International Hydrofoil Society Photo Gallery

[Early Hydrofoils] [1950s -- A Decade of Experimental Progress] [Large Scale Test Hydrofoils] [US Navy Developmental Hydrofoils] [Canadian and European Hydrofoil Developments] [US Navy Fleet Hydrofoil -- PHM] [Hydrofoils Around the World] [What's Next?] [Sailing Hydrofoils] [Personal Hydrofoils] [Model Hydrofoils] [Commemorative Covers] [Postage Stamps] [Postcards] [Badges etc] [Hydrofoils for Sale] [Hydrofoil Pioneers] [Miscellaneous]

Doug Helper's Hydrofoil built from the May 1960 issue of Popular Science, written by Herbert R. Pfister

06-26-12 - 8:30 PM

Sirs: This took me almost a year to build, as I could work on it only a few minutes each day (job, 4 kids, etc.) I went by a plan I got from your website, from the May 1960 issue of Popular Science, written by Herbert R. Pfister. I modified it a bit by using a steering wheel, rather than foot pedal steering. I named it "51" for a couple of ironic reasons... first, when I started it, the plan was 51 years old. Second, The plan was published the month and year I was born- May 1960, 51 years ago at the time. Third, the hull number of my first ship in the US Navy was AO-51 (USS Ashtabula). I tested it here in Kwajalein Lagoon. As you can see from the pictures, it worked perfectly... what a fast ride! It uses an old 15 HP Johnson 2-cycle outbard engine. I created all parts myself, including the throddle.

Thanks, and take care.

Doug Hepler
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands




MK-105 Hydrofoil minesweeping sled. The MK-105 Magnetic Influence Minesweeping System, better known as the "sled", is a high speed catamaran hydrofoil platform which is towed behind the MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter. For more information see
Hydrofoil Surfboard video Conversion from air chair below.
For more information see
surf foil
Air Chair Hydrofoil waterski.
For more information see
Trampofoil Hydrofoil Water Bike
Orbital & Flying Fish Human Powered Hydrofoils
For more information see
Maritime Flight I
This 4-seater hydrofoil was offered to the public by Wynne-Gill of Miami FL about 1970.

Two solar powered hydrofoils. I hope to get details soon. One is on lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, Australia. The structure in the background is the parliament house.

SCAFO prototype, a new design by Philipp Müller (industrial designer) and Claus Abt (naval architect) built summer 1999
From a poster advertising the Hamana-Ko Solar and Human Powered Boat Race Festival '96 in Japan

1960's water-ski accessory
More information

Go To Main Page

This part of the site is maintained by Malin Dixon