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Geeking it out!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not a lot to do with bikes except you sort of lean to steer, powered by a rattly 2 stroke twin and are LOADS of fun!



But I went hovercrafting on Sunday. Around 18 months ago I got bought a voucher to go learn to fly / drive one for my birthday.Due to bad weather then a bad back I didn't get a chance take it up until this Sunday.

The machine was powered by a twin cylinder Rotax two stoke as used in microlights, it sounded just like an old Yamaha RD350 on the verge of seizing! It was a formula 2 craft which was capable of 70mph, not that we got anywhere near that.

To steer, as well as pointing the handlebars in the desired direction you have to lean hard over and sort of drift around, the big no no is never release the throttle when drifting as the hovercraft can come down off the hover while travelling sideways and roll over. If you are going too fast in the bend, lean and steer more and maybe give it MORE power, a bit counter intuitive to start with.
There is a slight lag in the system, so too pull away you give it some throttle, (controlled via what would be the front brake lever on a bike!) then once the craft is up on the cushion reduce the throttle or else you will zoom off. And again when coming to a halt you must reduce the throttle slowly, as when you first reduce the power the craft still keeps hovering so instinctively you would want to reduce the gas more, however then all you lift would go and the craft land with a thump and stop moving forwards, except the non fasten down items on the craft.....you the pilot
We didn't do any fast driving but most of the afternoon was spent on low speed manoeuvres, like slalom, spinning the craft around 180 degrees, a bit like a handbrake turn and low speed doughnuts.
There were 8 of us taking part and we all got three goes each throughout the afternoon, which doesn't sound a lot but was fine. Initially I thought it would be a difficult vehicle to get the hang of but we all found it quite intuitive to get a feel for the basics, and within next to no time found even subcouniously knowing when to lean, when to counter steer and when to gas it.

I took this at Fantastic-Days based near Thetford, it's called "An introduction to Hovercrafting" it's not currently listed on their webpage but will be soon. It was a great informal afternoon out with as much tea coffee etc and loads of Danish Pastries too..Mmm

I will be going hovercrafting again.

I've uploaded a bit onto youtube, lest see if this works-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgz5jgFOwpU
 

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A man without Ale.
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2,666 Posts
i have some plans for a hovercraft (some where) if you want a copy i'll try and find em for you..
 

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Geeking it out!
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1,061 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
i have some plans for a hovercraft (some where) if you want a copy i'll try and find em for you..
Thanks very much for the offer Xander, I've got a couple of sets of plans for different types here already. I'm really tempted to build one, however I'm negotiating the selling of my wife rarely used VW beetle so we have more room in the garage, (for working on motorbikes :thumb:) I'm not sure how well it would go down if I then filled that space with a hovercraft:rolleyes:
 

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Ninja Thread Hijacker
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2,978 Posts
Russh,
They are just great fun , I had a go in a Griffon a few years back on the sea/beach , bloody marvelous!!, I almost bought one.

When your on the sea your brain does "boat" and when your on the beach your brain does "bike" . When you first drive full pelt from the sea on to the beach , your brain just does not know what to do and your arsehole goes into spasm !!! Only to have a smooth as you like "gently bently" transition from sea to land , but too late to save your kecks !!!
 
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