What is meant by hovercraft hump?
Hovercraft weight – getting over Hump – Hovercraft are very weight sensitive, and have more difficulty when starting from an on-water start, because all hovercraft create a bow wave known as The Hump. Some hovercraft suppliers love to fudge payload capabilities, so always ask – what is the on-water payload for this hovercraft? never ask how many seats does it have, since when starting on land, all hovercraft carry 50% more weight, no Hump pressure wave is created when starting on land. Imagine being told the hovercraft’s on-land water payload, and then getting stuck whilst trying to get home if you stopped on the water. Some suppliers show videos of lots of people skimming over small puddles, but what would happen if the hovercraft stopped for any reason on the water? Re-starting would become a problem if trying to lift more weight than is possible due to the hump effect. How would you get home if over weight on water? Another question to consider, does this hovercraft float? How much weight does it carry?
At the Olympics, the fastest runners are the tall lean athletes, and even though the shot putters and weight lifters eat more pies and consume more calories, they are heavier and don’t run so fast, and so it is with hovercraft that float on air, you need a lean machine, not too heavy, but equally, not too flimsy, so this is why we manufacture HDPE or carbon fibre hulls. Some suppliers make really lightweight hulls from thin glass fibre, and they don’t last so long.
Diesel engines are definately unsuitable for smaller hovercraft, they are too heavy and lack the power to weight characteristics required. You really need to understand how weight affects hovercraft when starting on water, to make a success of your venture. By adding a cabin, you add weight, and reduce the available payload, so by adding a cabin, you are getting rid of one passenger. You cannot have really large fuel tanks, fuel is heavy, think lightweight, but also consider durability and product life.