About Pete & Cam Racing

Here's some info about me and my experience racing hovercraft.

I first got into Hovercraft Racing in 2002. I saw my first race and was hooked- and after realising how accessible it was and how friendly the hovercraft crowd was I got the ‘bug’.

When I started out I was a kid into RC models, and now thanks mostly to hovercraft racing, I am an aerospace engineer and have worked on a range cool stuff from racing cars to rocket engines.

For me half the fun is in the designing and building as well as the racing. Since hovercraft racing is a developing sport there is always the chance that a new design could make the winning craft compared to a sport like karting, where there are very strict rules and little room for innovation.

Most recent craft at the top:

2017 Season

For my second F2, i will be building a Eurocraft with RLG innovations, using the same engine but with improved running gear.

2016 Pink Raptor for Team Airbags

Over Christmas 2015 I helped with the build of this Raptor, which won races in its first season. See the team website for Team Airbags‘ progress!

2015 to 2016 World Champs: 140hp F2 GSXR

This beast is my first try in the higher power classes, it is an F2 inspired by those raced by Tony G. Not my own hull, but instead one which is actually designed for it: the 2013 Pintail by Dan Newton. The craft was developed over 2015 season, eventually getting quick at the end of the season. Initially it was raced with a standard engine, upgraded to a tuned racing motor for 2016. In UK national racing it was on course to take 2nd overall for the season, until the big crash in the world champs!

Hull: 2013 Pintail, infused foam-epoxy-glass with carbon and kevlar reinforcements, structural carbon fan frame/ stators

Fans/Engine: 2007 Suzuki GSXR 750 powering 1100mm thrust fan, 560mm lift fan (belt driven)

2013 season: 503 Peril

Started in June 2012 with my team mate Toby (official owner), this is a single fan version of my hull design with a 50hp microlight engine. The craft was completed in time for the first event of 2013. This is a simple and hopefully reliable craft that can still put a smile on your face! Its my first full epoxy vacuum bagged hull and has a nacho plate where the lift fan should be.

Hull: Integrated Peril, glass-foam-epoxy with carbon fibre reinforcement

Weight: 120kg with fuel

Fan/Engine: 940mm Hasconwing 6 bladed powered by Rotax 503 500cc air cooled 2-stroke (50hp, 50Nm)

2010 World Champs: Orange Peril

A new craft is being built to compete in the 2010 world championships which will be held in the UK in summer 2010. Have a look at the New Craft Build page. The new craft will be a development of the 2008 craft using different materials and an advanced thrust duct design. Once again it will be powered by a massively modified TZR 250 bike engine which is great to work with, probably the last craft i build with this engine though…

Hull: 3rd Peril off the mould, made from kevlar with PU foam core

Fan/engine: TZR250 powering 940mm fan, structural carbon-epoxy duct and fan frame

Craft 09: Yellow Peril V1.1

This season the improved yellow craft was raced in the UK championship and came a respectable 3rd place overall with many race wins towards the end of the season. Out of the 28 races entered the craft scored points in every single one which is a testament to the reliability of the design!

Craft 08: Yellow Peril     see the old website for build diary

The new craft for 2008 was the result of 3 years design and build. It is designed purely for the high-pressure bag skirt system and for this reason is built in a different way to most other racing craft. For this reason the strength of the hull comes mainly from the foam cored members rather than the air-feed ducting in a conventional finger-skirt craft.

The craft is built to compete in Formula 3 racing (upto 250cc 2-stroke) and will be powered by the Yamaha TZR 250 engine. The hull is also designed to race in F2 as well. See specs below:

Hull: foam cored composite

Skirt: high pressure bag skirt with contact strip

Engine: Yamaha TZR 250 –around 45hp

Lift fan: shaft driven 500mm diameter hasconwing

Thrust fan: 920mm diameter three bladed hasconwing

Steering: Handlebars controlling single rudder

Initial ideas started before I had finished the tank (see below) and I started construction in early 2007. Before I left school in 2007 all of the transmission components had been fabricated- there I had access to the lathes/milling machines etc that were needed. The first hull, plug and mould was constructed at Marine Concepts workshop and the craft was assembled at the hovercraft museum.

‘The Tank’

The tank_img
My first attempt at a ‘racing’ hovercraft it was pretty sturdy but it could be said it lacked speed… It was finished in Summer 2005 at a race meeting after a two year build, and one year of ideas before that.

Although the craft was slow it taught me the basics of driving a hovercraft and got me through my 15 novice races (although probably started nearly 25 races). The craft less engine is now sitting in a field

The design was a cross between the simple cyclone in the constructors guide (available from the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain) with a rounded front similar to the Eagle 1 (K & M Products). See specs below:

Hull: Plywood monocoque over frame construction strengthened with fiberglass and incorporating polystyrene buoyancy. The duct was my first attempt at a fiberglass part and even though the mould had to be destroyed to get it off it is still solid as a rock.

Engineering: Powered by the popular Yamaha TZR 250 engine giving around 45hp. Eventually the gearbox and any other non-essential parts were hacked off to save weight (drive is taken straight off the crank). The transmission was through a rubber coupling via toothed belt on H type timing pulleys. This drove an 821mm diameter MultiWing fan at around 3300rpm at full speed. Everything was held in place by a substantial steel frame welded together with 1” box section.

Steering’: Was provided by twin aluminium airfoil rudders controlled by handlebars through a morse cable.

To find out more about starting out in hovercraft racing and more info on the design and build of the tank see my article which I wrote for the HCGB magazine in Jan 2006 .