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Thread: College hovercraft race team...

  1. #1
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    Default College hovercraft race team...

    I am thinking about putting together an apprentice race team to race in either F25 or F35 at the company where I now work/learn.



    It would be mainly an engineering project with the bonus of being able to race at the end of the day.



    I guess the hardest part is to get a decent hull...I wouldnt mind laying up a fibreglass hull..(would make a change to the plywood cruiser..)



    Is there anyone who has been in my situation who now has a plug for a hull and would consider loaning it out?



    Any advice would be greatly recieved..



    Thanks.

    Dunc

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    Default Re: College hovercraft race team...

    you dont need a plug if you build it out of foam core composite!

    some thing a bit different too! you will be learning about thin wall sections i expect soon!




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    Default Re: College hovercraft race team...

    Hmmm...now thats something I didnt think about.... I think I need to perfect my vac-bagging technique first!



    I wonder if Pauls venom-scorpion design could be fiddled with to allow foam compostites to be used.....hmmm



    Dunc

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    Default Re: College hovercraft race team...

    I reckon foam core composite could be used to produce a craft of very competitive weight, no vac bagging needed... you would be amazed how fast a hull can b put together... I can help with data for the design, eg what core/cloth weights to use.



    Ian

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    Default Re: College hovercraft race team...

    Hi Ian.



    How do most people build up foam hulls then? Is it a case of making all of the pannels, laminating them and then sticking them togehter or do you make the strucuture out of foam and then cover the entire structure with resin and matting?



    From experience making my engine cover out of foam it was really hard to get a decent finish with no bubbles and the corners and edges of pannels are minging...how do you resolve this?



    Dunc

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    Default Re: College hovercraft race team...

    <table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText">Quote:</td></tr><tr><td class="quote">
    How do most people build up foam hulls then? Is it a case of making all of the pannels, laminating them and then sticking them together
    </td></tr></table>



    I don't know about most people but the hulls I've made are just pre-laminated panels filled and taped at the seams.



    <table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText">Quote:</td></tr><tr><td class="quote">
    From experience making my engine cover out of foam it was really hard to get a decent finish with no bubbles and the corners and edges of panels are minging...how do you resolve this?
    </td></tr></table>



    Easily - just lower your standards a bit Seriously though, with a bit of practice it's not difficult to get a reasonable finish. The finish will be 'textured' rather than glossy smooth unless you use spray on gel coat or filler to smooth the weave. If it's a racing craft then low weight should be the main objective - filler, etc just adds weight without any other benefit.



    The laminated panels can be made by hand without vaccum bagging with very little resin - only enough to saturate the woven glass. As an example the hull of the Scout I made (5.5ft x 11ft) weighs 38Kg, The Prospector (18ft x 8ft) is 153Kg. Because the panels are very stiff the hull doesn't need internal support structure - it's quite surprising how an open box structure can be so stiff.


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    Default Re: College hovercraft race team...

    its also possible to get a pretty good finish, by laying surface tissue, on the cloth, giving this a sand and painting with thinned out a little flow coat.



    its also possible to build in the layout all the foam and glass, technique. you can build a simple wooden structure out of c**ppy cheap hardboard or something, to support shapes and large items and glass in one.

    very much like how you would set about building a composite wing for instance!

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    Default Re: College hovercraft race team...

    It deffinately sounds a lot better than trying to mould a fibreglass hull...Means there is more actual thoght and design process which needs to go into the hull...



    Which brings me onto the next question, is there enough info in the constructors guide to allow a decent hovercraft to be built out of foam and to be competative? I have been a member for 3 years and still havnt bought the construcotrs quide...



    Dunc

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