Jerry's Hovercraft Page
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.
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.
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.
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
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