about the team

 

I first got into Hovercraft Racing in 2002 after stumbling on the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain’s site. I saw my first race and was hooked- and after realizing how accessible it was and how friendly the hovercraft crowd was I got the ‘bug’.

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.

 

Newest craft at the top:

 

2010 World Champs

-->About_img_08 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 advanced thrust duct design.


For the 2010 world championships we are interested in entering the craft in the Junior category depending on the rules to be decided.



 

Craft 09

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 tuned engine and transmission!

 

Craft 08

About_img_08
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 hascon
Thrust fan: 900mm diameter three bladed hascon
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 .