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Homemade Engine-powered and Human-powered Hovercrafts

Introduction to Hovercrafting

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Pictures (HPH 1)
Procedure (HPH 1)
Videos
Pictures 1
Pictures 2
Frequently Asked Questions
Building a Type I Hovercraft
Rudders and Steering
Building a Type II Hovercraft
Introduction to Hovercrafting
Skirt Designs
Propulsion
Contact Us

Welcome to your first attempt at building your own hovercraft. As with any other project theres a few things you need to know before you really decide whether you want to do this or not:



The first thing you need to know is that if you start building a hovercraft, there's really no going back. Though seemingly cheap (around $400) it's still a big investment, especially if you give up halfway through. After a few failed attempts we've learned that there's ALWAYS a way to get it working, so don't let setbacks get you down.



Secondly, building a hovercraft isn't easy. All your measurements have to be precise, all your calculations correct, everything screwed and mounted in correctly or the entire mechanism will fail to work. One small leak or one loosely sewn skirt stitch can potentially be the reason the entire hovercraft refuses to float. Just remember, there's always a way to fix it.



And then you have to be sure you know what you're getting into. Building a good hovercraft isn't just a small lazy-day project, it can take you tons of full days to get it to work just right, and that's before you even start to think about any other elements you may want to add to your as-yet-to-be-finished hovercraft.



So welcome to our humble little site, and dont be discouraged by my warnings. Once you really do get the entire piece of material floating, its absolutly EXHILIRATING! Once you get it floating you'll spend most of the rest of your time working out little kinks in design and performance, so congratulate yourself if you even get that far. We hope you have just as much fun as we did making this piece of future science!

NOTES:

-We're currently on our 4th attempt at a skirt. Our failed attempts reitterate the fact that you need to have your measurements precise:

SKIRT I:
Didn't work since the material wasnt airtight or even remotely near airtight. BE SURE TO CHECK BEFORE HAND IF YOUR MATERIAL IS AIRTIGHT!

SKIRT II:
We, being new to this whole process, cut the skirt a few inches too short, and the skirt would just flap out and not reach the ground, causing the hovercraft to immediatly deflate. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW LONG TO CUT YOUR SKIRT!

SKIRT III:
Bought it thinking it was the strongest material out there. It wasnt. Needless to say, in two (completely awesome) rides down a hilly road it was battered and beaten to a bloddy pulp, since there were over 20 holes, the rope had frayed and ripped, the stitching had come undone, and the whole thing was overly dead. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF MATERIAL YOU NEED!

SKIRT IV:
What we're on now. We've used a sort of water-proof nylon, and lets hope it'll hold up...

skirtdirt.jpg
Damage on Skirt III

comparison.jpg
Skirts II and III length comparison

Have a question? E-Mail Mr. Hovercraft at mrhovercraft@gmail.com ! If you haven't noticed, we're all "Mr. Hovercraft".