View Full Version : Craft for restoration project

Ian Brooks - n/a
10-Mar-06, 05:17 PM


This single seat craft is available for restoration by a suitably enthusiastic new owner.

I'm not sure what it is (if anyone knows, please chip in) but it would seem to be from the late sixties or seventies?

It is about 10 or 11 ft long, 6 ft wide, and had a bag skirt (now missing). It is powered by a pair of Villiers (197cc?) 'dynostart' engines, one driving a fan for lift (blades probably unsafe due to age) and a wooden prop of about 24" diameter of professionally made appearance.

The upper deck is GRP, and appears sound. The lower deck seems to have been wood, and is largely rotted away.

The general standard of construction seems to have been high, with lots of attention to detail, but it would need certain mods to bring it up to modern standards - such as guarding on the rotation assemblies and fans, unless 'historic exemption' from the construction regs were sought.

It needs a new lower hull to be constructed; all framework to be dismantled, repaired and repainted; engines rebuilt; new fan; etc etc... but it looks like an interesting craft.

It is currently lying near Cheltenham and is available without charge to someone who wants to restore and run it. Please ask if you want more details or photos.


jon_curtis - n/a
10-Mar-06, 11:18 PM
would be very interested in seeing some pics!

Vortex - n/a
12-Mar-06, 10:04 PM
Hi Ian..

Looks like a very old Ranger craft from the early 70's, there were quite a number flying when I began operating in 1974. Then they were fitted with twin Wankle engines.

Don't know who made them though!


Kevin.Leach - n/a
13-Mar-06, 03:49 PM
If the number is 66 it is Ranger1 as I ran a craft at Hele's school Exeter of the same type powered by the same engines in the mid 70's. I enclose a picture of wankel powered one called peanuts taken at stanford hall in the 70's after hitting a tree. Keep the old craft flying.

http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/4949/peanuts6mm.th.jpg (img126.imageshack.us/my.php?image=peanuts6mm.jpg)

Ian Brooks - n/a
13-Mar-06, 09:05 PM
It is no. 66 - did you know the craft? The current owner is threatening to chop it up, so I would like to rescue it. If no-one comes forward, I might be needing a place to store in until my current project is complete!


Kevin.Leach - n/a
14-Mar-06, 02:41 PM
Have you got any idea how long you want it stored for? Would hate to see it chopped up. Will help in anyway I can. Did not know the craft but saw the type race.

jon_curtis - n/a
15-Mar-06, 05:52 PM
if you do find somewhere to store it, i will

help you do it up if you like!

i might know someone with a shed in a feild near glastonbury

will ask him on friday night!

Ian Brooks - n/a
18-Mar-06, 05:29 PM

I have now recovered the craft to my place and had a better look at it.

It's 12' by 6'6" - a good size but nice and light, should have good lift, and was clearly built with lots of attention to detail. The GRP deck is sound, but as suggested earlier the wooden planing surfaces are in very poor condition and need re-making. They are made from 1/8" ply with 3/4 x 3/4 battens. There are feed holes for the skirt and built-in floatation. There seems to be enough structure left to measure/draw in order to make a replica.

The engines seem to be all there and are re-buildable but it's not a job for the faint-hearted - the main thing will be getting them apart, as all the nuts look to be corroded. A motorcycle restorer would be able to deal with them without too much trouble, and parts seem to be available.

The engine & fan frames will need blasting off and re-painting - again, the main job will be getting the rusted nuts and bolts apart - a good blow-lamp will be essential... there might be the odd one that needs re-making after blasting due to corrosion.

There is nothing left of the skirt - so unless someone has a pattern in thier loft somewhere, this will need to be re-designed for the craft - probably best left to The Boss!

Some thought will be needed in order to integrate suitable mesh guarding onto the existing structure, but this should be do-able.

All in all, it's saveable and ought to result in a good useable craft - there's not many people can say they own a vintage hovercraft!

Someone needs to collect it soon, otherwise I'll be starting it myself...


PS if anyone has any plans, info, parts or build photo's, I would be interested in them.

Agitator - n/a
25-Mar-06, 10:33 AM
Re:- Craft Restoration Project.


I am interester in taking over the project from you.I have had no experience with full size hovercraft but in the past I built a small one from scratch. I am a qualified engineer and have takled quite a few restoration projects in the past.I live near Newent, Glos. and would apreciate it if I could come and see the project.

Thanks Tony

Ian Brooks - n/a
25-Mar-06, 11:54 AM

The craft is now in Gloucester (Hucclecote) - you are welcome to come and look. I'll send you a private message with my phone number, please give me a call and we can arrange a suitable time. I'll be around most of the weekend, or we can arrange something next week.


Ian Brooks - n/a
9-Apr-06, 08:16 PM

Craft has now found a new home and is tucked up in a nice warm workshop where it'll get the love and attention it deserves!