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10 HP Hovercraft

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I was looking for a project that my Grandson and I could build. together. We decided on a hovercraft after watching a TV special. Knowing absolutely nothing about hovercraft we researched the web on the subject  and found the Universal Hovercraft website to be the best source.
We had an old 10 HP Briggs horizontal shaft electric start engine from an old riding mower that looked like it would fit the bill.  We bought the plans for their UH10F craft. We liked it because it only uses one motor. Most hovercraft use a separate motor for lift and thrust. This one directs approximately 1/3 of the thrust air to provide both lift and inflating the skirt. Most of the materials could be found at the local builders supply.
The only parts we needed to buy from Universal Hovercraft were the Plans, propeller, propeller hub, and the skirt material. Although it busted our $500 budget we decided to purchase their materials kit which included all the epoxy,fiberglass , screws, and glue. The skirt is the heart of this thing and we didn't want to save penny's  on something this critical. It was a fun project for the both of us. It would be a great Father and Son project.
 
 
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fortneja2 years ago
I built a UH-10F myself back in high school. I was slowly putting together an instructable for it several years ago, but it was taking too long, so I gave up. I can send you my notes and photos if you want to elaborate on some of the steps.

I originally used the rope and pulley system specified in the plans for steering, but later modified the steering to use bicycle cable, which was much more durable and responsive.

Dear Fortneja, I just saw your post and wondered if I may take a look at your notes and photos for the UH 10F? I am about to build one and would grately appreciate
Thank you,
Dan Farncombe: Danfarncombe@gmail.com
coolboy10111 months ago
Hi there, I know this instructable is getting quite old now, but I am thinking of building a hovercraft as a school project, and this one seems relatively simple and your guide is really helpful! Unfortunately, being in the UK I cannot get the plans to this hovercraft easily or buy any of the kits, so would like to ask a few questions if that's ok.

1... How large were the pieces of plywood? The hovercraft is 10ft x 5ft and I can only find 8ft x 4ft plywood. Did you have to join more than one piece together? If so how did you do that?

2.... What parts of the hovercraft were actually fiberglassed? Not the whole thing presumably, just the joints?

3.... Is any type of foam acceptable? I have found some 50mm (2") Styrodur which is "extruded rigid polystyrene foam (XPS)" with a compressive strength of 300 Kn/m². Would this be acceptable do you think?

4... How powerful should the engine be? I have found a brand new 13hp engine for a good price. Would this be a good size or will it be overkill or too heavy?

Any help would be much appreciated! I am sure I will find many more questions needing answers, so if you could help that would be great.

Thank you!
SofiaM1 year ago
How big is this hovercraft? 4 by 8, or 5 by 10? Thank you
mickydee (author)  SofiaM1 year ago
The hovercraft is 5 x 10 overall. I bought it at a local builders supply in 4 x 8 sheets.. After it is covered with the 1x4 plywood and fiber glass the joints are all covered. Alternate the joints between the foam and plywood for strength.
Mickydee
SofiaM1 year ago
How big should the sheet of 1" styrofoam be? Thank you!
BoSkarr1 year ago
This is amazing. I plan to start one that want to hald more than one person. This is a great guide, as I can't become a member of universal hovercrafts because I am 14, don't have a job, and I don't have a phone. I have a couple friends who will help and I can't stress it enough how amazing your hovercraft looks.
you should enter the epilog challenge V if you can
shull31 year ago
Congratulations on a successful first build.
This is a great project for Father/Grandfather and Son/Grandson. Universal Hovercraft http://www.hovercraft.com/content/ is a great company for DIY hovercraft projects. I build a UH12T4 with my high school soon back in 2002 -2006. We have had a great time with it and now belong to the http://www.hoverclubofamerica.org/ Hoverclubofamerica. The club has great resources for recreational hovercrafting throughout the USA. Most of the members have either built or operate a homebuilt hovercraft. If you and your Grandson get into this hovering more be sure to check out the HCA. We sponsor over 20 events a year at many locations around the country. http://www.mapquest.com/?version=1.0&hk=7-HQDmHdt9#dd126f889ef3d31a8d5316c6  Here is a map of the locations for the 2013 season. Hope to see you at out hovering this year!

