Well well well, here I go again. Been thinking hard for a long time on all the features I would like on a hovercraft. I want it to be sea worthy like a Sevtec, I want it fast like a rocket, I want good freeboard when floating, I want an anti plow system and a stable skirt. I want it to carry two to three people max. The fan, duct and engine need to be simple and not break. Oh and it does have to look good.
With all this in mind I started my bespoke build two days ago. I must say working without plans is so much quicker. I have half a hull done already. Christmas today so no work, but tomorrow I’ll get some more done.
There will be no full pictures until you all see it at the rally. I couldn’t possibly bring the same hovercraft as last time. That would be like wearing the same dress twice to the Grammys, just isn’t done.
Merry Christmas to all the happy hovercrafters
It took 3 days and the craft needs its deck panels but other wise the hull is almost done. A little faster than the shuttle I must say. I had been thinking about it for ages and it just came out that fast. I use many techniques to make the build faster and maintain quality. The best ever that I will share is a hot glue gun. Why spend hours wire locking panels only to have to remove the wire. Never made sense to me, I from my first build just used a hot glue gun. You stick the craft together, adjust with a hot air gun as you go. Then glass the joints, The glue can stay under the glass work no problem.
It will take a little time for me to make the duct, rudders, engine frame, wiring, painting.
I must say she is going to be different, lots of features of many hovercraft I like all on one. This craft is my first ( own build ). I must say it is very satisfying to build your own from your head. I am not a typical builder, I do not have plans none at all for this craft. I pretty much make it up as I go along. I know what I want feature wise and just build them in as I go. It is very liberating to build in this fashion.
I figure If you are reading this and want a hovercraft then just build one, to get started buy some 3mm ply and go nuts. While planning can be satisfying it is like a appetiser to the main meal, the build. Point is get building and see what comes out of the shed!
I have a few engine choices sitting around. I have a 503, I like these for the simplicity, no rad to mount, good power to weight ratio. I have 582 but no pulleys for it. I have 16hp Vanguard that will work but not overly well. I have an electric motor I have been experimenting with but don’t have light weight batteries as they are very expensive. I though I’d better get messing with electric if that is going to be the future. Makes a good lift engine as it can be mounted in any direction or orientation. The 583 is an option but I think it would make the machine a missile rather than a hovercraft. With 100hp this thing will take off it doesn’t weigh very much. I think the 55hp tuned 503 will be the goer for simplicity sake. It should be plenty fast enough to keep up with the vipers, renegades and turbos and we’ll see how it goes against the rockets.
Another tit bit, the whole craft is made of 3mm ply, carbon fibre, carbon/aramid. The hull at the moment can be lifted clean off the ground quite easily. The engine and duct are going to ad the weight but I bet two people can still lift it.
More work tomorrow only one deck panel made today. It is hot in my shed. If I lived in Queensland my President Mr Venn could sort that with some shed insulation but alas I live to far south west for a normal delivery.
The deck panels are on. It is one unique looking hovercraft. I guarantee you have never seen anything quite like this beast. While I have taken influences from many different hovercraft, it is not quite any of them. Although you will see the influences.
Hovercraft designs and features that have influenced my project.
Owen Ellis and Paul Moody, The ever popular Turbo and Renegade range. Lightweight, easy to drive with priority forward air supply.
Bob Windt of Universal Hovercraft. Composite design, lightweight building, aero dynamics and air flow
Chris Fitzgerald, Neoteric Hovercraft Skirt designs and the use of jupes.
Barry Palmer, Sevtec. Seaworthy hovercraft able to take a wave
Ron Fishlock, Canair. Keeping things light, Easy construction
Mike Nell, Viper Hovercraft. Boat like front end, well balanced, great to fly, above average performance for a home built craft. Reinforcement and use of angles to strengthen 3mm ply panels. I have built 3 cruisers and the influence will remain as they are great hovercraft.
I have taken what I believe to be the best features of all these designs and made a mongrel beast. It is very unique looking pretty unforgettable actually. It will be a talking point, I hope for the right reasons!
It has a name, She is the Black Rhino. Thundering to the Hovercraft rally in Moe she will go.