View Full Version : Building an UH-18SPW maybe

25-Sep-09, 07:29 PM
I am starting to look at a quick Saturday afternoon project and considering the above.
Has anyone tried these or are there problems in using them in the UK?

I am completely new to this sport.

Any advice or info appreciated.


John Robertson
25-Sep-09, 08:45 PM
I am starting to look at a quick Saturday afternoon project and considering the above.
Has anyone tried these or are there problems in using them in the UK?

I am completely new to this sport.

Any advice or info appreciated.


Hi Joe,

I built a UH18 in 2004 (see build diary (http://www.hovercruiser.org.uk/building-a-hovercraft/uh18.html)) and still use it - it's not the "W" version though! AFAIK there are no problems using a WIG in the UK (apart from finding some place suitable ).

There are two working UH18 I know of in the UK and a few others being built take a look at www.uh18.org (http://www.hovercraft.org.uk/www.uh18.org) - it's also worth a read through this forum http://www.hovercraft.org.uk/search.php?searchid=55533

The most important thing you need to establish is exactly what you want to use a hovercraft for - once you let us know I'm sure you will get plenty of good advice :)

26-Sep-09, 12:59 AM
Thanks for the info John, I've a quick look at your build diary and found it very helpful. Did you start from basic plan or any of the UH kits? Or approx cost to build?

with my construction skills lacking and impatience for completion likely to be to much to take would would the pre fab hull be worth the shortening construction time. With my poor skills on aesthetic joinery it might look better too.

I would just be using it for cruising around West of Scotland, the novelty of the WIG could be quite good to stay above the chop. Am I unreasonable in thinking this could "fly" over 2-3 ft chop?

26-Sep-09, 08:00 AM
Not wanting to be negative but... ARE YOU MAD :eek: you have stated that

with my construction skills lacking and impatience
Are you seriously intending to build this complex machine?
I am sorry but this is a recipe for DEATH. I watched some guys who had built a UH-18 and saw the problems they had trying to tame there BEAST on grass, and that was without WIG. The WIG machine is not for the first timer IMHO.
Have you thought this through... you intend to build an aircraft with minimal skills and a have also admitted to being impatient. Not a good combination. One shortcut too many and/or part of the craft fails due to bad construction, you hit the water at speed. At best you will be seriously injured. I am sorry but I think you would be crazy to contemplate this build. Please for your own sake lower your ambition and start with a much less complex project. As your skills and competence improve then move on to more complicated craft. Build up slowly to a project of this caliber.

26-Sep-09, 08:35 AM
The UH-18 IMO is the formula 1 group as a cruiser, in fact as light hovecraft go it's very fast !!!! I've spent a good bit of time following John's UH (obviously:)) and have seen it doing 60 plus mph on Loch Long. It would appear and disspear in an instant and made me feel like I was stopped at my 25mph.
I can only speak as an observer, one time potential builder and from many conversations with John about it and would say it's fairish water craft not suited to rough water despite having the power and an enclosed canopy (if added). It would be unwise to WIG one over heavy chop as loosing your altitude and ending in the water may mean not getting up again. It's got plenty of floatation and can be built to be very reliable, quiet too!!!!
As john mentioned, what do you want it for and where do you wan to use it? If you decide to build one do your research, try to see one in the flesh but be realstic about the project. Take your time with the build and ask for help anytime your not sure, you'll get lots of positive encouragement and good advice from the club.



26-Sep-09, 01:47 PM
As a clarification for where the idea to build comes from, Youtube, it looks great fun. From there it was on to the UH website to then find you guys and your valued opinions as to whether it would be practical for a first timer.

The only time I have seen a recreational Hovercraft was in loch lomond years ago and it was extremely loud and these seemed fairly quiet. with the WIG part being the attraction for this project.

With you guys help in forming a practical progression towards maybe building this machine over the next couple of years. When I'm next around I'll try and see one in the flesh. I live on the West of Scotland and you seem to be around there a few times a year.

If this project starts it wont be until substantially more research.

Thanks again for your time for the feedback, particularly Gaz for the reality check.

26-Sep-09, 02:12 PM

i'm not a fan of the uh craft, not actually flown in one, so its my opinion only, but all the uh craft look like flying surf boards to me.

with regards to the wig, i doubt very much it would be safe to operate if there is 2 or 3ft chop. all the vids i have seen of these things flying would be on still calm waters, with no real control over the wing trailing edge surfaces in side winds it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

there are probably craft which would be better suited to the type of environments you would fly in, like a sevtec for example (not that i am a great fan of these either, would not build one of them again, found it pretty boring to fly around in) but they are stable capable craft in crusing environments, float extremly well, lift a considerable mass and take on rough water with ease. also if built to plan your more likely to get a working craft, even with little experience and patience (cos they come together quickly and your garage suddenly gets small over the course of a month or two of weekends.

if you wana die in a spectacular camble like manor build a wig, if you wana take the mrs on a flight down the lock build a sevtec.

other designs to look at, which all are capable are the asv and the canair (although the thrust reverse system on a canair is a bit crappy in practice)