Here, you can see the new TRAILER starting to take shape on top of
an 800-Lb ($400) boat trailer. When finished, the plan is to have a
ramp which can be attached to the front OR rear allowing us to fly on
-- AND OFF -- the trailer. (There's no reverse on this thing!)
The only technical glitch we've had so
far was the loss of a propeller drive belt.
Probably, it wasn't tightened enough, in
any case, the return side of the belt
started vibrating and it got sucked into
the prop -- which very effectively and
cleanly chopped it off! Fortunately, no
other damage occured. A new belt was
purchased (for a mere $49.95 at NAPA)
and we added another shim in front of
the prop to allow more belt/prop
separation. We also made a belt guide
(from 1-1/4" PVC) for the slack side of
the belt to prevent this from happening
again -- in case the belt starts to stretch
and loosen. (I gather this is pretty
This is the maiden flight of the Mean Green Machine. In the background is our camp "Goose
Bump" and to the left you can see the garage where the hovercraft was built. By far the biggest
challenge was getting the machine down the driveway, across the road, through the trees and rocks
and out onto the ice. We quickly figured out that going downhill backwards was the only way to go
-- but this was certainly NOT the ideal way for us first-timers to learn to fly one of these things!
Fortunately we made it -- with only one small dent in the side. But once out on the ice, IT WAS A
GAS!. Using a hand-held GPS, we clocked the sucker at 48.2 mph going across the frozen lake.
And that was with a WOT engine speed of only 3150 RPM. I suspect the engine speed is being
limited by the (overly complicated, built-in, lawn tractor) governor. Once we figure out how to
adjust that darned thing, we may get even higher speeds.
I've flown a bunch of planes, but never anything that would make a complete 360 in less than two
seconds and then continue on its way straight ahead. This is definitely a FUN machine!
It's pretty clear that we're not going to be flying back and forth from the garage too often. We
definitely need a TRAILER. So that's become the current project -- see below.
Thrust test... With ropes tied to the car, we run up to WOT. This is
when we broke a drive belt. Better here than in the middle of the lake!
starts to take
Feel free to contact me if
you have questions or
would like more detailed
photos -- I've got a bunch
Also, feedback from
other hovernaut buiilders
and flyers is appreciated.