Posted by Mike on February 01, 2004 at 08:14:16:
In Reply to: How to built a hovercraft (SKIRT WHAAAAA) posted by Dirk on January 27, 2004 at 13:52:44:
When I built my hover craft I used a strip of thick plastic sheet (plastic drop cloth or the kind you put under a rockbed to keep weeds from growing through). You'll also need clothsline and some good epoxy that will work with the plastic sheet. The plastic sheet should be cut long enough to fit completely around the outer rim of your hull with at least six inches of over lap. The strip should be cut wide enough to give your craft the lift height you want and allow at least an extra foot on one side of the strip.
The extra foot is going to fold over itself to form a six inch wide sleeve. This sleeve will allow you to "bow" in the bottom edge of the skirt and create your air pocket. Before you fold the edge over to make the sleeve...Lay the length of rupper coated clothsline across the sheet length wise. The line should be as long as the plastic and have a foot of extra line at each end.
When you fold the plastic over and cement it to itself to make the sleeve...the clothsline will run through bottom of the sleeve and move freely. This is your "skirt".
The top of the skirt if the plastic edge that attaches to the bottom of your hull. The bottom of the skirt has the sleeve and will skim over the ground.
When you attach the top of your skirt to the bottom of your hull you should make sure the seal is strong and air tight. Cement the overlapping ends of the skirt together to seal the back of the skirt.
Once sealed you draw the ends of the clothsline together to bow in the bottom of the skirt. The bowed bottom creates your air bubble because the air is escaping from an area smaller than than the circumference of the center and top of the skirt.
My hovercraft was 2 feet in diameter and ran on an electric vacuum cleaner motor but it supported over 100 pounds before it failed. It only failed because the rubber cement I used wasn't strong enough and the sleeve blew open. Had the cement not failed I think it could have held 200 pounds.
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