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Hovercraft Guide - Introduction


Hovercraft: Hovercraft are now affordable and available for leisure as well as commercial, rescue, patrol applications.

Hovercraft are becoming popular for many applications


Hovercraft are now available for a wide range of applications, from leisure, rental, commercial, rescue, surveys, and military patrol - this guide explains what you need to consider before Aim of this Guide

past gave hovercraft a bad name. The purpose of this guide is to This guide provides a host of provide updated information to information covering many aspects of hovercraft ownership. bring the reader up to date on the latest advances in hovercraft Since their first introduction in technology. And since new 1957, hovercraft have captured technological improvements have the imagination of all. Hovercraft are great to watch, comfortable to made hovercraft more affordable to purchase, the report will look at ride in and fun to fly. Hovercraft have been around smaller hovercraft that can be for over 50 years, they continue to purchased for leisure, commercial, rescue, survey, develop and benefit from fishing and military patrol advances in new technology. applications. Advances in Computer Aided This guide also covers Design (CAD) and Computer essential things you need to know Numerical Control (CNC) reduce engineering tolerances, to reduce if purchasing a hovercraft for the first time, the terminology, noise and vibration that in the


Rescue Hovercraft Hovercraft save lives in situations where normal vehicles cannot reach victims, for example during flooding or situations where victims have become stuck in mud, sand, or fallen through thin ice victims succumb to hypothermia and drowning, fast response is essential.

potential problems and how to overcome them. It contains links to many useful website pages where you will find further information, images and videos. We plan to revise and keep this guide up to date, so please check for latest revisions from

purchasing a small hovercraft, you need to be clear on how you intend to use it. Basically there are three types of small hovercraft, Race, Project and Leisure.


Race types are very light, so can lack durability and scrimp on safety. Project hovercraft include self made projects constructed from plans or improvised by If you only remember one thing from this guide, let it be this - Hovercraft engineering types. Leisure are weight dependent vehicles. hovercraft are generally slower One of the first points to than race types but more durable, consider about hovercraft – they although it is difficult to are very weight dependent, and stereotype - each manufacturer need significant power to move and model is different. So called themselves. Like track athletes, “Race Pedigree” hovercraft tend small more agile hovercraft can be to be constructed from very thin more efficient than larger glass fibre - by reducing weight hovercraft. Although a larger the designers can extract more athlete may eat more and have performance from smaller lighter more power reserves, this added engines, but this approach might power is quite often absorbed not suit hovercraft that are moving around the weight of the intended for leisure or commercial athlete. For this reason, if use.

Hovercraft are real Allterrain

Many different surfaces Hovercraft can fly on a cushion of air above any flat surface, so water, river, lake, sea, mud, sand, grass, concrete, tarmac, ice, snow hovercraft are true allterrain vehicles and as such can be used for a wide variation of different applications. Reach places other vehicles cannot, any tide, 24/7.


HOVERCRAFT Hovercraft are weight dependent vehicles Lightweight hovercraft lack strength and durability, and race manufacturers tend to scrimp on safety aspects, so check whether a duct rear fan guard is fitted. Race hovercraft tend to have smaller engines that are up-rated to get as much power as possible from the unit. Two things to mention about up-rated engines, they tend to work to their upper power limits, so when you start a hovercraft from an on-water situation, there may not be power left in reserve to get you “over the hump”, to overcome the pressure wave all hovercraft create when starting on water. If you fail to get over “Hump”, you might not get home. The second consideration to ponder on up-rated engines is – how would modification of an engine to get more power output affect the manufacturer’s warranty if a problem occurred? Many engine manufacturers might state that engine modification invalidates the warranty. Decide – do I wish for my hovercraft to be durable and

Hovercraft Guide

strong, or do I wish it to be really fast? Ofcourse we all like speed but at what cost?

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

As an alternative to glass fibre, the Hov Pod Hovercraft is manufactured from High Density Polyethylene or HDPE, which is much stronger than glass fibre, and more buoyant, too.

Many boats are made from glass fibre so why not hovercraft? Well, boats do not travel over land and meet the occasional tree or goalpost in their path. You might drive your glass fibre hovercraft up the slipway and embark with 2 or 3 passengers; a small stone under the floor can fracture thin glass fibre to allow water seepage, and as we all know, water is very heavy stuff, it sank the Titanic. Boats have no issue with weight so are generally made from thicker glass fibre, hovercraft

Next Issue

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• Hovercraft terms • Hovercraft safety

Hovercraft Safety There are a number of terms that apply to how hovercraft perform during operation, e.g. ploughing, getting over hump.


are very weight dependent, so hulls are usually very thin, particularly racing hovercraft. So the type of hovercraft you buy all depends on how you wish to use your hovercraft. The next issue of Hovercraft Guide will explain some of the hovercraft terms you need to be aware of before purchasing a hovercraft.

HOVERCRAFT GUIDE Free to Republish Feel free to republish this guide, if you have your own hovercraft website, club, or school project.

Hovercraft Guide  

Hovercraft are now becoming affodable for leisure, commercial, rescue, survey and many other applications - this guide explains what to cons...