At one point in time, I thought it would be a good idea to build a hovercraft. I selected a Sevtec Explorer model, took a test flight on a working prototype, then ordered the plans and got to work. While I completed the hull, save for a few minor details, I sold the project before finishing it.|
Lessons learned: Don't embark on a thousand plus hour project if your heart isn't in it. My true love was aircraft, but financial circumstances didn't work, so I "settled" for the next best thing. Had this hovercraft been an airplane, I would have finished it rapidly.
My time was not wasted, however. I learned how to build extremely lightweight, yet strong, composite panels by layering foam and fiberglass. I became exceptionally good at working with fiberglass and composite materials and forming shapes out of them. I had a lot of fun and I took a lot of pictures, shared them with the world and have received many emailed "Thank you's" for detailing the build process. The pictures and information from that process have been copied, below, from my old web site, so others can continue to benefit from them.
Photoset 1 - shop setup & first batch of panels (106KB)
Photoset 2 - Initial hull buildup (79KB)
Photoset 3 - The helm & fan bay (90KB)
Photoset 4 - Covering the fan bay (67KB)
Photoset 5 - Starting the sides (91KB)
Photoset 6 - The finished sides (79KB)
Photoset 7 - Flipping the hull (154KB)
Photoset 8 - Upper skirt attachments (79KB)
Photoset 9 - Stringers, side decks, & gas tank (65KB)
Photoset 10 - Front bench: Pilot & copilot seat prep (92KB)
Photoset 11 - Windshield mockup & dashboard (113KB)
Pictures of the final hull as it was sold ("For Sale" ad)