christopher Cockerell publicly demonstrated the hovercraft. The black and white photo at the top shows the curious craft, called the SR-N1, on the Thames at Westminster, UK. Fortean Times celebrates the birth of the "flying saucer" and also its, er, human-powered descendent, the Steam Boat Willy. Watch the video above and give the Steam Boat Willy project an A+ for effort. Here's the project leader Chris Roper quoted in Fortean Times:

"You don't need to be an athlete to hover it. Everyone who has tried has succeeded in becoming airborne under their own leg power in this craft. It's still at the prototype stage, and the craft is currently being tested, developed and improved. It weighs in at 56lb [25kg] empty, and has carried a 58lb [26kg] girl as a passenger. Is it a boat, a bike, a plane or an 'air-car'? It is an Unclassifiable Flying Object."

"Unclassifiable Flying Objects"