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Dreames and Dimensions - Design update - Autum 2002
Dreames and Dimensions - Design update - Autum 2002
Autumn 2002
The last SR.N4s were retired by Hoverspeed on 1st October 2000. 
Which was her last day in service after crossing 34 years the channel - even if the craft's design was intended for a 10 year service period it provided safe service for way beyond. The SR.N4s got replaced by Seacat.
Snapshot of SRN4

I-O design delivered to owner

 David Carambat from I-O design got his craft after intensive test flight's delivered to it's proud owner.  The GTH was sold in February, and at the current there want be a new Hovercraft but instead  a new "Jet ski" like hovercraft  so pass by at his web page and take a sneak preview of his work.  Besides that David is looking forward  to make a sleek 5 passenger version of the GTH someday just because. The following picture shows his beautiful craft.

I-O - Design GHT 

For more info on this craft please see the following page: http://www.industrialobject.com/hover.html

Don from New Zealand got his Condor finished and in service 

You might remember him or better his design the "Hovershuttle" - his Condor is more or less in the same lines with just a bit more power and comfort. 
Don's Condor playing in the rain

A few details about his craft :
Length = 6 meters 
Width = 3 meters 
seating for 11 including pilot. 
All Fiber Glass and foam construction with Alloy hard points glassed in. 
Craft weighs in at 2 ton, power plant is a  Toyota twin turbo V8 of 300 hp driving hydraulics.
Lift unit : 2 dual centrifugal fan 400 mm dia.

If you would like to know more, contact Don direct at,  rdsainty@wave.co.nz


The Alpha-II 

In the last 17 month we were extremely busy finishing the  Alpha-II  prototype craft. 
The Alpha-II is a module Hovercraft with a variable custom build cabin section for either 4 passenger (22' length ) 6 passenger ( 25' length ) or 8 passenger with  27' length over all ( all + 1 pilot crew). The lift ( bow ) unit as well as thrust ( stern ) unit are fix components for all three models of the Alpha-II series. This allows a big amount of flexibility in the passenger / payload area while a proven performance in the whole design series with relative short set up cost per model. 

If you like what you see feel free to visit the shop :  http://www.4wings.com/crafts/a2con/a2con.html

All 3 models of the  Alpha II use a flight control system  intended to provide a more natural driving experience for the operator. From an electronic control aspect, it consists of a centralized feedback and control unit connected to feedback sensors (lateral acceleration, airspeed, and steering wheel position) working in conjunction with a single on board microcontroller. Unique control surfaces operate in both the thrust and speed generated air stream domains. 
A touch screen in the pilots area provide manual input and adjustment 
As with any advanced system the Alpha II flight control development will undergo a period of experimentation to characterize the effectiveness of the control surfaces at different flight regimes. Once the overall system has been optimized for general operator "feel" and comfort, a further analyses will be performed to determine the amount of required system redundancy. In other words, some experimentation is required to determine if the added comfort level provided by the unique control system extends into a safety critical area that requires double or triple system redundancy. 
This will keep us a bit busy for the next month while input from commercial builders is highly welcome at : michael@4wings.com  . 

Airlift Hovercraft currently develops the  : HoverFlyer 600 

Passenger or Utility style hovercraft with optional front hard cabin and optional rear soft top. 
In short some details : 
Length : 6.00 meters 
Width : 2.40 meters 
Capacity : 5 to 8 persons (650 kg) plus 1 crew 
Power plant : Subaru EJ42 4 cyl petrol 112kW +  Briggs & Stratton 2 cyl petrol 18.6 kW 
Allow Ross some more time and we will post more info with our next update of Dreams and Dimensions.
For further info please use :  info@airlifthovercraft.com

Not really a Hovercraft - but it hovers extremely powerful -

F-35   The Flexible flyer

F-35 hovering
The F-35s are a family of three aircraft, designated the F-35A, F-35B and F-35C. Similar in shape and size, and powered by the same basic engine, the F-35s will share between 70 and 90 percent of their parts. Yet, under the skin they are three distinctly different machines.
The three versions of the F-35 are: a conventional takeoff version for the Air Force, a larger wing, long range Navy plane, and an extra lift, vertical flyer for the Marines and UK. "The [F-35A] would allow for migration by U.S. forces to an almost all-stealth fighter force by 2025," says Edward Aldridge, undersecretary of Defense for Acquisitions.
U.S. Marines will fly the F-35B, which is detailed in the  cutaway drawing
The Marines will use the F-35B to retire their current and rapidly dwindling fleet of British designed AV-8B Harrier jump jets. F-35Bs would be deployed with Marine Expeditionary Units and operate off short runway landing ships.
The Navy will fly the most visibly different member of the JSF family, the F-35C.

