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Hovercraft Development And History

Over time, the builders of ships and aircraft developed all-terrain-vehicles that ran on the air cushioned principle, so they were truly amphibious. Personal hovercraft further developed in the 1960s and the 1970s, when gas turbines and technology taken from airlines augmented their designs. The 1980s gave way to a fuel crisis, which resulted in a less than optimal cost (and price) for the personal hovercraft. Another issue was the level of technology and materials available for construction. Strong and lightweight materials were simply not used for this type of activity.

By the time the year 2000 rolled around, the patents attached to personal hovercrafts had faded. Now, anyone and everyone who had enough money but not necessarily an incredible lot, wanted to know where to buy a personal hovercraft , or in some cases build their own. Since then, they have been more popular than ever; we are witnessing, in other words, their rebirth. These vehicles are exciting and fun, which is a major factor for youth with the means to pay for such leisure activities, not to mention that safety has become top priority.



Recreational Uses

There are different reasons why one can use such a vehicle for fun or for luxury. The more obvious reason is exploration. With your own hover transport, you can access new locations you wouldn't otherwise have had access to or that you would have had access to, but at a more expensive rate. These locations include the desert, the lakes, the swamps, mud, grasslands, prairies, savannahs, and rivers, whether frozen or otherwise. Thus, you can use a small air cushioned craft to explore these new locations at an affordable cost. You can explore all the nooks and crannies you wouldn't have the time or energy to do by foot.

You can also use them in places which are normally difficult to access because you would have to keep your switching mode of transport. For example, they're ideal for hopping between islands. You don't have to worry about taking a boat, then walking, then taking another boat, then taking a small plane. They are also ideal for exploring the tundra. Exploring the tundra (such as in northern Canada) is normally quite difficult - you have to take a boat or small flight to get there, then resort to traveling with off-road vehicles and dog sleds once you've arrived. But with a small hovercraft, you can just use the vehicle to fly over the terrain. You don't even need to worry about injuring the poor dogs from exhaustion.

Answers To Questions Often Asked About Personal Hovercraft

Any respected small hovercraft manufacturer will have a detailed environmental assessment report that can be freely distributed. Such a report must address the issues of nuisance by noise, safety concerns to spectators, effects on habitat wild life and the possibility of pollution.

Noise is a particular concern as a large propeller is used to provide lift and forward thrust. This is driven by a petrol engine, either two or four stroke, and as such are inherently noisy. It should be noted that a comparison might be made between a personal hovercraft and other pleasure or leisure vehicles being used in the same vicinity. For example, by the sea shore, high powered motor boats are very popular, as are jet skis. Such a study should indicate the decibel ratings compared to these other vehicles.

Pollution is obviously a very strong point, also the effects on natural habitats. On the good side, there are no propellers in the water, so oil doesn't go into the sea. Generally, the engines are contained over the hull compartment and kept dry. For life under the sea or lakes, a noisy propeller thrashing around is more more disruptive to fish life than an air cushioned vehicle which floats over the surface. The question must be asked if any more man made vehicles should be introduced to our delicate environment at all in these times of environmental tipping points?

Safety is a major concern for hover craft manufacturers and design, not only for the pilots and passengers, but also for people looking for a hovercraft for sale. After all, it is quite an exciting spectacle. Modern craft hulls are made from high impact plastic or fiber glass. Glass fiber does tend to split if the hull hits a solid object, such as a rock in it's path. Despite this, many racing hovercraft use this type of construction. The overall construction is light for speed and risks of crashing are all part of the sport.

Such an attitude just won't do for the family man looking for an exciting experience to share with his family. In this situation safety is top priority and not a 'nice to have' feature at all. A slower craft with a thicker hull made from robust material is far preferable to a material that may split and crack under pressure. Expanded polypropylene and similar plastics are revolutionizing the industry and manufacturers of small light personal hovercraft are springing up all over the place.