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Thread: Help with inflatable hovercraft

  1. #1
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    Default Help with inflatable hovercraft

    Hi,



    I have inherited an inflatable hovercraft.



    Well, there are glass fibre bits that sit in an inflatable dinghy.



    Can anyone tell me more about it. It needs a lot of work, just wondered if it would be worth it or if it was one of those "good idea at the time" things,



    Very best wishes,



    Colin





    [img]index.php?t=getfile&id=870&private=0[/img]
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    Default Re: Help with inflatable hovercraft

    Do the boat tubes inflate from the fan, or do you have to do those by hand? It could be quite a neat idea really. Does the engine start? Looks funky!

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    Default Re: Help with inflatable hovercraft

    Hi,



    looks a bit dodgy if it inflates the 'boat' from the engine...



    if the engine stops the whole lot goes to the bottom of the lake!



    It must be a modified 'standard' inflatable, pumped up before use...surely?



    Regards

    Peter

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    Default Re: Help with inflatable hovercraft

    I have seen that model in old hovercraft books and in Janes Surface Skimmers. I don't know anything about the performance but I like the concept. As I understand it you inflate the raft part and seal it up. The fan provides thrust and ducts about 1/3 of it below for lift. The air escapes underneath the rubber raft with what I assume is a 1/2" air gap. You will not be going over any obstacles larger than a pebble but you will not sink when the engine goes out either.



    Please restore it and tell us all about it.



    FYI-1: There is at least one Russian hovercraft maker using that concept today. It's about twice as large and even has inflatable seats. However I think it attaches a bag skirt to the RIB/inflable part.



    FYI-2: Slider Hovercraft use an inflatable section but have a complex air supply trunk system underneath which feeds some tiny fingers at the bottom edge of the inflatable. http://www.hovercraftsales.com/




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    Default Re: Help with inflatable hovercraft

    It looks a bit like a Pindair Skima 4 - they have an inflatable perimeter tube like a RIB, with (I think) a loop and finger skirt. The hovercraft museum has a number of these in working order. In it's day a very capable and robust design, ideal for beginners because it doesn't break when you hit something.



    Kevin

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    Default Re: Help with inflatable hovercraft

    Looks like an early Pindair craft - possibly a Skima 1 or 2 judging by its size - roughly 10ft long? They dated from the early '70s. Is it integrated - ie does it have a splitter plate behind the fan to duct some air into the skirt? If so it could be a Skima 1 and these are quite rare I suspect... To my knowledge all of the Skimas used a standard loop and segment skirt. The Skima 2 had a seperate lift engine at the bow - as in this pic:







    The idea of using inflatable elements within a hull structure is still in use today. Griffons 470TD which are in operation with the RNLI have inflatable sponsons - as did the 2000s which operated in the Iraq war. Air Vehicles Tiger 12 has them too. If partitions are incorporated they provide a safe and expansive amount of buoyancy as well as a light structure.



    Looks like a great project! Mike Pinder the guy behind Pindair is still around (wonder if he reads this forum?) He'd be able to confirm / advise for sure!



    There's a great Dr. Who video on Youtube somewhere featuring a Skima 2 (I think?) in which The Doctor flys over some unsuspecting body at one point - which as it happens was one of Pindairs sales gimmicks!



    Chris.

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    Default Re: Help with inflatable hovercraft

    Looks more like a homebrew copy of a Skima rather than any of the originals right back to mk1 - Pincushion. I'll try to get brother Barry to take a look - he actually built most of them.

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    Default Re: Help with inflatable hovercraft

    Chris, How is your Mustang coming along? It looks like a very interesting craft!

    Jonathan

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