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Apr 05, 2017, 02:29 PM
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First Hovercraft


Good afternoon, all!

I wanted to share a few photos of my first hovercraft: I built it in off-time over the last week or two. My "planning" consisted of some rough sketches, and watching a few YouTube videos. It's about 12" wide, and 23" long including the rudders, which wound up needing to be huge. The extremely involved selection of electronics consisted of "Huh, I've got two motors and two ESCs in my parts bin. I guess I know what I'm using now!"

As you might guess, there are a bunch of things that don't quite work right, but I'm pretty pleased. The last two images are actually videos; I haven't gotten around to putting them on YouTube yet, so the images are links to Flickr.


"Detailed Plans" by a_mckenzie_4, on Flickr


Foamboard layout by a_mckenzie_4, on Flickr


Starting to look like a hovercraft! by a_mckenzie_4, on Flickr


Hovercraft! by a_mckenzie_4, on Flickr

I think it needs bigger rudders... by a_mckenzie_4, on Flickr

Well, it might work better in a larger space... by a_mckenzie_4, on Flickr


I'm pretty much using this as a test bed: the next step is to put some window screen to keep fingers out of props, and figure out how to keep it from yawing quite so much. It really likes to turn counterclockwise, and has a lot of trouble going clockwise. Some of that was just that the battery slid around and the front left corner was digging in, but some of it is actually a problem with the design.

Once I've figured out what I did most wrong on this one, I'm planning to see how small I can get it. I've got a few mini-quad motors lying around, so we'll see.... I think I'm going to aim for about five inches by eight.

Advice is welcome, since I clearly don't actually know what I'm doing!
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Apr 06, 2017, 07:05 AM
Rapidly aging user
raw89's Avatar
Hi guy, some thoughts....

The rudders look a little too close together. I'd try mounting them farther apart.

The self turning is probably from the torque of the lift fan motor. You could try mounting the thrust fan slightly angled to the side or offset to counter act this.

Your 5" X 8" proposal seems pretty small. I built one smaller than my current smallest (10 X 14) but it didn't work well.

Have fun.....
Apr 06, 2017, 09:00 AM
Registered User
Thanks for the tips! I'd been trying to figure out if angling the thrust fan would help. I know it does in planes, but I wasn't sure if that would carry through. I'll give it a try, and see what happens.

The rudders work pretty well, but I can certainly move them out. More control is never a bad thing.

It's definitely going to be interesting at that size... I work with some people who fly micro-sized quads, so they at least have experience working with the electronics at that size. I'm figuring on a 2-3S system, with a couple of really small brushless motors. I'm also planning to put the thrust motor on a rotating column rather than using rudders. With a 180 degree servo, it'll either be extremely nimble or totally impossible to control. I'm hoping for the first, but the second would still be pretty entertaining.
Apr 06, 2017, 09:39 AM
Rapidly aging user
raw89's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by amckenzie4
I'm also planning to put the thrust motor on a rotating column rather than using rudders. With a 180 degree servo, it'll either be extremely nimble or totally impossible to control. I'm hoping for the first, but the second would still be pretty entertaining.
That's how I have my 18" X 27" set-up for vectored thrust. I use a 120deg servo but I like how it works.....
Apr 06, 2017, 09:48 AM
Registered User
Nice! 120 would certainly be enough... that's more deflection than I get out of my rudders, anyway.


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