How to make a homemade hovercraft skirt
I have built a hovercraft from plans that I got from them. The lift engine pushes air under the craft and the skirt holds the air in.
Each has its own applications. The stability of a hovercraft is dependent upon the pitch fore and aft and roll side to side stiffness of the air cushion. This stiffness is derived from two main sources:. The first action when designing a skirt is to decide upon the main use to which you will put the how and the type of terrain over which you intent to operate it.
For a cruising craft that will be operated over water you will probably opt for the smooth but stable ride of the bag and finger skirt. Finger skirt hulls generally have rounded corners whereas those fitted with bag skirts usually have square or angular ones. At this point in designing a hovercraft a great deal of variation in the exact shape and size of the skirt and structure can be considered until the happy medium is found.
The bow shape can now be developed in a similar way. The final stage is the development of the hovercraft, splitting it into a sensible number of panels which, when sewn or glued together, adopt the shape required. These panels should be make in number to enable the skirt to look smooth and free from stress skirt it is inflated. There should, however, be few enough panels to make construction of the skirt fairly simple and straightforward.
Finally, you must decide on the type of material. Why have a skirt?
All modern hovercraft - large and make - use a skirt of one sort or another for their suspension system so that the power required to lift the craft can be minimised. Have the ability to conform or contour efficiently over obstacles so as to keep the loss of cushion air to a minimum. Return to its original shape after having been deformed. Offer little resistance to the passage of obstacles beneath it. This was all mounted on a 2x4 and plywood frame. Then a smaller frame was made to hold the engine up so that the belt would fit.
No type of clutch was used on the engine which is typical for most hovercraft. This finished the thrust engine and skirt. The steering for a hovercraft is done through air deflectors placed behind the thrust duct. For these I just used the circle I had already cut out for the duct itself. I cut one of them in half and screwed a 1x2 on the rounded edge of each half.
L-brackets were attached to how duct hold them on and allow them to turn. Then rope was attached to the deflectors and run through eye-bolts.
The rope was criss-crossed under the duct so that hovercraft the control stick left would turn the hovercraft left and right turns right. The control stick was just a piece of PVC pipe with a hole drilled through the bottom so that it could pivot. The Thrust engine is controlled by a lawnmower throttle cable and the lift engine was locked into full throttle. I could have mounted the bike brake on the control stick but it would have been just one more thing to worry about so I just left it wide open. So here is a picture of it finally hovering. Looks pretty good, but really the project did not go as well as planed.
It hovered and I could ride it but that was while I was testing and it did not have the thrust engine or fan on it. Once I added the thrust stuff it would not hold all of the weight. All is not lost though, the build went well and I learned a lot. So I you are planning a project like this here are a few tips so you do not make the same mistakes I make: Use more powerful motors or motor if you build a single engine craft 2.
Get already made fans do not try to build you own 3.
Use light components, this is the most important it has to be a light as possible 4. If you do not know what you are doing, get some plans off the internet, try Universal Hovercraft they have got some good stuff.
I can get ahold of a And if i made the frame in aluminum and just used one sheet of plywood would it work well? I don't get how you were so concerned about the weight of the base using light weight wood, etc. If it can't lift a heavy base, there's no chance of it lifting a person. Lawn mower blades are very dangerous, we use the same fan blades as used in air conditioners pitched at about It is important to add proper fan guards front and rear - hovercraft racers don't like doing this as it slows air thru the duct, but there was a fatality in NZ, someone lost a few fingers in Australia last year - if you want your kids to play guitar or piano, make sure you fit proper guards.
My craft is about 8 icnh height, 8feet length, 4 feet wide and capacity for a person only. I don't think that will be enough unless the craft is very light. I would not recommend building your own fan, especially not like the steel fan I built for this craft.
Also, if your building a craft similar in size to mine, 2. Wonder if you could make two smaller almost hoverboards connect them to make a hover "pontoon boat" or catmeran. It didn't really go anywhere, read the last step. Why would you want to make it bigger? If you did make it bigger with engines similar to mine, it would be way underpowered and probably not hover.
An outboard wheel could work but I think it would defeat the purpose of a "Hover"craft. The results could be interesting. The thing about making it bigger was merely curiosity, though. As i said, the results could be interesting. I'm not sure if this is true as I'm rather new to the hovercraft scene, but from what I've read it seems that increasing the area actually increases the lift generated. I'm not sure where the page was that said this but if you crunch some numbers on the following website you'll find that this seems to be true.
Of course weight to lift gain must be considered. If you increase the size of the craft and therefore the area the pressure needed to maintain lift will decrease but the amount of air needed to be forced under the craft will increase.
This usually means you have to use a different fan or a more powerful lift engine.
During the design of the craft you have to decide what you want. If you want a bigger hovercraft you need to match that with the right size engine and lift fan, but if you already have the engine size set then you need to decide on the right size craft.
The guy that created that site from your link says he used Hovercrafting As A Hobby to create the calculator so I would start there. Thanks I built my hovercraft for my high school senior project.
I've planned on making a bigger better version so I'll definitely take your advice for that if I ever get back around to it. Alas plans for the new version are in a long list of projects not the smallest of which being my senior project for my undergrad in electrical engineering.
You could build your own fans from wood, all you would have to do is check out Universal Hovercraft with a search. I have built a hovercraft from plans that I got from them. Mine was 6ft x 12 ft and had a 5 hp lift motor and a 30inch home made lift fan and hp thrust motors with 48inch homemade thrust fans. I now have plans for a little bigger craft for exploring. You should really check out: Universal Hovercraft, they are based in Cordova Illinois.
A very good place to start a make adventure. For our cadet's "Pioneer's" platoon building stuffwe built 3 full sized hovercrafts for use. The prototype on it's first run tore itself apart, srapel flying everywhere, nearly killing myself and many other cadets. In building these hovercrafts, ensure that there is a metal mesh over the air intake and outakes and that the propellers are insulated in metal.
Depending on your propller speed. Have fire equipment ready. Being 14, I don't want me or my cadets to die. The same thing happened about a month later. With the metal, the propeller stayed in the engine housing, causing only damage to the engine, housing and propeller. The hovercraft remained floating, while we remove the two year seven cadets from the craft, set up a perimeter, and killed the engine.
The craft didn't even sink! Then no, it's not possible, the skirt has to be touching the ground to maintain the air cushion. Look up hoverwings though, they're cool. Large hovercraft, like the how the military use, hover a few feet off the ground but that height is sort of proportional to the their size. A small hover craft that hovered that high would most likely by unstable, remember your sitting on air, so nothing but your balance will keep you upright.
P i normally go muddin in my truck when i wana have fun driving something. My hover creaft used two engines and fans so that distribution is different. I made it from sheet metal and angle iron, but I would not recommend doing this at all.
Get a purpose made prop thats been properly balanced. Are the Brass Grommets just for attaching the skirt to the base? Also does the skirt have holes in it? I am trying to build a hovercraft myself but am skirt a hard time understanding how the skirt works. There are ready made plans for using a water bed mattress for the skirt. If you are interested, let me know. Pimp'n Hovercraft by Flyingsquirel. Super Easy Hovercraft by jenmalicah. Simple Rideable Hovercraft by Spl1nt3rC3ll.
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