The airboats common to Florida's Everglades are speedy and fit for that environment but sharply limited in their load capacity and suitability for rescue operations, writes Eric Butterman. Billy Miller, owner of Airboat West in Embudo, N.M., decided to address those shortcomings and, tapping a few engineers who had worked at nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory, has produced a design with a low center of gravity for choppier waters and the ability to carry as many as 15 people.

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