Hovercraft Features

In the meantime air travel improved, and pilots fast realized that their aircraft created better lift when they were soaring pretty close to dry land or over the sea. It was soon established that the superior lift was available because wing and ground together created a conduit effect, increasing the air pressure. The quantity of additional pressure proved dependent on the pattern of the wing and its distance above ground. The effect was most potent when the height was ranging from one-half and thirty per cent of the typical front to back breadth of the wing. Practical use was made for the surface effect in 1929 by a German flying boat, which often achieved a substantial gain in efficiency during an Atlantic crossing when it travelled close to the surface of the sea. World War II nautical survey airplanes also made use of the anomaly to extend their endurance.

To test his theory, Cockerell set up a system comprising a pump that directed air into an inverted coffee can by means of a hole in the underside. The can was suspended over the weighing pan of kitchen scales, and air pumped into the tin pushed the container down against the resistance of a number of weights. By this means the forces involved were aproximately gauged. By fixing an extra tin inside the first and pumping air down through the area in between the two, he was able to illustrate that in excess of three times the amount of weights could be lifted with this arrangement, compared with the plenum compartment effect of an individual can.

In the mean time air travel superior, and aviators fast discovered that their airplanes developed greater lift when they were flying pretty close to the surface of land or sea. It was quickly established that the superior lift was obtainable due to the fact that wing and ground together created a conduit effect, magnifying the air pressure. The amount of additional pressure turned out to be reliant on the design of the wing and its height above ground. The effect was most potent if the distance was between a half and one-third of the typical front to back breadth of the wing. Realistic use was created for the surface effect in 1929 by a German flying ship, which often accomplished a considerable profit in efficacy in the course of an Atlantic journey when it travelled close to the surface of the sea. Second world war maritime survey aircraft also applied the effect to extend their flight duration.

Way back in the early 1950's engineers in the British Isles, America, and Europe were searching for solutions to Thornycrofts old dilemma. Cockerell is now acknowledged as the father of the Hovercraft, as the ACV is generally known, and laters commerlized as Hover lloyd and Hoverspeed.. Throughout World war 2 he was intimately associated with the design of radar and various other radio broadcast solutions and had settled into post-war life as a builder of boats. Soon, he began to become engrossed with Thornycrofts challenge of decreasing the hydrodynamic drag on the hull of a vessel with one kind or another of air lubrication. Cockerell bypassed Thornycrofts plenum space (in essence, an empty box with an open bottom) principle, where air is pumped straight into a hollow beneath the craft, because of the difficulty in controlling the cushion.

He theorized that, if perhaps air were alternatively directed beneath the hull through a narrow slot running entirely around the circumference, the air would circulate toward the middle of the vessel, forming an external curtain that could successfully confine the cushion. This solution is known as a peripheral jet. Once air has built up belowthe hull to a force that equals the vehicle weight, inbound air has no place to end up but outward and experiences a sharp change of speed on striking the sea. The velocity of the peripheral jet air maintains the cushion pressure and the ground clearance higher than it might be if air were pumped straight into a plenum chamber. All 4 seat hovercraft are manufacfured on this principle today.


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