Scott Hull


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I was wondering if I could use any type of epoxy or is there a certain type that would work a lot better? What would you recommend.
mickydee (author)  phynicfirebird3 years ago
I always use the cheapest I can find. Tru to use something that is easy to mix, like a 2 to 1 or a 3 to 1 ratio. Any epoxy you can get will work. You will need about a gallon.
mickydee
Mr. Dee, I'm stoked. I'm in the third world and this is the thing to have.
I can get most parts here
Can you tell me a ratio to increase the size to accommodate 2 people or 180 more pounds
Thank you....i am hoping to build my own from scratch this summer without any kits...the only problem i have is that since i am only 16 and do not currently have a job (wish i did) it is going to be hard to get the money but i am hoping to get a job real soon then start saving for the parts.
council cleanup days is your answer
gear7621 year ago
Your project is pretty sweet! I plan on building a hovercraft for a science fair at my school, but as of yet, no one has any description of how to put on the skirt or what size/how many holes to cut out for a 4ft by 8ft hovercraft. If you could maybe send me a few pictures of the skirt, as well as some basic instructions on how to put the skirt on and cut out the holes, that would be great! Thanks!
Xthinker1 year ago
I cant seem to find the website, can you post a link to it? I'm interested in making one
How much do you and your grandson weigh? How would you describe the diffrence in weight and perfermance?
vlxwgn3 years ago
Do you have any more information on the skirt installation? Did the skirt you bought come with instructions? Other than that awesome :)
mickydee (author)  vlxwgn3 years ago
Hi!
Yes the kit come with very good instructions on cutting and installing the skirt
I was lucky, Grandma is a seamstress and added her touches to it. Don't let that stop you
mickydee
I have a UH-10f that I purchased already built. It was never used. I had to fabricate a rudder stick and add a throttle cable. Both work great. I had it on the lake yesterday and it got 19 mph on the gps. The only trouble i have is that I get water in the skirt inflation hole and I have to drag it up on shore to drain it. There is a slit in the bag in the right rear that i used to drain the water. Should i make some ductwork to raise the intake hole to keep water out?
mickydee (author)  mrtomc1 year ago
I did not have that problem. Your center of gravity may be more to the rear than mine. Adding a riser around the port should fix your problem.
have fun
mickydee
mickydee (author)  vlxwgn3 years ago
Good idea I don't think they had that one when I bought my plans
mickydee
Does the skirt inflate when you start it or it stays inflated? Looks like fun!
mickydee (author)  bnsfwarbonnet2 years ago
A portion of the prop air is diverted to the skirt port and inflates when the engine is started. The craft wont sink when the engine is off because the deck is made of enough foam to keep it buoyant
It is a lot of fun Mickydee .
Neat.
cod3hack3r2 years ago
When i grow up and have kids and hopefully grandkids, i hope i can do something like this with them, this is such a cool project, wonderful instructions too, and it came out great. This is great man, 10/10
mickydee (author)  cod3hack3r2 years ago
Thank you very much.
My grandson and I had a great summer working together.
We really got to know each other.
We both learned some new skills. That's what these instructables are all about.

Mickydee
Very cool! How Much does it weigh?
mickydee (author)  hover_crafter2 years ago
I am not absolutely sure. I would guess about 125 lbs., maybe 150.. The engine and prop are the determining factor. The bulk of the craft is made of very light weight foam and 1/8" plywood. If you go to larger motor with electric start, you could double up on the foam quite easily.
mickydee
serice2 years ago
When type of epoxy die you use to coat the bottom of the hull with?
mickydee (author)  serice2 years ago
I used an epoxy called "System Three" medium temp. I bought a gallon on line, It is available from several sites. I liked it because it comes with attached plungers for accurate measuring and it cures overnight. Be sure to use the vacuum bagging procedure as spelled pout in my ible. You can use just about any two part epoxy you want, it is not critical. I used half a gallon for the whole project
mickydee
i rember the first one i built, aha that was a awsome day i spent a whole week with my uncle sketching and looking at the gaint hover crafts called LCAC-landing craft, air cushioned”" used by the marines and they are amphibious by the way
Mr. walrus2 years ago
What kind of trailer did you use?
mickydee (author)  Mr. walrus2 years ago
My trailer is a 4 by 8 with removable side rails. It also has a dump feature with a pin in the front. I can literally drive it off the trailer, but it will not climb the incline by itself.
Two people can easily lift it onto the trailer. It could be easily winched on if the motor was left idling to provide a little lift.
WOW I wish my grandpa was this cool
yeah right???
???????
arjun05202 years ago
dude where did u u get the motor from
Wahoo962 years ago
hey, im thinking of making my own,what engine (make/model) would you recomend??
Wahoo962 years ago
is it amphibious? how fast is it? and can you put a more powerful engine on it?
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