Specifications

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Summary

Our Velocity and Hoverflight hovercraft are designed to be mass produced, priced to be competitive with a similar sized boat, offer generous cabin area with 300 degree visibility, low sound levels, can operate in sea states up to force six, in white water conditions, over surf, or amongst reefs with cruise speeds up to 40 knots Departures with full load are normaly from deep water, unlike most other hovercraft.

The Hoverflight Hovercraft with wings are in fact ground-effect machines that cruise at 70 Knots 1 to 5 metres above the ocean providing high speed ocean transport over smooth or rough seas. The wings can be removed for normal hovercraft operations as determined by mission requirements. This craft can take off and land in open ocean in force 6 sea states and in water depths of 3mm or more over reefs or mud flats. 

Passengers

Passengers experience unrivalled stability at sea with air cushioned comfort not found on conventional craft, while those travelling in the Hoverflight models feel little or no experience of movement, with the hull and passengers remaining horizontal in all stages of flight. All our craft have all modern comforts including climate control air conditioning, DVD entertainment, full chefs galley and bathroom facilities.

Passengers also have the option to stroll around the deck while the craft is under way, but as in aircraft it is safest to remain in seated during normal operations.

Propulsion

These slow propeller tip speeds create such low sound levels that passengers are able to have normal conversations within 1/2 a meter of the propeller, on the outside deck. Steel plastic covered mesh prevents passengers, cargo and debris from contacting and/or damaging  the propeller blades. All our propeller blades are hand made to exact specifications to ensure a long and reliable service life.

Fuel consumption figures per engine manufacture specifications at 65 to 70% of full power. Engine life with excellent maintenance is between 5,000 and 18,000 hours. These figures change to various operational factors such as short trips, high engine load with many cold starts (5,000 hours), long trips or continuous operations where the engine is always hot with constant power settings (18,000).

Wings on Hoverflights

Wings are manufactured from composites of foam, carbon fibre and kevlar for high strength, light weight, minimizing corrosion and maintenance problems. See our section on wings-in-ground effect.

Skirts 

Skirts are made of hyperon nylon neoprene in a special variable pressurized chamber type designed and manufactured by Australian Hovercraft Pty Ltd. Designed to travel at high speeds in very short rough sea conditions, with a design life of 4,000 hours. Our current craft has shown no skirt wear over a two year testing program with no skirt maintenance. Our skirt is a excellent buffer and hull protector.

Controls 

Velocity hovercraft have three controls - throttle, rudder via a steering wheel and an electric hydraulic control lever for forward and  reverse propeller pitch. Engine speed dictates the volume of air pumped under the craft creating the desired air gap while propeller pitch dictates the desired forward speed.

Hoverflight controls are identical to conventional aircraft being three axis elevators, (main wing) rudders (behind propeller) and elevators (on top of propeller duct) as shown. In addition, the main wing angle of attack is varied to a greater angle of attack for take off and landing at 40 knots to almost neutral for cruising at 70 knots on 65% power. 

Environment 

Cruising speeds of 10 knots or more creates waves of 3mm inch, causing no erosion to river banks. The propeller at cruising speed is 700 RPM , creating a low frequency sound that dissipates over a short distance.  Tests done with dolphins, sea lions, and birds at nesting colonies have proven that our hovercraft can get twice as close to the animals as a boat of the same size (with an outboard motor).

Our craft operate on / over water then dock at any jetty, mud flats, or waters edge to offload passengers or cargo. Ship to shore or ship to ship transfers are easily completed. The skirt design allows people standing in waist deep water to have the hovercraft pass over the top of them at 5 knots without injury. A diver 5 ft under the water cannot hear the craft pass over them.

Survey 

Hovercraft and Hoverflight are classified as marine craft and are built to IMO specifications, surveyed by Det Norskje Veritas (DNV) , American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Germanischer Lloyd (GL) or Commonwealth of Australia Marine Survey - or surveyor of your choice.

NB: Survey is not required for private pleasure craft.

All craft hulls built to IMO specifications
Specifications may be change to suit customers requirements
 

 

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Last Modified: May 08, 2005

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