Building a Hovercraft How To Plans

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FINISHED “HULL” showing how fan shroud and
rounded contours in the plenum chamber are
obtained, using sawed-to-shape plywood covered
with a skin of sheet aluminum and plastic film.
ALUMINUM IS FASTENED to inner curve of struts
by bending a flange over flat against the plywood, and securing with stapling gun. Aluminum is slit every 1-1/2″ to make a smooth bend.
to follow. More—you can easily trundle a 100-lb.
load across a soft, soggy lawn with this machine
and never leave a mark.
The Flying Cart is a true ground-effect machine
(GEM). It has no wheels. It glides on a cushion
of compressed air supplied by a modified chainsaw engine and a four-bladed wooden prop.
I built the “airframe” of ordinary lumberyard
materials for $59.75. If you’re well supplied with
plywood scraps you can cut that figure in half.
Engine and props are from an outboard air-drive
unit sold by Airboats, Inc. (3323 N. Florissant
Ave., St. Louis 7). New, they cost $130.
How it got that way. The cart didn’t start out
as a search for an improved wheelbarrow—it
happened the other way around. The building
itch came with the first story I read about air
sleds, and intensified with each story thereafter.
It was a challenge to build a totally new kind of
vehicle before all the development problems were
trampled to death—and all the unanswered questions were answered—by multimillion-dollar research programs.
I doodled the requirements. It would have to be:
• Reasonably easy to build with ordinary
home-workshop tools.
• Adaptable to continuing changes and experi






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