Title

Hovercraft

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Faculty Mentor Name

Kyle Watson

Abstract/Artist Statement

Traveling in a hovercraft provides a unique means of travel. Advanced hovercraft designs allow the user to traverse from land to water and back. When on land, the hovercraft is able to glide over surface obstacles by using an air cushion for support. The skirt around the perimeter of the hovercraft makes contact, deforms, and passes over obstacles. When a sufficiently even seal is . made underneath the hovercraft there is very little friction due to forward motion. This concept allows a hovercraft weighing hundreds of pounds to be moved with minimal force. Calculations show that the 350 lb hovercraft designed for this project can be moved with as little as 6.llb of force. Unlike automobiles or bikes, which have specific points of contact with the ground, the air cushion underneath the hovercraft allows it to distribute the weight of the hovercraft across its surface area. Since pressure is a function of force over area, the hovercraft is benefited by having a larger surface area, thus decreasing the lift pressure required. For the design constructed in this project the surface area is 32 square feet which results in a required lift pressure of only 11.4 lb/ff. This pressure is lower then the pressure found in a fully inflated car or bike tire and can be accomplished with minimal equipment. In this project the hovercraft is fully supported by the output of only four leaf blowers. Thrust is provided by an industrial fan mounted on the back of the hovercraft.

Location

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Start Date

3-5-2008 2:00 PM

End Date

3-5-2008 3:30 PM

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May 3rd, 2:00 PM May 3rd, 3:30 PM

Hovercraft

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Traveling in a hovercraft provides a unique means of travel. Advanced hovercraft designs allow the user to traverse from land to water and back. When on land, the hovercraft is able to glide over surface obstacles by using an air cushion for support. The skirt around the perimeter of the hovercraft makes contact, deforms, and passes over obstacles. When a sufficiently even seal is . made underneath the hovercraft there is very little friction due to forward motion. This concept allows a hovercraft weighing hundreds of pounds to be moved with minimal force. Calculations show that the 350 lb hovercraft designed for this project can be moved with as little as 6.llb of force. Unlike automobiles or bikes, which have specific points of contact with the ground, the air cushion underneath the hovercraft allows it to distribute the weight of the hovercraft across its surface area. Since pressure is a function of force over area, the hovercraft is benefited by having a larger surface area, thus decreasing the lift pressure required. For the design constructed in this project the surface area is 32 square feet which results in a required lift pressure of only 11.4 lb/ff. This pressure is lower then the pressure found in a fully inflated car or bike tire and can be accomplished with minimal equipment. In this project the hovercraft is fully supported by the output of only four leaf blowers. Thrust is provided by an industrial fan mounted on the back of the hovercraft.