AUBURN UNIVERSITY – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… hovercraft?
Hovercrafts are still a figment of human imagination to many, a vehicle that only exists in movies or in high-tech laboratories. In reality, hovercrafts have been around for more than 50 years, and few know that Auburn University has been building and racing them for a full decade. What is a hovercraft? They are nothing like Hollywood models, and according to Thomas Wills, sophomore in Auburn University’s Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering, “It’s not like anything you’ve ridden before.”
Auburn’s team, the Hovering Tigers, hasn’t raced in a few years, but that will change on Saturday, April 27, when a new era of an old rivalry begins. The Hovering Tigers will participate in a race on Lake Lurleen in Tuscaloosa, Ala., against the University of Alabama’s newly formed hovercraft team. Teams from across the country are invited to compete in the race, which is sponsored by Hoverclub of America, but the Auburn-Alabama rivalry provides a particular interest to locals. The race is being called the Hovercraft Iron Bowl.