NOTE: Latest video's are at base of the page. All video files are best viewed with windows media player 9 or above and all video's will open up to the Youtube website where they are stored.
21st August 2005 - I have had the Subaru motor in my craft started and running for the past couple of weeks but on Sunday i finally got the courage to connect the fan and start the motor with the fan connected. The video i have is a short 2mb windows media player file showing the fan and motor running (i didn't have any skirts attached to the craft so the craft was not going anywhere).. It may not be the most interesting video to some people but it was a huge step for me and has made my enthusiasm levels sky rocket.
The result was , the fan was surprisingly quiet in comparison to what i thought it would be , there was buggar all vibration felt through the craft, all air feed holes had air coming out them , all the dust on my floor is now evenly spread around the walls :-) and it appears to put out a HUGE amount of thrust from the rear even though i only revved the motor to 2500RPM.
11th November 2005 - Today was a glorious day. I come home from work , cracked open a beer and decided its time to make this baby hover.
I reconnected the fan after re aligning the belt and got several bits of foam and placed it in the front of the craft whilst i had my wife standing to one side of the craft ready to hold it in position just in case it decided to move sideways. Started it up and let it idle for a second - nothing happened so that's good (it gave me a moment to breath hehe). i then started to bring the revs up little bits at a time till Stacey said that the bags were starting to inflate, by that time it was around 2 -2.5 thousand revs. After feeling confident that the belt was running true and that the fan wasn't about to wedge itself in the side of my garage i gave it some more throttle and by 3000RPM it had lifted up at the front and shortly after that it lifted at the back, wooooo hooooo I'm hovering hehe. Below is a small 14 second windows media player video which is 3mb in size. When I'm confident things are going the way they are mean 't to i'll take a bigger and better video.
The result was , It hovered,............ it actually did what it was meant to and bloody well hovered hehehe. I didn't want to go to high in the revs whilst its resting up against the bench in my garage but i got Stacey to take two measurements to see how high it hovered and it works out that from the small test that i did it hovered 150mm ( 6 inches) , the front obviously lifts first and higher than the back but that's to be expected. Not sure if i was just to consumed with the excitement of it hovering or not but i'd have to say that i really didn't notice it being over noisy, i'll take notice of that next time. Still has the supercharger type whine to it but i know what that is, and it sounds cool anyway :-)
12th November 2005 - When i was working out the Center of balance so that i knew where to mount my motor etc, i did it with my wife and me sitting in the craft, therefore i thought i should see what it lifts like with the Both of us in it ( seeing as %90 of the time it will be her and me out in the hover anyway)
The result was , Comparing this video to the last video you can possibly see how level the craft raises when the both of us are sitting in it, which is very pleasing because that's how i was hoping it would work out. (This of course must mean that i done something right during the building of the craft hehe). During the few tests i done on it today the craft does in fact easily get up to 8 inches in height. I am tempted to push it out on the street and see what its like out doors but i'm sure larry's law will kick in and a stone will go through the neighbors window or something. I would also be curious to hear what it sounds like when its not indoors in a tiny garage. (This Windows media player video is 3.7mb and 31 sec long)
24th December 2005 - Got the trailer finished today and after a stressful time at trying to get it on the trailer (because i live on a hill so the moment i got it out the garage it kept drifting backwards downhill and sideways following the camber of the road) Anyway due to the angles of the street i live on we managed to successfully rip 5 skirt segments on the edge of the trailer (yeah guess how happy i was " insert larry's law here" ) but as luck will have it i have 8 extra segments. I towed the craft down to my brother in laws workshop , unloaded it , replaced the skirts and this video is the result. 'The first flight outdoors wooo hooo'. So in the end, the first flight wasn't out in a paddock like i had envisioned but in a car park was enough to get the energy levels pumped up :-)
The result was : After adding a few modifications to the trailer it now goes on and off the trailer with me driving and my wife operating the winch. As far as the first test flight goes..
Now that i was on level ground everything went smoothly, obviously it will take several tries before i get the hang of things but from what i can tell at around 2500rpm I'm up and hovering but going hardly anywhere i then bring it up to somewhere between 3 and 3000 rpm and i start moving forward , once i have momentum i then can throttle off a little and I'm away and laughing. You'll notice in this video that i was quite pleased that i managed to not hit the P&O container at the end of the car park hehe and i think i've almost mastered the art of turning on a spot. Oh and the downside is .... It's now covered in dust and dirt *sigh* hehe.
