The Hover Mower was designed in 1964 by Karl Dahlman. They are unique in that they rest on a cushion of air, created by the spinning blades of the lawnmower.
In order to float, the hover mower of course has to be light, so they usually have plastic bodies and an electric motor. With no wheels whatsoever, they are easily manoeuvred around obstructions.
He was inspired by, unsurprisingly, a hovercraft, and so designed a revolutionary mower that has since become a staple of small British households. Prior to this, lawn mowers were very basic – being mostly wheeled rotary mowers that are of course restricted in terms of direction. A hover mower however, can be moved however you choose, providing it remains upright.
The hover technology meant mowers became lightweight, and easy to use, making cutting under bushes and trees much easier than before. The first model hummed out the UK factory in County Durham shortly after 1965, when Flymo was formed.
Hover mowers may be synonymous with Flymo, but the company now produce not only high tech hover mowers but a bunch of other robotic lawnmowers alongside other products.
Hover mowers however, remain their main preserve, and the company has innovated with the basic formula to reach new mowing heights – like the Flymo Ultraglide, which collects grass in a box, unlike most hovers, and the Hover Vac 280, which also collects grass in a removal box using the innovative ‘Vac’ technology.