What is a Hovercraft?
Hovercraft use a cushion of air to float above the ground.
Our single seater Snapper craft use a large fan, powered by a 28 hp four-stroke Briggs and Stratton Vanguard petrol engine, to draw in air and force it underneath the body of the machine. This air is retained by a 'skirt' made from a tough nylon material that allows the whole craft to fly one foot above the ground. The fan also propels the hovercraft forward at speeds of up to 25 mph.
The fan speed is controlled by a hand throttle mounted on the right hand side of a steering bar. Depress the throttle and the fan revs up providing lift and forward thrust.
The steering bar moves the fins mounted behind the fan - these direct the air and help to steer the craft.
The most effective way of steering is to shift your body weight to either side of the craft in the intended direction of turn. This allows air to 'spill' out from the opposite side of the skirt and this propels the machine in the direction of the lean.
The skill of piloting a hovercraft comes from predicting what you want to do well in advance- there are no brakes and turning takes a long time! We use a large open grass field as hovercraft require lots of space!