(This windows media player file is approximately 4.34MB in size and 1min 14sec long)
28th December 2005 - Another glorious day in my hover ventures. Today i took it out for its first 'real' outdoor test drive. My wife and I went straight to the nearest lake. Up at 8am, the morning was warm and calm so we loaded up the car and went to Lake Waihola. No sooner did i get it off the trailer that i ended up spending the next 20 minutes giving onlookers the answers that were getting fired at me. One of the joys i found was that whilst all the people at the boat ramp where lining up to get there $30,000 and upwards boats in the water all i done was tilt my trailer, started it up flew off backwards and was ready to launch straight of the edge of the shore, no mucking around hehe.
My intentions where to follow the advise i had read from the hoverlovers forum only hours earlier and that was to test the craft at slow speed to see what a small plow in feels like so that i know what to expect later when going faster, and to also let it sit in the water for 5 minutes just to make sure it floats etc, but i have to be honest and say the gremlins inside of me took over and i just started it up and took off from land straight onto the water and out in the middle of the lake hehe.
The result - What a cool feeling it was, although when doing the slow speeds out from shore the spray is huge and you get extremely wet extremely fast but once over hump speed (which wasn't a problem for me) the spray almost stops and its just me and the elements. I done 3 separate test runs on my own first then took my wife out another two times after that and she loves it.
Still being a little light throttled till i get used to it i managed to get up to 42.8km/h according to my GPS and there was still heaps more i could of given it. The only downside for the day was that the motor seemed to run at around 98 - 100 degrees C so we pulled it back on the trailer and i'll have to make a bit more airflow through the radiator somewhere i think. The transition from land to water threw wood chips everywhere and i think half the battle was because the wood chips where covering a portion of my vents but i'd like to let a bit more of the heat from the exhaust out anyway so more modifications to come . Overall it was a success and i'm a happy man.
This windows media player file is 4.58MB and 2min 4 sec long. Its been edited because my digital camera doesn't zoom when in video mode so i'll have to take a better video one day with a proper video recorder.
8th January 2006 - Last day of my holidays today so i took the hover out even though it was windy. What i find amusing to myself since watching this video is that even though this is really only my second proper flight out in my craft on the water, around 45 seconds into actually getting on the water i'm already trying to do 360 degree spins hehe ( and failing but there was too many people watching to just slowly cruise up and down the river so my thinking was if I'm going to sink, crash or similar in front of anyone i better do it in style). I did however do what i was meant to do in my first test run and that was check a few things out like , does it float ?, will it get back up after floating ?, what does plough in feel like ? how easy is it to swing from side to side ?
The result : Well much to my pleasure it floated quite nicely and felt very stable whilst it was doing so. When trying to get up out of the water after floating it did it with considerable ease in my opinion, it hovered out of the water at 2500rpm and got up and over hump speed at about 4500rpm then cruised at 3500rpm. I also did a couple of low speed plough ins ( some not on purpose) just to feel what it feels like and it wasn't as bad as i had visions it would be but then again it was a slow speed plough in. It also was really quite maneuverable when i started to get a hang of things i could "fish tail" it with no effort. One thing i did notice (and couldn't help but notice cause i was drenched) was that it produces a huge amount of spray mainly at low speeds like starting off etc, you'll see why i said the words "huge amount" when you watch the video.
This Windows Media Player file is 4 min13 seconds long and is 6.64MB in size. If your still on dial up then i'm sorry but i cant make it any smaller than i already have. My suggestion is get up with the times and get broadband hehe.
PS: For some strange reason i couldn't transfer the audio from the video recorder so you'll just have to listen to the music in the background :-)
Updated comment 18th January 06 - Briefly had a moment after work today where there was very little wind so took the craft out again and this time on smooth water the spray was very little, we hardly got wet at all. So for now i'm just going to keep a eye on the spray before i go contemplating modifying anything.
Updated comment 3rd March 2006 - I've had the craft out several times since this video has been taken and the spray is being put down to a couple of things.
1. I wasn't sitting far enough forward therefore spray was coming out from under the nose of the craft. I've since fixed this problem by sitting further forward. (simply fix huh )
2. Windy conditions, the day that this video was taken was in windy conditions and there was also allot of boat wakes. If i take the craft out when the water is not that rough then i can successfully get away with not getting very wet at all. So for now the theory of it being "excessive" skirt pressure can be put on hold until i do more tests :-)
20th March 2006 - The other day i emailed my old school that i used to go to years ago and asked them if they had any problem with me using their school field to cruise around on and they replied that was fine. So this weekend i took it 3 minutes down the road to the school field and had a play around on the grass. In this video the start of it you'll wonder where the craft is, well the field drops down to a lower field at the far end of where my wife was videoing and i was playing around on the rise between fields. A few seconds into it and i re appear oh and at one stage i stop to pick leaves out of my air vents. Once again sorry about the poor close ups of the video but it was done with my digital camera again and not a proper video recorder.
