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Home Made Hovercraft with pictures...

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  • Home Made Hovercraft with pictures...

    After a few requests for pictures of a hovercraft I built, I finally found them and here you go:

    I built this in 1977 when I was much younger and had more hair (actually I still have the same amount of hair, it has just moved to other parts of my body)

    Specs: Approx 12 ft long by 5 1/2 ft wide
    constructed of 3/8 plywood and wood products with fiberglassed
    seams and top.
    Air skirt...silver coated, neoprene with nylon thread (very strong
    but flexible stuff).
    Seams glued with Bostick (sp) 1177 (contact cement)
    and stitched by hand.
    Two 18hp 2 stroke gas engines...
    one engine turning a 30 in duct propeller for lift...direct drive
    one engine with belt reduction turning a 42 in propeller for propulsion.
    Will float- approx 1000lbs floatation per product literature
    Plans were purchased from Universal Hovercraft -this model, I believe
    was a UH 12.
    Original plans called for a single engine; driving both props.
    What I did not like about that was if you lowered your propulsion
    prop speed, you also lowered the lift fan speed, which would bottom
    out the unit.
    That is why I went with two engines...I could stop forward movement
    without losing any lift.

    Each engine has a voltage output wire which I connected to two panel mount volt meters and calibrated to use as tachs
    That is what the two pod looking things ahead of the steering wheel are. Each engine has its own throttle and can be controlled individually.
    Propellers and hubs were purchased from a company called Banks Maxwell.
    I found the engines locally at a Go Cart supply. They are rated for
    18 hp if they have tuned exhaust; which they didn't.
    When I made this I had a jig saw, belt sander, hand drill, small tap & die set and not much else.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by monte55; 03-12-2008, 02:35 PM.

  • #2
    Home Made Hovercraft..last picture

    Actually what we call a hovercraft I believe, was invented by the British and are known as GEM--- ground effect machines.
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • #3
      Very cool. How was it to fly/drive?

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, too cool

        Thanks for posting the pics Monte. Tell us how it drove and how do you stop?

        Comment


        • #5
          To stop very qiuckly....hit a building or similar. Your'e floating on a cushion of air and there are no brakes. You can do a 180 and apply full thrust power
          to slow you down or shut down lift fan and settle on the skids. If in water, you'll slow down fast with a power shut down. They can go anywhere it's flat
          and depending on thrust power, climb grades. I really had no place to use it without a lot of hassle. I love things that use engines, propellers, etc. so this seemed like a good project. If you have access to a large area or frozen lake, it would be a blast. They can go from water to land and keep on going if nothing gets in your way.

          Comment


          • #6
            How effective was that windshield?

            Comment


            • #7
              Actually it's a water splash guard which just got in the way and I removed as you can see in the pics.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by monte55 View Post
                To stop very qiuckly....hit a building or similar. Your'e floating on a cushion of air and there are no brakes. You can do a 180 and apply full thrust power
                to slow you down or shut down lift fan and settle on the skids. If in water, you'll slow down fast with a power shut down.
                With some cleaver engineering I would think you could design a propeller with an adjustable pitch, enough to actually reverse the thrust, that would effectively slow you down and bring it to a stop. Kind of like a helicopter rotor but less intricate as you would not need it for directional control.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There are quite a few manufacturers out there now that offer small props that have "beta" range pitch control.......in 1977 that would have been nearly impossible to find one that would work on an 18 horse .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have no idea what a BETA RANGE pitch blade is. Please explain.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      home made hovercraft

                      I must say you do some really fine looking work, You are an artist

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        do you still have the hovercraft?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No. I sold it about a year after I made it. I really had no place to use it.
                          I'm working on a micro lite helicopter now.
                          Last edited by monte55; 02-18-2009, 08:30 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nick,
                            After reading your posts for some time, you never cease to amaze me. You are quite talented!!!!
                            Becky

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you for the kind words.

                              Comment

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