Flying Blades and Electrical Cords: The Hover Mower
A Brilliant Idea
Over 40 years ago, in 1959, Christopher Cockerell had an amazing idea. Lawnmowers with wheels were cumbersome and, frankly, far too unexciting. Why not take it up a notch, add a hovering platform, and have a flying lawn mower?
Hovering, spinning blades, electricity, and a wet lawn: cutting the grass is now an extreme sport!
Enter the era of the flying lawn mower, or hover mower. Citizens of the United States rarely see hover mowers: the mowers are almost exclusively found in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Hover mowers are sold in the U.S.A., but they are very expensive due to safety regulations. The Eastman company manufactures a mower for use in the United States - the HoverMowerT is recommended for areas with wet grass, awkward angles, and lake banks. Traditional, wheeled mowers have difficulty mowing grass in these environments.
The Benefits of a Hover Mower
Using a hovering mower to cut the lawn has many advantages. The electric models use no gasoline, saving fossil fuels and money. Flying mowers are amazingly light, and since they hover, are effortless to push. Have a steep hill in need of a good mowing? Tie a rope to the hover mower, swing it back and forth over the hillside, and let 'er fly!*
*Swinging hover mowers from a rope is not recommended by the manufacturers, as severe injury could result.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Hover Mowers are a dream to run, so why aren't they sold everywhere? As it turns out, putting a hover mower on a rope and swinging it around probably isn't a very good idea.
Well, there is the story of this bloke: sure, he made a million pounds from 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire,' but shortly after his win, he sliced off three of his toes with a hover mower. Perhaps some of his new-found money will be invested in a machine which keeps its blades on the ground.
The Global Machinery Company offers these additional safety tips for hover mower use:
- Check blades and bolts regularly, as damage to these are a major safety hazard. It is a nice thing when flying, spinning blades remain attached to the mower.
- If the cord becomes damaged during use (as a cord attached to a hovering mower is wont to do), disconnect the cord from the power source immediately. Electrocution is no fun, children: no fun at all.
- Keep the extension cord away from the blades. Obviously.
- Never operate the hover mower while wearing sandals, thongs, or barefoot. Wear trousers and heavy shoes. Remember: toes are our friends.
Also, cheap hover mowers have an annoying tendency to catch on fire while mowing. And the downward air pressure used to give the mower lift tends to flatten long grass-rendering the blades less effective at getting an even cut.
Not Recommended: Lighting a Grill with a Flymo
I'm Sold: Can I Get One in America?
The answer is a resounding yes! Unfortunately, the cheaper models are not available in the United States due to safety reasons (if you want a Flymo, you'll have to import one from Europe).
The more expensive models are available, but the price is extremely high. Can you really put a price on the new sport of Adventure (Hover) Mowing? Impress your neighbors, get your steel-toed boots, and get one today!
A Flymo in Use
Before You (Hover) Mow: A Toolbox
Because toes are our friends.
A long extension cord. Buy 50 of these if you are mowing an acre.
For Extreme Adventurers: rope for mowing hills. Probably not a good idea.
Just in case it catches on fire.