Monthly Archives: August 2017

Carbon Fibre Hovercraft

Hovercraft for Commercial, Rescue and Military Applications

I have been asked to detail more information about our Carbon Fibre Hovercraft, and explain why Carbon Fibre is so useful for constructing hovercraft. 

Carbon-Fibre Hovercraft

Carbon-Fibre Hovercraft

All hovercraft are weight sensitive like helicopters, so we look for materials that are lightweight yet without compromising durability.

We combine Carbon Fibre with Kevlar to construct the Hov Pod Carbon Infinity Hovercraft. Measured in units kN.m/kg, Kevlar measures 2514 and Carbon Fibre measures 2457 – compare this to Glass Fibre at 1307 to appreciate the superior characteristics of Carbon Fibre with Kevlar. Carbon Fibre is also extremely rigid, so ideal for hovercraft design and construction.

Certainly for the commercial hovercraft market, Carbon Fibre with Kevlar provides durability to withstand the sort of treatment hovercraft are expected to take when undergoing commercial, rescue and military work.

Affordability

Without compromise, the lightweight characteristics deliver exceptional high strength to low weight ratios. You can measure this by comparing payloads for various hovercraft. Although Carbon Fibre is more expensive to produce than glass fibre, because you can construct larger hovercraft with lower weight, the resulting payload is far superior. To measure this, simply compare the price of a glass fibre or aluminium hovercraft against Carbon Fibre / Kevlar and divide the price by the on-water payload.

How to compare on price / measured by performance

Your calculation might look like this – $20000 /divided by 500 lbs on-water payload lift equals $40 per pound payload. Use this formula to see the real benefits in terms of performance for Carbon Fibre compared to Glass Fibre or Aluminium Hovercraft.

Other benefits

Far better delivery times than aluminium hovercraft.

Easier to operate.

Further reading about Carbon Fibre – Further Reading

Video

 

Personal Hovercraft

Personal Hovercraft

Personal Hovercraft


How do personal hovercraft differ from other hovercraft?

Personal Hovercraft need to be safe to operate and more durable than race hovercraft.

Weight considerations

All hovercraft are very weight sensitive, so to win a race, racing hovercraft have ultra light hulls, and lack the on-water characteristics that personal hovercraft require.

 

A more durable personal hovercraft hull is bound to be thicker thus heavier than a lightweight race hovercraft one. Many suppliers produce glass fibre hulls, which may look nice, but are more prone to damage should the hovercraft collide with another object. Hov Pod hovercraft hulls are either manufactured from HDPE or Carbon Fibre with Kevlar.

Personal hovercraft need to fly over and land on water, so good buoyancy is required.

Sufficient power to start on-water.

When starting from an on-water start, hovercraft create a bow wave called the HUMP. Getting over the bow wave created when starting takes considerable effort, and requires the driver and passengers to move their weight forward during the process of getting “over hump”

Hovercraft suppliers should always quote the on-land and the on-water payload, because starting on land is always easier, due to no hump - hump only affects hovercraft when they start on water.

Payload

Always ask the supplier - what is the on-water payload for this hovercraft? - some manufacturers fudge the answer by quoting on-land payload only. Generally, hovercraft carry 50% less weight when starting on water, so if you stop on water, you may need to swim home and abandon your hovercraft if it does not have sufficient power to get over hump.

More powerful engines

Don’t imagine that by simply installing a more powerful engine that you can get better performance - more powerful engines are far heavier than smaller specialist engines with high power to low weight characteristics. If you buy the cheapest hovercraft available, you’ll get an under-powered lawn mower engine designed for cutting grass, not designed for marine use.

 


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