Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Skirt damage

This is the most damage we've done to the skirt in one trip. I've got to say I was amazed at how well it still hovered with this much damage. It still carried 220kg of passengers and the damn thing weighed 900 kg empty!!!! But these holes were in the back.

We've had small holes in the front and the skirt won't build any pressure so the hover goes nowhere

Come back to see if we've got the video sorted out yet

Dying throws of my first hover

This is my first attempt at building a hovrcraft. It all came from the tip and given time, it all went back there too!!!! The squirrel cage fan is the type that is used in air conditioning a big building. They are mostly made of pressed steel. The fins are just a tight fit and pressed into the main frame. I asked around to find out what sort of a rev limit these things had and couldn't get a real answer. Orignally I'd put an 8Hp Briggs & Stratton motor on it but I couldn't it get out past half throttle. So I fitted a 250cc motorbike engine on it thinking I could use the gears and get higher revs in a higher gear but not over load the engine. It hovered well but when I split the air for thrust it wouldn't go foward so I changed into top gear and gave it some more throttle. That's when I found this fan has a rev limit. The little fins all came out of their press fit groves and landed in the bottom of the barrel. I still don't know what the rev limit is, but it's less than the output of the 250cc engine. And it was lots of fun.

Enjoy my little blog and please leave a comment PS If you happen to know the revs per minute of these type of fans please pass it on

Monday, February 9, 2009

variable pitch prop

variable pitch mechanism full forward

variable pitch mechanism full reverse

Prop Full fowardProp Full reverse

More about the successful learning curves later

Friday, February 6, 2009

On reflection

This was the second attempt at the lift fan and duct. The fan was just too small. We are now using a four bladed 34inch fan, home made from Universal Hovercraft plans. My plan was to build a hovercraft without using fiberglass & resin and it can be done, just not on my budget.

This is a shot of the air directer underneath to help the air to the back of the craft.

On the back you can see our first attempt at our thrust system. A 3ft 12 blade aluminium fan.

And here are the rest of our attempts at ducts or the rings thereof. We 've had the 3ft fan, a 5ft UH prop and now we have a 6ft7inch prop - also UH prop - but cut and stretched a bit.

This is Wind Dancer in 2007, before her refit. We found she was a bit on the heavy side and would'nt climb out of the hole or over the hump. So I started looking at making a bigger thrust prop. I'd actually got half way through cutting a wider chord 5ft prop when I discovered a variable reverse pitch propeller on U tube. This would be a great thing to have- brakes on a hovercraft!! It took a great deal of thought, but I designed a hub for myself. With some help from some friends to turn me up some things and work out how to put it all together - hey presto! Six months later we now had a variable pitch reverse hub. A further 18 months and 4 different blade types down the track we are getting very close now. More photos soon

The new maiden voyage

Trialing the new homemade electric reverse thrust propller ( I tell a lie- its not new! I've been working on it for 3 years.) I've named it MAN- More Alterations Nessasary. It's had 4 styles of blades so far and still counting. The hover also has an electric trim wing and- touch wood- this has worked ever since conception. I've use a window winder hidden under the seat and hooked it to a push pull cable, which is then hooked to the trim wing.I have a togle switch on the handle bars to control each of the units. Check out the videos at

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hover payday is the latest update on the Wind Dancer story. The beach is Bellingham's, Northern Tasmania. It is a great place to hover at low tide, but must be shared with jet ski's when there is plenty of water in the inlet. We took it fairly easy for the first time out...have to re-learn to drive the machine before we get too crazy.
We found the tarp fabric used in the skirt is a bit too fragile, and ripped several sizable holes in it during the day. Now we are looking for an alternative...not sure which way to go as yet. Also have some minor repairs on the prop :( On the next post, I will back track and give you some of the nuts and bolts details...for now, enjoy! Oh, and don't forget to leave a comment :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Introducing Wind Dancer

Hi All, I'm new to all this stuff so please bear with me!

In July '05, this is what Wind Dancer looked like. Some things have changed...some have stayed the same! The power is still the same... a 26hp Briggs and Stratton for lift and a Subaru 1800 for thrust! This was the day my Hover dream become a hovercraft...but more about that later!

Out of the shed and into the would think she would be keen to fly!
And she did...I had to hold her still here.
Check in soon to find out more about the Wind Dancer story.