Small hovercraft 2009

This is of the testing a small radio controlled hovercraft.

The hovercraft uses two electric motors, one for lift and one for thrust with direction control. Batteries for the motors were those usually used in radio controlled aeroplanes, likewise so was the radio control system. The servo controller for the direction control fins at the rear of the machine also came from the model aircraft world.

Though the run didn’t start well!!! emergency repairs soon got things sorted. A very agile and nippy wee thing, and like any hovercraft of this type, a bit of a bugger to control well.

Quite noisy too. Not in absolute volume, but a very intense, penetrating sound.

When run on a totally smooth corridor it went too fast to be properly controllable, and needed that bit of ‘resistance’ and disruption to the skirt airflow that a slightly rough surface provided.

However though it was good on the smoother surfaces, grass was just a bit too much for it. A shame as it was certainly one of the more fun (and successful) projects of that year.

Getting the hovercraft skirt right on these small devices is never easy. What is good for one surface may not work well on another. But then that’s the idea behind this sort of project, figuring out what you can and can’t do, and perhaps develop an appreciation of some of the problems that people may experience when doing this sort of thing ‘for real’.

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