A Hovercraft is a vehicle that flies like a plane but can float like a boat, can drive like a car but will traverse ditches and gullies as it is a flat terrain.
A Hovercraft also sometimes called an air cushion vehicle because it can hover over or move across land or water surfaces while being held off from the surfaces by a cushion of air.
A Hovercraft can travel over all types of surfaces including grass, mud, muskeg, sand, quicksand, water and ice .
Hovercraft prefer gentle terrain although they are capable of climbing slopes up to 20%, depending upon surface characteristics.
Modern Hovercrafts are used for many applications where people and equipment need to travel at speed over water but be able load and unload on land. For example they are used as passenger or freight carriers, as recreational machines and even use as warships.
Hovercrafts are very exciting to fly and feeling of effortlessly traveling from land to water and back again is unique.
Principle Of Working
The principle of working of a Hovercraft is to lift the craft by a cushion of air to propel it using propellers. The idea of supporting the vehicle on a cushion of air developed from the idea to increase the speed of boat by feeding air beneath them. The air beneath the hull would lubricate the surface and reduce the water drag on boat and so increasing its speed through water.
The air sucked in through a port by large lifting fans which are fitted to the primary structure of the craft. They are powered by gas turbine or diesel engine. The air is pushed to the under side of the craft. On the way apportion of air from the lift fan is used to inflate the skirt and rest is ducted down under the craft to fill area enclosed by the skirt.
At the point when the pressure equals the weight of the craft, the craft lifts up and air is escaped around the edges of the skirt. So a constant feed of air is needed to lift the craft and compensate for the losses.
Thus craft is lifted up. After the propulsion is provided by the propellers mounted on the Hovercraft. The airs from the propellers are passed over rudders, which are used to steer the craft similar to an aircraft. Hovercraft is thus propelled and controlled and its powerful engine makes it to fly.