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Old Sep 20, 2014, 01:24 PM
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Good Hovercraft/s To Start With

Evening All,

Years ago, I bought myself this rather large RC Hovercraft from Woolworths, when it was still on the high-street. It cost me 25, took 6 hours to charge and lasted 8 minutes. I eventually took it back for a refund after thinking something was wrong with it, when it wouldn't reverse. I've since come to believe that this is normal, lol. Or is it? x) Anyway, last night whilst I was out with some friends, one of them showed an interest in RC boats. Another showed an interest in RC hovercraft's, which reminded me of the one I had years ago. Back-story aside, my friend and I would be interested in buying an RC hovercraft or two, assuming things have moved on from 6 hour charges and 8 minutes run times. Assuming they have, could anyone recommend some 'ready to go from the box' hovercraft's between 0.01 - 100.00? I think my friend would like to pay no more then 30.00, as he is a 'noob' in the RC world. I however will be happy to pay more.

Suggestions please!
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 04:36 AM
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Unfortunately there are very few truly ready to run decent hovercraft models on the market (ignoring the toys like the Tyco Edge which isn't worth looking at). There are a few kits out there which are quite easy to build and will give decent performance (with the benefit of being able to put in your own battery, motor, esc combination). The only decent performing rtr model that I am aware of is the Ikarus Dragstair but you won't get it for under 100 (in fact is probably closer to 150). If you are interested in kits, try Palaform - they do a good range, some starting at very reasonable prices and with varying degrees of effort required. Hope this helps.
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Old Sep 21, 2014, 05:23 PM
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This helps a lot, thank you!
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 02:30 PM
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I used to have one of these things or at least one very like it. I remember the 6 hour charge for 8 minutes of fun as well. Mine actually worked reasonably well for the money, I once ran it on a frozen lake and it could really pick up some serious speed. My local hobby shop has them for sale new including the cutting edge nicad battery and trickle charger.

If you are stuck with a 30 budget and you were determined to have a ready to go hovercraft it's basically the only option. Definitely hunt down a proper battery charger at least to lessen the pain of using it. If you were even more determined you can actually go about modding it even though it's a toy grade thing - see this thread for what it would involve.
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the links! I think my friends will HAVE to pay more if they want something decent. I'm happy to pay 100+ in time
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Old Oct 07, 2014, 06:46 PM
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You might try looking at Fatflyer.co.uk They have a smaller hovercraft kit that several members in our micromodeler club have and they are quite fun. They use a 450-800mAH 2 cell battery, and we are getting near 20 minute runs on them. Easy to build and the complete kit with motor, ESC, servo, etc is still under 100.00 with shipping from the UK.
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Old Oct 08, 2014, 04:30 AM
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That sounds good, thank you!
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Old Oct 08, 2014, 12:33 PM
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If you're limited on funds or want a better performing hovercraft, take a serious look into building one from plans. Long term the benefits will far outweigh just getting one ready to run. You'll have a much larger craft with much better performance than you'll be able to buy ready to run. This will allow you get a better radio, charging equipment, motors, batteries, etc. And when (not if, but when) it gets damaged, you'll be able to repair it. You also have to consider that a lot of ready to run hovercraft are limited production runs. And when it comes to getting spare parts, they either won't be available, or you'll have to get in contact with some obscure factory in China (if you can even find who produced it in the first place) and wait for months to receive the parts after you've paid for them in advance. I know this first hand as I have a Tyco Mini-Typhoon that needs to have one of the cages and prop replaced and parts are non-existant for it (short of paying over $150 for one if it comes up on that big auction site) - I've been looking for the past 20 years for parts (if anybody has one the want to part with, or for part, let me know).

Mark Port's Griffon 2000TDX plans (along with other plans of his) are available for free on his website. Universal Hovercraft also sells plans for models (and full size) hovercraft. Traplett publications also sells plans for Mark Porters Finger Trouble. All are proven performers over time.

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Old Oct 08, 2014, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for the info! So these plans tell people what they need and how to build?
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Old Oct 17, 2014, 12:23 PM
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The plans give you all the information to build the structure as far as part patterns, sizes, materials, etc. Do a search on the Mark Porter Griffon 2000GT and you'll find several builds that show things in detail. A lot of scratch building is using the plans as a guide and doing the changes/modifications as required to suit your particular motors, batteries, servos, etc.

For the price (my kind of price ... FREE ... ), download them and study them. Do some searching on the net and you'll have a very good idea of what is involved in building one up. You can also take scrap cardboard and literally build the model up using cardboard and tape to get an idea of the actual size of the craft and how the parts locate to each other. Unless you give it a try, you'll never learn how to do it. If you make a mistake or have questions, there's a lot of people on the forums who have experience and will give you all the assistance they can. All of us who have done any building have made lots of mistakes and learned from them.

Go check out the RC Hovercraft forum. You'll find a lot of information on a forum dedicated strictly to RC model hovercraft.

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Old Oct 19, 2014, 08:12 AM
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Sounds like a lot of fun to be had. Looks like a whole new kinda hobby to get into. Sadly though, it looks like my plans will have to be put on hold for a while. I have to save for Christmas already, as I'm on a rather low income and wont be able to get anyone anything decent if I don't start now. Also, I really need some new clothes. Worn all mine out lol.
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Old Oct 21, 2014, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychopathRC View Post
Sounds like a lot of fun to be had. Looks like a whole new kinda hobby to get into. Sadly though, it looks like my plans will have to be put on hold for a while. I have to save for Christmas already, as I'm on a rather low income and wont be able to get anyone anything decent if I don't start now. Also, I really need some new clothes. Worn all mine out lol.
I know what that's like - been there, done that!

But in the mean time, download the 2000TDX plans, get some scrap carboard boxes from a local store or supermarket and start building a cardboard mock-up. This will give you a feel for how it will be build when you're ready to start, and let you ask a lot of questions before you start your actual build.

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