Hovercraft Theoryy & Application - RC Groups
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Apr 04, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Hovercraft Theoryy & Application

I was wondering if someone might point me in the direction of some basic beginners hovercraft design theory as it applies to RC hovercraft...

I've had a number of ideas lately, having just gotten into RC craft but im on my third build and at this point while it's been bumpy, it all works so far .

One of the designs I've been contemplating is using static pressure (I guess it's not static while it's in use!) inside a cavity (much like a hovercraft) to provide lift or control based on opening a series of louvers.

The idea is based on some of the designs i've seen in the VTOL board, but I'm interested in adapting the approach in general to a variety of craft - that is, using a motor to provide constant airflow/pressure to a cavity within the craft, and exhausting that air to provide control and thrust.

What I'm uncertain of is even where to start when it comes to sizing a motor, choosing a prop/turbine/impeller, and perhaps some of the techniques used in RC hovercraft. In a hovercraft application, a relatively small amount of air is actually exhausted in that the static pressure is maintained more or less static (due to the skirt) - but it occurs to me that given all but the simplest of aircraft designs, forcing an airplane propeller to move air through any length of duct that isn't a straight-through will introduce large inefficiencies, effectively limiting your exhaust airflow to the flow generated by whatever static pressure is being maintained.

At this point though - as its obvious to tell - a lot of this is based on "it seems like...". Any direction or links to similar kinds of projects would be appreciated.
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May 07, 2012, 05:01 PM
We don't need no stinkin' tail
RPM314's Avatar
This one is pretty basic, but has more links at the bottom.
May 10, 2012, 01:59 PM
MHA webmaster
I'd recommend getting hold of some books on full size theory as the rules are pretty much the same - the classics include Hovercraft Design and Construction by Elsley and Devereux, Marine Hovercraft Technology Robert L Trillo (http://www.marinehovercrafttechnology.co.uk/) and Jane's Surface Skimmers from various years - and then look at model books like Mark Porter and Kevin Jackson's Introduction to RC Hovercraft (http://www.hovercraftmodels.com/Intr...Hovercraft.htm). These will give a very firm grounding in hovercraft theory. However, sizing motors and props etc. these days is a bit of a black art and even the RC book was written before the advent of brushless motors into the hobby. But in general what it means is that you have potentially a lot more power available than in the past.

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