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Help I'm new here!

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Try to keep in mind a lot of the most frequent posters (and the most angry posters) are kids who have never tried anything not involving a video game controller.

My first hovercraft was made before contacting anyone who already knew something.  The skirt wasn't excellent, but it was enough to pick up a 4x8 plywood hover with me on it, using 2 shop vacs.  I could push myself across the garage floor, which was really all I was hoping for.

As well, while I used the Universal Hovercraft plans, I have carved my own props on multiple occasions.  Lots of people in the hoverclub have.

I might also speculate that just about every individual who experimented with non-military aircraft before 1940 probably carved their own props, quite possibly without any outside input.

Hopefully you've had some better input with real hover people by now, good luck and have fun.

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Hi Jimbo, always nice to learn of a new club member.  Glad you jumped right in and that you are using the Forum. 


I started building my first hovercraft in 1994 and had it operational in nine months.  I had never seen a hovercraft, knew no one who had one, nor did I have the Internet at my disposal.  This is just to say, sure you can build a hovercraft!  But I do want to add some to this statement.  I bought a set of Universal Plans which helped me get off to a good start.  There is no reason for you to re-invent the wheel.  I say this not to discourage you but to encourage you do just what you seem to be doing and that is to reach out to others.  I think that building your first craft from a set of proven plans will do this for you:  It will help you learn the basics and if you choose a small, simple design, you can build it faster and get it operational sooner so that you can enjoy the sport.  Then after you do this you will be better equipped to design and build your own craft.  It is sad to see folks who venture out on their own, spend a lot of time and money building something that is doomed from the start and then give up never to enjoy a hovercraft and learn what a great and unique this sport is.  I have seen it happen too many times.


I certainly hope you are at the Chilson Pond event as I write as this is where you will learn a good bit in a short period of time and perhaps most importantly, make some great new friends.  I have found that after fooling with hovers 18 years, the fine friends I have made are more important to me than the hovercraft.


Now to lightly touch on tech stuff a bit.  In making my first skirt bag for my original hovercraft, I literally made a mountain out of a mole hill.  I must have worked on this item at least four weeks, paid $100 to rent a commercial sewing machine, etc.  Now I could make one in an evening if I put my mind to it.  For a bag skirt, most of us use tarp/awning material, vinyl coated nylon or polyester of about 16 to 18 oz and BOND the seams with an adhesive called HH66.  The seams turn out stronger than the material itself.  No sewing!!!


Another mistake I made was under powering my craft.  Still another was trying to make it look "pretty" and not spending enough time on making it "go".  But, I truly enjoyed the experience and it was a great education.  Overall, it turned out not to be a failure though.  I did win the Quality Construction Award with it at the 1997 National Hoverally and after I replaced the 10 HP thrust engine with a 30+ HP Kawasaki engine, it would run 45 MPH half the time.  Half the time because that is all the two cycle engine would run.  Trouble was, I never knew which half it was gonna' run!


Start planning now to attend the National Hoverally in Piqua, won't regret attending this event.  Cheers,

Harold Carter #4897

Snellville, GA (Atlanta suburb)


I already have  a campsite reserved...but at the race location, since I wasn't 100% sure where everyone camped "Last Year".  I figured you guys could be my alarm clock!  We'll be in tents, but we might come invade your campsite Saturday evening, if someone invites us.  (I have loaded a goodly amount of Oak and Hickory firewood that's been drying for 5 years, and I'd be happy to add it to someone else's campfire.

My 16 year old son will be with me, and my father (in his 70's,) who lives near Pinckney will also be there, at least for part of Saturday.

This is probably the last time I will check the boards before Sunday night, but I'll be looking for you guys at the event.

I am very interested in sewing my own skirt.  I won't have a plenum, but I have a crazy idea about how to make a skirt that is it's own plenum.  I'll be sharing those kinds of ideas, when I get the opportunity to make a half-way coherent post about it.  Right now, it's just a half-formed image in my mind's eye.

I always appreciate constructive criticism, and the opportunity to pick the brains of those already experienced.

I'll be wearing a green camo water bladder backpack.  I'd love to meet you folks in person, so feel free to pull me aside, and introduce yourself

See you at the races!!

~ Jimbo
Welcome to the club.  I don't know what you have planned but it is nice to see new designs from time to time.  A lot of us make our own skirts, build our own craft, and carve are own prop.  I hope it wasn't one of our members that said that.  There are plenty of us that
are willing to share our wisdom.  There are a lot of people in the club that know a lot more then me.  Feel free to share your ideas and we will be willing to share what we have done that is similar and if it worked or not. 
Josh Speer
Terre Haute, Indiana
UH-17 T Hovercraft
Hi Jim,

Hopefully you're free this weekend because there's a race only about a half hour away from you at Chilson Pond in the Brighton State Recreation Area! The best research is the kind that you can direclty look at & touch and this would be a great time to see how it's done.  I'll be there, so will a lot of others that frequent this forum.  Hope to see you there!  Here's the link to the details:

All that aside, welcome to the group. Feel free to tell us what you're doing and I'm sure people will chime in.  The club has a lot of great and helpful people that have a wide range of experience.  We'll be happy to help if you're willing to listen.

Once again, welcome to the club and hope to see you this weekend.  I'll most likely be wearing a bright green race official tshirt.

Marquis Songer
HCA #5480
Terre Haute, IN
Hi there,

Just joined.

I have been designing a 4 x 10 starter craft from scratch.  I started with ZERO knowledge, and have been educating myself, via internet searches.  from that, I have been piecing together a plan.

I have also been spending time on a propellers group on Yahoo!

A few days ago, I received a "hostile" email from someone, who claims:

  • there's no way I will ever lift/thrust my craft with the engines I already own
  • there's no way I will ever be able to make my own hover skirt
  • and there's no way in eh-um "Hell" I will ever be able to carve my own prop

You might guess that I am just a bit insulted... 

Anyway, here I am, with an open mind, ready to learn, and exchange ideas.

I'll open a thread to discuss what I have designed, so there's no need to discuss those details here.

On the other hand, feel free to say "HI"! 

~ Jimbo
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