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Thread: Can I power a Hovercraft with a lawnmower engine?

  1. #1
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    Default Can I power a Hovercraft with a lawnmower engine?

    Hi,
    I was wondering if someone would be able to tell me whether I could use a lawnmower engine as a lift fan on a homemade hovercraft and also where a good place to source a fan cheaply is.

  2. #2
    Very active > 100 posts Scrutineer
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    Default Re: Can I power a Hovercraft with a lawnmower engine?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeot View Post
    Hi,
    I was wondering if someone would be able to tell me whether I could use a lawnmower engine as a lift fan on a homemade hovercraft and also where a good place to source a fan cheaply is.

    hi
    some do use lawn mower engines for lift, a little bit more detail will be needed before any usefull advice can be given,i.e what size and weight is the craft,what do you intend on using it for?

    john

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    Default Re: Can I power a Hovercraft with a lawnmower engine?

    Hi John,
    I'm intending to build it from plywood, I'm not sure about the weight but I'm hoping to keep it under 200kg. I was just hoping to build it to try my hand and hopefully learn a bit about building them, I'll make improvements on the Mk2! I'm hoping to build it quite cheaply really that's why I wanted to use the lawnmower engine, it was being chucked out by my dad. I was also hoping to use finger skirts but I heard these need a more powerful engine. I was hoping to make it no bigger than 2440 x 1220mm so I can easily make it out of sheets of ply without too many joins.

    Mike

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    Very active > 100 posts Scrutineer
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    Default Re: Can I power a Hovercraft with a lawnmower engine?

    Mike
    Have a Search of this forum for previous threads giving very good advice on taking on a project of this sort. There are a few members who have gone down this route. And I am sure one of them will be along shortly with some advice.
    Where aboutís are you?
    john

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    Default Re: Can I power a Hovercraft with a lawnmower engine?

    I have had a Vortex Evo with a 5.5 hp Briggs for lift and it did the job very well. At the moment, I am close to finishing a UH13 and it has a 6.75 hp Brigggs for lift. You can also use a lawnmower engine for thrust. The Evo had a 22hp Briggs and the UH has a 25 hp Tecumseh. The small Sevtec Scout will opperate with an 18-22 hp providing both lift and thrust. Good luck with the build.
    SlŠn,
    David.

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    Default Re: Can I power a Hovercraft with a lawnmower engine?

    It will need to be be bigger than a single sheet of ply (2.4m*1.2m) though. Thats a lift area of 8*4ft = 32 sq ft. Using the rule of thumb of 10lbs lifted by each square foot thats a total all up weight of 320lbs including driver. It probably needs to be a minimum of 10ft by 6 =60 sq ft and thus an all up weight of 600lbs.

    You can still do it with 8*4 sheets of no more than 5mm thick ply (preferably 3-4mm). With sloping planing surfaces underneath most pieces will come out of a single sheet of ply. Joint them by drilling adjoining holes in both panels then use a loop of wire through the holes like a wire bound book. When its all in position apply a 50mm strip of glass cloth in grp resin on both sides.

    As an alternative you could build a hovering wheel barrow project with a single 3.5-5bhp lawn mower engine 8*4ft and no thrust. It will lift a large child or similar payload and you can push it round the lawn. Graham Nutt even used one to move house!

    You can find a useful 'Guide to Hovercraft Design Principles ' on this site - click on Forum above, then 'Free Downloads, Suppliers, & Links'. At least 2 of the companies listed here (Vortex & K&M) will sell you a fan and the hub adapter you need to fit it to the engine.

    Good luck
    Keith

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