Power lifting. 
The biggest denominator and challenge was short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) propulsion, propulsive lift, engine, and flight controls have to all run smoothly together.
The F-35 makes its most radical departure from the past with the choice of the lifting system for the F-35B jump jet. Team engineers decided to go with a more efficient and seemingly more complex system a power takeoff (PTO) shaft from the propulsion engine's fan drives a lift fan packed into the front of the airplane (see figure). The fan works in conjunction with a downward swiveling rear engine nozzle that can twist 90° thanks to triple bearings around the nozzle's circumference. Lifting with cooler air offers several advantages. Chief among them are less heat stress on the engine and a smaller infrared signature for anti-aircraft missiles to home in on. The tradeoff is a higher degree of mechanical sophistication.
There are three parts to the lifting system. The first part is the lift fan. About half of the thrust needed to hover and land is created by forcing ambient air downward through a pair of doors that open directly behind the cockpit. Power comes from a 2 stage low-pressure turbine on the engine and is coupled to the lift fan through a clutch. The fan itself consists of a pair of counter rotating turbines that are capable of creating as much as 18,000 pounds of thrust. Roughly the same amount of thrust is created by blasting hot gases from the engine downward, through a 3 bearing nozzle, the system's second part. For roll control in hover, there is a nozzle under each wing fed directly by engine air. The complete system produces about 40,000 lb. of lift.
Instalation of lift fan unit to the F-35
The three versions share more than 80% identical parts. Cousin parts can be made from the same blanks and handled and assembled with common tools and fixtures. For example, bulkheads for each version differ only in thickness.

Electrons for muscle and nerves
While aerodynamics shape the F-35, electronics allow it to function. Here are some of the significant systems on board:
Electrohydrostatic actuators from Moog (East Aurora, NY) and Parker Hannifin Aerospace (Irvine, CA) eliminate centrally supplied hydraulics, saving weight. Electricity is used to power small hydraulic units throughout the airplane for control surface actuation.
Engine-mounted power thermal management system by Honeywell (Torrance, CA) furnishes electricity for starting the engine, drives the environmental control system, acts as an in-flight electrical generator, and with its battery, functions as an emergency power source. Such multiduty systems save weight. Radar is electronically scanned and reprogrammable for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. Twin rear projection displays (MEMS based) in the cockpit fuse sensor and aircraft outputs to present information, not data, to the pilot. Projection technology is used since flat-panel developments are too short lived for the long-term product support needed in military use. The pilot can control systems using the display touch screen, switches on the throttle and control stick handles, or voice activation. The head up display (HUD) is gone. A helmet mounted display will give the pilot information while looking in any direction. Electro-optic and infrared systems driving this display will allow the pilot to see all around, even through the bottom of the airplane.

F-35 in flight

Hovercraft could have rescued girl

THE grandfather of tragic schoolgirl Lelaina Hall is urging Worcester residents to back a life-saving appeal. Terry Page says their help is urgently needed to pay for a hovercraft, which will be named after the five-year-old to keep her memory alive. 
The Western Daily Press has launched a campaign to fund the vessel, which could have saved her life. Thousands of pounds have already poured in.  
"A lot of people in Worcester knew Lelaina but they don't know how to make a donation." 
The Western Daily Press has joined forces with the Association of Search and Rescue Hovercraft to raise £35,000 needed to buy and equip a BBV6 hovercraft. 
It would be based at Bridgwater Bay, close to Berrow Beach where Lelaina died on Sunday, June 23.  She had become trapped in mud flats after running on to the beach on the final day of a family seaside holiday. 
"The hovercraft would have got to her in five minutes," said Mr Page.  "Instead, it took an hour. None of us are coping very well. "
"The hovercraft will be called Lelaina in her memory. At least something good will have come out of her death. "They are dangerous beaches and it's made me more aware of the dangers." 
The fund currently stands at £9,000.  "It's going very well," said Ellie Campbell, news editor at the Western Daily Press, in Bristol. 
"People obviously feel very strongly about it to give this much in one week." To make a donation to the fund call 0117 934 3434 or send a check to The Lelaina Hovercraft Fund, Western Daily Press, Temple Way, Bristol BS99 7HD. Checks should be made payable to the Association of Search and Rescue Hovercraft. 

Hover rescue

Hovercraft have traditionally been used as passenger vehicles, although the cross-channel service from England to France stopped flying in 2000. Now the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is putting a new, smaller hovercraft on trial as a search and rescue vessel. The hovercraft the RNLI is using carries a crew of four people and could be ideal for rescuing people. Its speed and ability to travel on land as well as water make it the perfect vehicle for rescuing people who are stranded in quicksand, mud or thin ice . 

The RNLI wants to find out whether the hovercraft is suitable for search and rescue and see how easily crews used to boats can learn to operate it. In a test, the hovercraft picked up two people who were stranded 100 meters out on the sands in under two minutes. Meanwhile, the coast guard took 20 minutes to reach a colleague stuck in mud just 50 meters away.

Perhaps these test will encourage other SAR units to take a closer look at the abilities of Hovercraft for search and rescue purpose.

Have a safe Hovering and see you soon at 4wings.com where Dreams meet Dimensions