Jerry's Hovercraft Page

UH-16S


Finished?


This is one of the test flights that I took this summer. I suppose the summer was a bit disappointing in terms of hovering, as I didn't get a chance to use the craft very much. At the last minute, I opted not to take the craft on holidays with us, as I had too many uncertainties about the craft and the trailer. When we got back, and I took it out a bit more, I realized that was the right choice, as there have been many  many bugs to work out and resolve (read frustration),.. but it looks great!

Idling off cushion trying to drain the skirt, ...that takes a looong time with such a large craft.
test flight


Most of my problems have been with the belts and my home made variator. I think I have finally resolved them, most of it had to do with improper alignment of the belts going to the lift fan. I also had to make adjustments to the tension of the thrust belt, repair the skirt when it tore when unloading the craft from the trailer, a lift belt that disintegrated! and some little odds and ends. I am so glad we left it at home for our holidays (did I say that already). I cannot emphasize enough how important testing and proving is before you embark on any extensive trips.

Still idling,....
test flight


This was a great morning. The night before, the lift belt disintegrated. I think it jumped the variator, and when it struck the other belt, ..poof, ...no more belt. Lesson learned, carry spare belts! they are really quite inexpensive. I also
found there is no reasonable way to remove the craft from the water with out lift.  So it had to sit overnight in the water
until I fixed it the next morning. Then it worked great, until: a repair in the skirt came apart, which begat scooping water, which begat me gunning the engine which begat the slipping of the thrust belt which begat a looong voyage back.

test flight

Summer is pretty much over, and I have yet to have taken a long successful cruise, but there have been moments of greatness.

I am looking forward to using it a lot next year. I also hope to enclose the cockpit  for the winter, install the interior heater from the Subaru, and get in some winter hovering once the ice freezes.
One other reason that I haven't been able to use it that much, was I underestimated the difficulty in getting the craft onto the water. The launch I use for my UH-10, isn't perfect, but I am able to wrestle it over the edge (1'-2' drop) on to the water. You need a wide flat area to lauch the UH-16S. Maybe I should have built a bit smaller. Since the summer we have done some levelling to the lauch, so that now I can lauch more conveniently.


Comments or questions
jproppe@telusplanet.net

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