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Hovercraft Lift Fan / VTOL?

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Hovercraft Lift Fan / VTOL?

Old 03-14-2004, 03:03 PM
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jmorei
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Default Hovercraft Lift Fan / VTOL?

Does anyone have any idea where one might get a small centrifugal fan, mixed-flow fan, or any other type of multi-vane fan for a model hovercraft? Even if it means ripping it off some other appliance. We just don't know where to look. A group of us are making a hovercraft for a class project, but we don't want to use a propeller for lift. It's just a personal choice. The craft will measure between a 12in. and 18in. diameter and have a weight of 2.5 to 5lbs. Our current calculations tell us that we need 172 cfm of air movement. It may be more or less in our final design.

Also, has anyone ever tried making a hovercraft without a skirt so that, essentially, you have a VTOL with a small hover? What are the benefits/disadvantages of doing that?

Thanks. Any help, ideas, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-jmorei
Old 03-14-2004, 05:13 PM
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tegwin
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Default RE: Hovercraft Lift Fan / VTOL?

The fisrt hovercrafts did not have skirts, it was very hard to maintain a hover because the air cusion escapes. Also you can not go over any obsticles and you would require a huge amount of force to hover.

Even if you were to create a hover, the craft would not be easy to controll because of the "bubble" effect on the craft; the craft would tend to try and slide of the bubble.


It would be possible to do what you are sergesting if you had a very light craft, you could use a gyro to allow the craft to hobver. But to be honest you would be better creating a new skirt desighn.


Regarding the fan, why dont you try the fan from a "flymower", they are suitable, or build your own fan, centrifugal fans are simple to build, relativley
Old 03-15-2004, 01:05 PM
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jamesr-RCU
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Default RE: Hovercraft Lift Fan / VTOL?

I found a couple of centrifugal fans , (squirrel cage ) in a broken hand vacuumn cleaner, now lifting a scale Vosper Marine HM218 sidewall hovercraft. Other sources are hand hair driers etc. Pity you will not consider propeller my best hovercraft used a Graupner 6 x 3 in 4 blade aircraft prop in a short 1 1/2 in tube. Make the tube out of 1/64 ply rolled and fitted to give minimum clearance around prop. Actually made tube slighlty underside and trimed prop by spinning on motor against abrasive sand paper until it fitted.
Old 03-15-2004, 09:20 PM
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jmorei
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Default RE: Hovercraft Lift Fan / VTOL?

Thanks for the tips guys! I'll definitely look into your suggestions.

-jmorei

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