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How Does A Hovercraft Work?


Motor Fan

The Steering System



Hovercrafts have two main types of skirt designs.

Bag Skirt

The skirt is made out of a flexible waterproof mat such as neoprene nylon.

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The Plenu pressurised ho either gas or fluid (in th p


The skirt is the most important part of the craft as it allows the craft to clear obstacles. The higher the skirt, the larger the obstacle the craft can clear.




2 5

Finger Skirt

um chamber is a ousing containing his case, air) at a positive pressure.

Skirt 1 Airflow 2 Buoyancy Tank 3 Plenum Chamber 4 Skirt Fingers 5

Motor 3


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1. Cylinder 2. Cylinder Head 3. Spark Plug 4. Oil Feed Line 5. Vent Line 6. Vent Screw 7. Crank Case

Bob Windt holds the world record on the fastest hovercraft, in 1995 he reached 85.376 mph. Hovercrafts have two fans that each do a different job. One fan is for thrust (forward movement) and the other is for upward lift. Sometimes there is only one fan, in which case there are two seperate vents for thrust and lift.


The Steering System 2 1


1 Rudders 2 Propeller 3 Thrust duct

Rudders are symmetrical airfoil to mini They are normally made from covered with a fibergla

made from imize drag. m wood and ass surface.

The rudders are placed directly in the thrust airflow at the back of the craft. In order to work efficiently they must have a considerable amount of air flowing over them. The hovercraft thrust is re-directed by the rudders to provide steering.


Air Flow

Going Straight

Turning Right

Turing Left

Turn the key to start the fan

Turning on the Craft

Although you turn the hovercraft on much like you would a car, it’s more like an aircraft than it is a car or boat. This is because it is built to travel on air or a frictionless surface rather than water of tarmac.

The fan starts to rotate, and air is forced underneath the craft and into the skirt.

Air is pumped underneath the craft into the skir the lift fan or the lift vent. The skirt fills up to its capacity until the air starts to escape from bene This begins to create a frictionless surface. Once it has reached its highest height off the ground, also known as the obstacle clearance height, the craft is able to move.

Inflating the Skir

rt via s maximum eath it.


Engage the Clutc And away you go!

Hovercrafts travel on a speed of 35mph but can reach 90mph.

The hovercraft was invented Christopher Cockerell in 195

However the concep of the hovercraft has been around since the 1700’s.

ch The world’s largest hovercraft is the Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft. It’s 187 feet long, and 84 feet tall, with a 5 foot ground clearance. It can carry 555 tonnes.

The hovercraft has evolved into a multi-purpose vehicle that saves lives d by in rescue operations, transports 55. military troops, ferries passengers, and provides a vast array of recreational pt opportunities such as racing and cruising n

By Mollie Barker & Catt Fearnley

How do hovercrafts work  
How do hovercrafts work  

By Mollie and Catt