An aluminium space-frame hovercraft

Follow the progress (or often the lack of it) as I try and build my first full size hovercraft from aluminium,

then race it in the HCGB National Hovercraft Championship.

Chuckle as power tools burn out!
Wince at the quality of the welding!
Laugh as parts are made then remade!
Gasp in awe at the amount of scrap material generated!
Feel pity as the temperature plummets, but work carries on
in a freezing cold garage!

Cry as the months turn into years!
Marvel as it finally comes together…
Stage 1

The diary

(More pictures will be added as I find them)

aluminium materials
Introduction  - the boring bit
October 2003 – welding the floor panel

(no picture)

December 2002 – the space frame
fan in duct November 2003 – fan frame and air holes

propshaft assembly January 2003 – adding the deck panels engine December 2003 – engine frame, back to the fan frame

hull on its side February 2003 – the hull takes shape fan frame January 2004 - flow straighteners, skirt fixing strips
and the bearing platform

March 2003 – the winch and the RD200
hull engine and fan February 2004 – more engine frame

TZR April 2003 – the TZRs arrive folding the rudders March 2004 - grab handles, twin rudders,
remaking the engine frame and the trailer

jakes place
May 2003 – seeing my first hovercraft race painting the fan frame April 2004 - bracing struts and splitter plate

welding test piece
June 2003 – aluminium welding
instrument pod May 2004 - instrument pod, fuel tank + seat, steering,
starter cup, exhausts - a busy month

rear corner
July 2003 – welding the frame together
rudders June 2004 - Rudders, wiring, painting it all

making a template for the bow planing section August 2003 – the hull continues steering assembly July 2004 - fitting the skirt, buoyancy foam, sealing the hull, finishing it off, plus   IT FLIES!!!!

duct with MDF disk
September 2003 – the duct and the splitter box

Stage 1 finished
August 2004   - Fitting the powervalve control, testing in the field

...and then:


Black Ditch Pond
18th September 2004

and the saga continues...

overheating problems
Overheating - Getting to the bottom of the overheating problem


Spring 2005 Part 1 - making a new 7 litre welded aluminium fuel tank

folded aluminium seat
Spring 2005 Part 2 - modifications to the seat, steering improvements,
Jakes Place and Gang Warily

Exhaust pipe

Summer 2005 Part 1 - trying to build a hydroformed exhaust system

return to Black Ditch

Summer 2005 Part 2 - Whittlesey and Return to Black Ditch     OOPS!

Find out how other people built their hovercraft on the links page

Find details of suppliers on my suppliers page

This is just my story of how I built my hovercraft. I hope it's entertaining and/or useful, but as they say "Motorsport is dangerous" so don't blame me if you injure yourself, or strain your wallet in the process.

The hovercraft and website were built by me, Richard Evans.

If you want to email me try:    (work out the anti-spam bit first).

If you are looking for my Shoestring filming locations website try here