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View Full Version : New here - little question re Hovercraft on grass - Dunsfold Dads day out



andyt
24-May-11, 12:29 PM
Hi,
New to forum and hovercraft. Went to charity event at Dunsfold - Dads Day Out where as well as supercar and caterham 7 rides there were rides on a Flying Fish hovercraft.

I was somewhat suprised how just 2 up (me about 75kg, their pilotabout same.. the craft seemed to have trouble flying over the rough mown grass of the airfield. Grass about 2 - 3 inches high (50-75mm) but the craft would only fly at about walking speed (not the 20mph I was expecting). One patch had been mown a bit lower like a football pitch and there it went better and the pilot span it round etc. One of the chaps there said the quoted speeds of 30+ mph would only be on the tarmac runway!

I know I don't have the details of the model of the craft, other than a flying fish and not a hoverpod as advertised on the DadsDayOut website, but is this typical, such a slowing down with what I would call rough cut grass field. My ignorance but I thought they would go on grass, mud and sea.

One of the people there mentioned the hovercraft.org.uk website by the way.

Thanks..

daly5546
24-May-11, 01:29 PM
Engine Power, craft design, skirt design, splitter plate design/ placement, passenger weight and numerous other factors will affect craft capability as well as terrain.
The craft you went in will probably have 20 to 30 horse power. There are two seater cruising craft with over 100hp.
There are racing hovercraft with a combined horse power of over 200hp.

I run 28hp craft and leave the grass off the track longer to slow the craft down if they are off course. On the course we probably drive at around 30mph even with two up but terrain plays a big part.

Chris

Keith Oakley
24-May-11, 01:32 PM
The Flying Fish craft, like most craft used for corporate work, only has around 30bhp with about 7bhp allocated for lift. On longish grass as you describe the drag is comparatively high and thus speed will be low for all these craft, including the HovPod. Thats why most corporate courses, and all race courses, mow the grass pretty regularly so its football pitch standard. A solution is more power - an F1 racing craft with 150bhp thrust and a separate 25bhp lift engine will thrust its way across most surfaces but its not a craft for novice drivers.

They will go across many surfaces, water, quicksands, ice, cut grass etc but small low powered craft have limitations on things like grass length, wave height and pebble beaches (where air is lost through the pebbles).

Keith

hyde4683/01
25-May-11, 08:28 PM
Just to help, the event at Dunsfold was put on by Hovpod surrey. They operate a Flying Fish as the Hov Pod used too much fuel to be economic, The venue did not cut the grass as asked as, they did not realise the grass length required.
How ever at the hover show last year the Flying fish put on a good display and gave rides all day as the Hov Pod could not move in the same grass so spent the day on the trailer.
I am sorry you were left dissapointed but i am sure if you come and see a race or a cruise you will see a variety of these fantastic machiens perform to a outstanding level of peformance.
I hope this helps.

Al
25-May-11, 08:35 PM
Can watch the racing live on the internet if unable to make it to a meeting

http://raceresults.info/replay/

Jon Pert
25-May-11, 09:01 PM
Here is a vid taken from the Hovershow 2009 with a Fish 2's-up.

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If the grass is cut short enough then no problem!

Here is a bit of action to whet your appetite for a race meeting. F1 guys running 150-190bhp, 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.

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andyt
30-May-11, 11:48 AM
Just to help, the event at Dunsfold was put on by Hovpod surrey. They operate a Flying Fish as the Hov Pod used too much fuel to be economic, The venue did not cut the grass as asked as, they did not realise the grass length required.
How ever at the hover show last year the Flying fish put on a good display and gave rides all day as the Hov Pod could not move in the same grass so spent the day on the trailer.
I am sorry you were left dissapointed but i am sure if you come and see a race or a cruise you will see a variety of these fantastic machiens perform to a outstanding level of peformance.
I hope this helps.

Don't get me wrong - it was all for charity and I don't regret it. The couple running the event were most friendly and did tell me the grass had not been cut as low as they had requested. Its just it was not like the video clips of such craft as flying fish (or hoverpod) that I had previously found on youtube. I was trying to compare like with like and looking at ready made touring craft with B&S engines which are available to buy and not racing craft with motorbike engines. Maybe my expectations were too high.

I did mention to them that I had expected it to have gone faster - as per the flying fish website - and was told that it would only do that if they were working on the tarmac runway at Dunsfold. Since been informed doing that would soon wear out the skirt.

Finally I noticed that on the ride soon after mine with two small children on board the craft got stuck on the long grass and had to be rocked side to side to keep moving. Then not more than an hour after my ride the craft was no longer giving rides and appeared to be packed back up on its trailer behind the land rover. They were not scheduled to stop that soon so maybe the craft did break down and had not been performing up to spec during my ride earlier.

Okay - will not make up my mind on the flying fish from that experiance, but at the moment my money would go for a rib.

Thanks for the comments - and yes I am planning to go and see the race near Southampton at the end of August.

andyt
30-May-11, 12:01 PM
Thanks for the vid of the hovershow. Is that the one held down at Gosport at the museum?