How to fly a hovercraft?
How easy is it to operate a hovercraft?
We get asked how to fly a hovercraft? We designed the Hov Pod Hovercraft to be very easy to operate. We deliberately banished unnecessary levers, elevators and gizmos since the less complicated the product is, the less things there are to go wrong, and the less problems you will have.
Some hovercraft have elevators to allow the operator to alter the trim, and this is important since some hovercraft have a tendency to nose dive, or plough-in. Ploughing in is a common hovercraft characteristic, and one that we wanted to overcome, since sudden deceleration can throw driver, passengers and contents forward, and out of the craft. The Hov Pod is designed to prevent ploughing, and by fixing trim in the factory we dispense with unnecessary levers. Our thinking is – if you provide a control, it could be set up wrong and actually allow the hovercraft to have a poor trim set up.
Here is a checklist that pilots go through to operate the Hov Pod. Is the operator a driver of a hovercraft a pilot? Hovercraft fly, albeit very low, so I guess the operator is a pilot.
1/. Check whether drainage bungs are located in the rear of the hovercraft.
2/. Check that fan blades and hovercraft skirts are in good order.
3/. Check that items are correctly stowed away, that no long straps or other items are close to the fans (always check that the hovercraft fans are properly guarded front and rear)
4/. If you plan to go over water, we recommend you take normal marine precautions, such as wear lifesaving gear, have plenty of fuel, sun protection, a marine method of communications such as VHF radio (mobile phones lose signal at sea). You need to make sure that your payload weight is within the on-water payload specification for your model of hovercraft, otherwise you may not get airborne on water if you stop for any reason.
5/. Ensure no spectators are immediately behind the hovercraft when it starts, since it thrusts lots of air out of the rear of the duct.
6/. To start the Hov Pod, you need to turn the power isolator key to the on position, engage and wear the kill cord around your wrist, and push the start button. Should for any reason you fall out, the kill cord will cut the engine and stop the craft.
7/. Whilst warming the engine, the choke levers are set for approximately 40 seconds only.
8/. You need to check your route immediately ahead to ensure no one is in your way, and if clear, turn the throttle on the handlebar to increase the revs of the engine. At around 4500 revs, the hovercraft will rise up and start to move forwards, gaining speed.
We offer full certificated training for new customers, and ensure that they are happy with the operation – flying a Hov Pod is a lot easier than a bike. Many customers just read through the operator manual provided. Contact us for details of our training courses, through this site or www.hovpod.com