Erik's Hovercraft Site
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This Site is made to update my commitee on my culmanating project.  It's only purpose is to provide to these people, and should not be used by other people to create their own craft, or to use for research.

Here is a copy of my Project Proposal:
Erik Hofvander?s Culminating Project Proposal
Erik Hofvander Senior
Jacob Taylor Senior
Michel Junior
Anissa Butler
Andrew Spetzler
Joe Harrison

The basic goal that I hope to accomplish over the period of the next 7 months is the building of an independently powered Hovercraft.

The two major steps that will be involved in this project are:
a. The Building of a test hover platform, non free standing, nor self-powered
b. The Building of a free standing, self powered Hovercraft

The purpose of this project is to test myself when it come to the building of a complex engineering craft and the simply feasibility of creating a Hovercraft that flies. This project will also allow me to see real engineering challenges that New Vista has only been able to offer in a very limited degree.

Purpose of this Committee:
My general idea for the purpose of this committee is two fold; first and most importantly is to advise me on important issues such as deadlines, suggesting additions/subtractions to my project, and to advise me if necessary on weather I should chose a different project (See Alternative).  The second purpose of my project, witch applies to Andrew Spetzler and Joe Harrison involves direct support on the engineering side of my project.  I hope to run ideas past both in an effort to insure greater safety for myself and a better working craft.

As my project involves a very complex idea that may or may not work I have included a safety of sorts into my project.  After consultation with Carla, I have found that it would be possible for me to complete my Culminating project by taking an Engineering or Aerospace class at CU.  As I am currently attending Class at CU it would be rather easy for me to enter another class in the second semester.  Unless the Committee finds major problems with my current project I hope that this will only happen if my test platform fails to perform at all.  This is the exact purpose of the test craft, to see if it is feasible for me to create a craft at all.

Details of Test Craft:
The initial test platform will be extremely simple, and will be used to both test the project and to test ideas on the power of the second craft.  It will basically have three parts:
1. The platform: This will be simply be a round piece of plywood with a radius of 2 feet
2. The Skirt:  This will be the Material that will surround the platform and will be inflated by the air source
3. The Air Source:  This will most likely be a electrical powered leaf blower that will be able to inflate the Skirt rapidly

This project should not take up more then 10 hours of my time to construct and test and should provide valuable insight in the building of the final project.

This is most likely the most critical part of the project, as I must make myself to this project on time if I expect to graduate on time, and so it will be necessary for me to create a rather strict schedule for myself.  This is another area that my committee could provide valuable insight on and I ask them not to hesitate in advising me on any time constraints.

The main reason that I picked building of a hovercraft over all of the other projects that I could have done is that I have always been interested in all things engineering and hovercrafts are a very interesting way to travel, and I have yet to ride one.  It is also the fact that hovercrafts are based on a very simple principal and in theory should be very easy to create.

1. Collecting/Buying Materials: This will include the Baseboard, the Skirt, The Main Fan, The Thrust Engine, and various other materials.  This step will not be completed all at once, but instead will be completed over the course of the project.  This Step should take about 15 to 20 Hours, but no Specific deadline can be set, as it is a not a single step.
2. The building of the Platform: This step will include cutting down the plywood into a 3' by 7' and '' square, and the cutting out of a fan hole in the center (This Hole may not be necessary), and building a frame for the Main Engine. This step should take about 5-10 Hours and should be completed by November 10th.
3. The next step is the Installation of the Lift Engine: This will involve the removal and alteration of the fan blade along with the alteration of the Engine Stop. If this step is necessary it should take 10 hours, and should be completed before November 20th.
4. The Skirt: This is probably the most important step as if it does not work there will simply be no hovercraft.  In this step I will sew a 22-foot long, 4 and inch tall length of burlap or other form of strong material together.  I would then fold over the last inch and seal this pocket.  I would then add a string that is slightly shorter then 22 feet to the pocket.  This will limit the amount that the bottom part of the skirt can expand. I will then attach this skirt to the bottom of the craft.  This, once filled with air from the Lift Engine, will create a pocket of air under the craft and should lift it into the air.  This step will take about 20 hours at least, and must be completed by December 10th.
5. The Main Engine: The installation of the Main engine will be by far the most difficult task of any of the goal that I have.  For it involves not only the purchase of a fan and cage, but also connecting these together and then attaching them to the main craft. This step will probably take 30 hours+ and must be completed by December 20th.
6. Control: In this step I will focus on attaching and creating the control cords for the Main Engine, the Lift Engine, and the rudder.  This step will take about 15 hours and should be completed by December 25th.
7. Cosmetic Detail; This is the least important step and allows for some ?padding room? if my project takes more or less time then I think it will.  For it my project is finished quickly I can simply add more cool stuff to my craft, and if one or more steps take way too long I can simply not add any cosmetics.  This step could take anywhere from 0 to 35 hours, and only must be completed before the end of my project time.

Come back Later for more Updates!