Jerry's Hovercraft Page


Summer 2004

Ta Da!
Ta Da!

Well this summer has been a lot better than the last one, and I have had a lot of fun with this craft.
I was able to take my family on a short trip up the river to nearby town about 20 kilometers away.
We also stopped in this beautiful bay just off the river. The Bow River in Calgary, is pretty swift,
so I figure if we travel upstream, we can always float home if we break down.

It was to the point where nobody wanted to go out with me, because they expected a breakdown of some sort.
I believe I have resolved most of the problems, and I am getting comfortable with taking longer trips from home.

high speed run

The craft looks like a toy in this picture,
but that's me going about 75kph (45mph). I have learned a lot about some of the problems I experienced with this craft,
 and I  have also become more comfortable with flying this craft. It is different than
my UH-10T2/F for several reasons.
  •  It has integrated lift and thrust (ie one engine drives both) This means you can't 'coast' on lift, and you have to be more careful about coming off of hover.
  • It's much bigger, and you can't use your own body weight to as high a degree. The UH-10T2/F is very playful in this manner, and responds to body language quite readily.
  • It is too big to move by hand, probably 800 lbs.

turning 1

turning 2

turning 3

new top
This is a shot showing the enclosure I made for the cockpit. The side panels will unbutton, and the window unzips for entry.
It helps to keep dry, although as I have improved my piloting skills,
I am getting by with less spray. Still, when you are turning with a cross wind, you can easily get soaked!
I also plan to install the heater from the Subaru, so I can drive in the colder weather,
and keep the windows clear.

new top 2

idler pulley

After being stuck on the water with a belt that wouldn't engage because of water, and
loss of tension, I determined to install an idler pulley.

I made it from two idler pulleys  from some Ford engines (Aerostar?) at the auto wrecker. I bolted the idlers together back to back.
They cost me $3.00 each! You can tell that you've' lost tension, by watching the tachometer. If the engine is over revving, and you aren't moving that fast, then you know that it is slipping. The UH method is to install more shims under the pillow block bearings, and remove some from under the engine mount, to keep the shaft centered in the duct. You don't want to be doing this on the water. It's much easier
to just tighten the idler, though will try to use the UH method for the majority of the tension. These kinds of belts are not made to bend backwards, and it will wreck the belt, but hey,.. I don't want to be stuck on the water either.

idler pulley

I tighten the idler with the turnbuckle, and set it with a lock nut.

uh16 bay 

Things I Learned

Comments or questions


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