Been toying with an idea & need some outside-the-box thinkers. One primary issue with recreational hovercraft design is propellor noise. Could a blade-free ("Dyson-ring") fan design be adapted to a hovercraft application? By ducting the required volume & pressure of air into the ring the primary source of noise is...gone. Safety would be vastly improved, eliminating the need (and weight) for protective screening. Fewer mechanical parts also means the craft becomes cheaper/lighter. And if, rather than one large ring, two smaller rings were swivel-mounted they could further simplify the steering (directional thrust) and give the hovercraft another very unique feature. By quickly counter-reversing the two rings 180 degrees, the hovercraft would have BRAKES! I've never seen a recreational hovercraft with the ability to stop quickly (with the obvious exception of crashing into a large, heavy object!).
All input is appreciated. Thanks very much!