Personal hovercraft manufacturers over the past 10 years or so have tended to copy the construction techniques used in the early days of hovercraft design, that is, rigid hull with a skirt fastened all the way around it with engines of various types blowing air underneath to create pressure and lift. The tendency in manufacturing is to follow the crowd on the basis of what works for one will work for another, but every now and again someone thinks outside the box and innovations arise which can save a lot of money for the consumer. Such an innovation has recently surfaced in a small aero shop in Brazil. Ex-pilot and aero engineer Pilot Alberto Dei Castelli developed a small hovercraft that is easy to operate, packs away into the trunk of a car and is much less expensive than similar models.
If you decide to see a hovercraft kit for sale, or any kind of diy hovercraft plans, please be very careful in what you buy. Remember that safety is paramount, particularly if you're going to be transporting members of you family. Hovery's new design makes a radical departure from normal construction methods and is a refreshing approach to this great new pastime. First of all, the hull design moves away from the idea that a rigid shell is needed, and replaces the normal mono-shell concept with an inflated hull. A large diameter tube is filled with air at low pressure, so that it gives if it hits an obstacle, and is basically used as the container for the pressurized air cushion.
One obvious and glaring issue is the need for rigidity, so an aluminium tubular frame that just slots together like a tent frame is place over, and fastened, to the the top of the inflated hull. The frame provides the stiffness needed, and also holds the operator's seat and control panel, which is very simple - just a joystick! The engine, or engines, depending on the model type, are then added at the rear and it's ready to go. The remaining issues are lift and forward thrust.
The rear engine(s) have two functions in one, and their output has been used in an ingenious way. Most of the air flow is used to drive the hovercraft forward, while flaps built into the inflated hull re-direct a portion of the air flow into the skirt container, which is surrounded by the inflated tube running around the periphery. All that remains is to start the engines using the pull rope, just like a lawn mower, and off you go. the whole thing can be packed up into the trunk of a car within 15 minutes.
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