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HoverCraft desgin help


Old 02-20-2012, 02:38 AM
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Default HoverCraft desgin help

I have to build a hovercraft for a school project and I was wondering If I could get some help from some of the pros

My team's hovercraft must travel 30 meters in a straight line as fast as possible without any RC input as in it's autonomous once we turn it on it's on it's own. And it's size is like the size of a standard sheet of paper perhaps slightly bigger if needed. (The surface will be tile)

We've looked into some design features that we'd like to include but don't know if they're actually practical so any advice is really appreciated!

First because the hovercraft is autonomous we think the biggest issue is going to be steering so we thought that we may be able to use a gyro that would either rotate the propulsion fan to adjust or rudders behind the propulsion fan thus keeping our craft on course. It seems ideal but we have no idea if this is actually possible how easy it is what we need, if it's practical but we feel it's probably the best solution so answers to any of these question would be helpful:

-Is it possible? even if our craft is autonomous?
-What do we need? (gyro, servo, battery?)
-Do we have to program the gyro?
-If everything does work is it more efficient to move the whole fan or just the rudders?

We read somewhere that centrifugal fans are better for the lift fan? Is this true? if not what type of fan is best? and if it is is there anything we should be cautious about. Also what is the best placement on the hull of the craft for the lift fan?

Lastely I've read about hovercrafts ducting air from their propulsion fans, air to lift the hovercraft but I've read this is very hard to find the appropriate balance of air to duct from the propulsion fan is this also true for model hovercrafts?

Thanks for everyones help in advance, our hovercraft is basically in a 30m race so any other tips to make it faster and or more efficient or any rookie mistakes i should avoid are greatly appreciated!

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