30 January, 2012

How does a hovercraft work?

Although often seen as a mysterious, even bizarre mode of transportation, it is conceptually quite simple. To understand how hovercraft work, it is necessary to realize that the dynamics are more closely related to aircraft than to boats or automobiles. 

As a member of the family of air cushion vehicles (ACVs) or ground effect machines, which includes wing-in-ground-effect or ram wings, surface effect ships, sidewall hovercraft, and surface skimmers, hovercraft, are the amphibious member of the air cushion vehicle family. They are the most novel among vehicles that are supported by pressurized air …

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16 January, 2012

History of the Hovercraft

A hovercraft is a flying machine, a type of air cushion vehicle. When it comes to flying machines, ideas easily date back to ancient Greece. This is not the case with air cushion vehicles.

The first recorded design for such a vehicle was in 1716 by Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish designer, philosopher and theologian. Swedenborg's design appeared in the fourth edition of Sweden's first scientific journal, Daedulus Hyperboreus, and is the first detailed technical description of a flying machine of any type.

Swedenborg's man-powered air cushion platform, basically a circular aircraft, resembled an upside-down boat with a cockpit in the center or a "flying saucer." His manually-operated device required the would-be pilot to use oar-like scoops to push air under the vehicle on each downward stroke in order to raise the hull out of the water. A working model of the design was never built, because Swedenborg soon realized that a human could not sustain the energy needed to power the oars. His concept required a source of energy far greater than any available at that time.

As with many other forms of transportation, significant progress had to wait until a lightweight motor was developed in the nineteenth century …

Read the full History of the Hovercraft, from 1700 to the present day …

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03 January, 2012

Exactly what is a hovercraft?

A hovercraft is one of the children of the air cushion vehicle (ACV) family that flies above the earth's surface on a cushion of air. It is powered by an engine that provides both the lift cushion and the thrust for forward or reverse movement. The hovercraft child is a true multi-terrain, year-round vehicle that can easily make the transition from land to water because it slides on a cushion [bubble] of air with the hovercraft skirt slightly brushing the surface.

To learn more about hovercraft, read Hovercraft Q&A …

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