NEWS | Full custom Viper 5X Hovercraft build
Viper 5XC Hovercraft. Photo credit : Peter Hardy
After a long time in the making, a custom Viper 5X finally emerged from the factory floor.
Originally ordered as a basic Viper 5X, this craft evolved into something completely different to
what I first envisaged. The owner imagined a army based design, as well as
luxury appointments for a pleasurable ride, without loss in performance.
The list of options and attachments are endless. The most
obvious, but not so obvious item, was the fully optioned EFI 3701ES Hirth,
which I had personally allocated for my own 5X.
The hull is quite unique and most defiantly a
"one of kind". The lower hull and deck is vacuum formed, utilizing a Carbon
Fiber / Kevlar / epoxy layup with a gel coat exterior. Quite a technical and
time consuming process that is normally only reserved for our XR series.
More storage area was added under the dash area. The deck and
windshield were extensively modified to incorporate a large navigation
system and "built in" forward LED lighting. Interior, dash and compartment
lighting was also added. Even the seats are lockable with a hidden latch
The craft was also appointed with XR features
such as a Carbon Fiber composite fuel tank. A composite XR "over duct"
molding was added to cover the exhaust system and to house the navigation
lights and the GPS antenna. The seat base, custom air cleaner housing and
various attachments are Carbon Fiber.
Nothing was spared on the electrical system A feather weight, 600cca lithium
battery complements the best and latest marine components available.
The craft was first painted in a off camo, which neither the
owner or myself particularly liked at all. So, the craft was stripped back
to gel coat. A non reflective
satin/matt apache helicopter green was applied, The carbon
finish remained on the rudders, flow vanes and elevators. The interior was
coated in a satin black gel coat. The owner then had the craft wrapped in
clear satin vinyl wrap, with a anti slip deck finish.
After all the attachments, the end weight and performance of
the craft was identical as a standard, un optioned 100hp 5X. The only thing
left to decide, was which gadget to play with first.