The result : In my opinion flying on ground is alot easier than flying over water but not necessarily as fun . Unless your doing something seriously wrong you don't get that feeling of ploughing in if your throwing it from side to side. It's alot easier to do 360's but also alot faster. Today's test flight around the paddock confirmed to me that yes the craft will easily get up to at least 6000rpm (which in my case for my craft, it shouldn't do) so therefore i have some future nights trying to work out why the fans aren't absorbing all my 90 HP
Due to only 12 people out of last months 1200 visitors doing my online poll, it so far sits that 75% of the 12 people use broadband so i'm slowly increasing future video file sizes for better clarity etc. The following windows media file video is 7MB in size and 2min 23seconds long.
2nd August 2006 - Now that i've moved house and have a bit of land i get to test the craft more than just in the garage, un fortunately the move of house has meant that because i'm living alot more rural than i used to i can no longer get broadband so i'm back to living on dial up and i got to say that after about 6 years on broadband and going back down to dial up is not my idea of fun, but thats the price you pay for better living. What that means is that video's will stay compressed otherwise uploading them will take me what feels like weeks :-)
The following video is just me playing around on the smaller section of our front yard, we also have a much larger paddock next to this section but the neighbour has sheep on the lanbd so i better not scare the sheep and annoy the neighbour just yet.
The Result - Yep it still goes forwards and sideways :-)
PS : the language at the end of the video is a result of my wife losing balance and falling off the fence during videoing, oh the dedication :-)
The following video is 3.78MB in size and is 48seconds long
26th August 2006 - Took the craft out on the Clyde dam today and had a blast around for about a hour overall . I couldn't believe my luck, i had been out testing the hover on the dam by myself after making some changes to the blade position ( it was rubbing on the top of the duct so i lowered it 1mm or so) anyway this clip shows me just coming back from being out in the middle of the dam after 10 minutes of playing around. There was no signs of anything wrong with the hover it was all going great so i came back in to shore nice and slowly (cause there were people loading a jet ski just to the right of this video footage) and just as i powered on to get off the water and onto land the craft cut out due to ' running out of fuel '. Yes thats right i AM a mechanic and yes i DO know one of the main things to make a engine work is fuel heheh but i guess it happens to all of us, i'm just happy i wasn't out in the middle of the dam on my own and had to row all the way back to shore.
The result - Double check fuel levels in the tank ' before ' you go out, it makes the engine run so much better hehe.
This video is 2.47mb in size and is 34seconds long.
NOTE : Due to running out of web space this video file is stored on another server , so if you get redirected don't stress :-)
27th August 2006 - Our paddock beside our house is usually filled with the neighbours sheep but they took the sheep out of there today and put them in our front paddock so that gave me a chance to have another blast around the field and play on the hill. The neighbours came down to check out the noise so i took them for a ride around later on in the day.
The Result - I found that the hovercraft goes way much better when the tank has petrol in it :-)
This video is 8.37Mb and is 2min and 4 seconds long.
NOTE : Once again due to running out of web space this video file is stored on another server , so if you get redirected don't stress :-)
3rd September 2006 - Its now into the spring season and it was 30.3 degrees celcius at my back door today so i had to go cool off a little by taking a crusie around my paddock again. The difference here in comparison to the above video is that due to the irrigation scheme that happens here they flood the paddocks randomly with the water from the Manorburn Dam, and this morning thats what they had done so i had a chance to cool off whilst flying around on a flooded paddock
The Result - all went well apart from one incident where i 'nudged' a tree ( no damage occured )
This video is 5.62Mb and is 1min 26seconds long
NOTE : Once again due to running out of web space this video file is stored on another server , so if you get redirected don't stress :-)
16th September 2006 - Today i bought a rideon lawnmower to help ease the task of mowing my lawn. I've not only made the task of mowing lawns easier but.. ive also just bolted onto the side of it a beer holder so now mowing the lawns is easier and refreshing hehe.
The result - It goes fine but i'm sure i can hear Tim The Toolman shouting out " lazza it needs more power" *grunt grunt grunt* :-)
This video is 1min long and 5 MB in size
4th Feb 2007 - Hovercraft driving lesson, from the "larry's hovercraft driving tips 101" edition that currently sits in my head..... How to do Donuts
The Result - getting dizzy
The video is 30 seconds long and about 3 MB