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Hovercraft or ultralight?

Posted By:
Dan Grunloh
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#1 Posted: 10/9/2010 16:19:04

This looks like flying to me. Rudder control and throttle fro pitch.




Dan Grunloh
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#2 Posted: 10/9/2010 16:25:57

Oh heck now I see that he has a functioning elevator. 

 



Jim Heffelfinger
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#3 Posted: 10/9/2010 16:37:46

 http://www.damninteresting.com/ground-effect-vehicles



in your video clip - note the lack of airfoil shape control

touch a wing tip -   water loop

never go to production - risk management nightmare.  









Jim Heffelfinger
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#4 Posted: 10/10/2010 01:06:57

just watched it again.......  no seat restraints,  plastic tarp for covering,  no auto roll control (see upward tips on the more serious craft) flying over trees/brush.  Watch for obit in the papers.  



Dan Grunloh
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#5 Posted: 10/13/2010 15:44:39

The lack of passenger restraint is conspicuous, and perhaps a minor also.  Let it be said that passenger restraints are also conspicuously missing on jet skis and motorcycles but that is a little different as you do not expect to be leaving the surface for any length of time.

 

Plastic tarp for wing covering not all bad in itself if the attachment method and pull tests verify strength.  Easy and cheap to replace.  I would go for the sailcloth upgrade if offered, and the roll bars, and scuba gear.
goggles




David Gray
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#6 Posted: 10/15/2010 20:58:24 Modified: 10/15/2010 21:16:06

If this intrigues you, check out  http://universalhovercraft.com. I want one.

 

 



Marvin Homsley
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#7 Posted: 10/30/2010 21:56:32

Flying that close to the water is just inviting disaster.  While turning if you touch a wingtip in the water you probably will tumble.  Take it from an experienced pilot, do not try this. 



David Gray
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#8 Posted: 10/31/2010 18:10:46 Modified: 10/31/2010 20:44:27

I did not say that this was perfectly safe but as Dan mentioned many of the risks parallel motorcycles and personal watercraft. I have been a Waterskiier/Boater since I was a teen and  I have cartwheeled across the water a few times in my life. The key is to not fight it. If you water loop a PWC you get thrown clear. I would say that if you water looped the flying hovercraft your fate would be the same, thusly the lack of restraints are a good thing. You would probably sustain some type of injury (hopefully not a broken neck). Flying this close to water is safer than flying this close to the ground. Each hypothetical situation spawns a new argument but if I were given the choice of jumping/falling into the water or to the ground from 10 feet or greater I would choose the water.

If you watch the video on the link that I previosly posted, it shows what happens if you touch a wing on the water (nothing).

 

 

 

 



Dan Grunloh
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#9 Posted: 11/1/2010 15:29:41

I am wondering at what altitude does a hovercraft become an airplane according to the FAA.  This craft has enough aspect ratio that it looks like flying to me.  There isn't much difference in flying low over water versus over land except over water you might have to hold your breath longer.  We do in fact fly very low over land but you will notice that true low wing ultralights are somewhat uncommon.  At low wing loadings its easier to catch a wingtip on landings.

I tend to believe that once the craft is higher than it's width it's difficult to call it a ground effect vehicle.  Also once that high you are probably wasting a lot of weight and horsepower in the "downblower".  Simply cut the engine size in half and install wheels or floats.

None of this is an issue if it's a FAR103 ultralight in the USA.  Anything under the weight speed and fuel is allowed.  A larger craft flown out of ground effect might require and airworthiness certificate in the USA.

 



Bill Berson
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#10 Posted: 11/1/2010 16:47:23

For navigation over water, the laws that apply to WIG (wing in ground effect craft) may apply. I think there are several classes of WIG craft. I don't know much about it, but a google search for WIG regulation might help.



David Gray
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#11 Posted: 11/3/2010 20:54:38 Modified: 11/3/2010 21:04:02

Dan, I agree. If the hovercraft can sustain flight outside of ground effect, it would be considered an airplane and would be subject to FAA regulation. I would say the machine you introduced at the start of this thread has enough wing to fly. In this case, the hovercraft portion would only be considered the landing gear.

I feel I must apologize to all because I erroneously commented on a similar craft of my own choosing. The wings on the Hoverwing are shorter and will not fly outside of ground effect. I have daydreams of "Canyon Flying" this craft down the shallow rivers and creeks in my area. The alternative is an Airboat.

 

 

 



Guy Baker
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#12 Posted: 11/15/2010 21:14:23

I checked with the boys in OK city, that's a flyin' machine. All the rules apply. Their answer was clear, if it leaves the ground under its own power and/or by the use of aerodynamics (whether it's in ground effect or not) it is an aircraft. If it could be built under part 103 then it do as you please. It looks as though it weighs considerably more than 254lbs though. I sure hope he doesn't hurt or kill that pretty girl!