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Paramotor Hovercraft

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:29 pm
by Primal Flight
I have this idea for a device, that you strap a paramotor frame into, and then you have a small personal hovercraft. There would be enough room for a wing bag too. It could be used to go across lakes and rives to reach hard to access flying spots.

I have a basic design in my head, but I am not an expert in hovercraft design, or control, or limitations of, etc....So I bought a book on hovercraft design (from the 60's), and found a good deal on a used scat hovercraft that I will be picking up in 2 days. The scat is a 350lb 3 person craft that can handle 600lbs total, a bit bigger than what I want to build but there really aren't that many smaller ones out there.

Of course this is a HUGE project to take on, and my wife is right, that I rarely finish my projects (Giant clock, personal tank, wearable AC, and other unfinished projects I still keep around do kind of prove her point).... but I am not one to give up when somebody tells me I won't succeed, so I am taking this project in small steps. (especially since I can only spend up to 1 or 2 days a week on it, in between paramotor flights of course)

GOALS for Paramotor Hovercraft: (as of 20200214)
-paramotor like controls, pull handles while seated, with paramotor throttle in hand, to make controls intuitive for paramotor pilots, and hopefully be able to have brakes with thrust diverters
-built in flotation, safe on the water. not too tippy, but good weather would of course be when this would be used.
-decent speed. not sure what is possible with the rather small motors on paramotors.
-simple to remove paramotor. so you can get flying when you get where you want to go
-storage for wing, gas tank, and wind sock and pole. maybe a few more things too. designed for the weight of these things and the pilot and paramotor.
-NOT for flying. I guess it would be possible, but some of the paramotor thrust will be diverted to the air cushion and there would be rudders, so it would not really be compatible with flight.
-not too expensive in production. the goal is to produce this and sell it.(might even patent the control system). about $2k would be great, $5k is probably the max.

-perhaps have an electric version, that uses electric motors for the air cushion. this would probably be more expensive, but might work better, and be easier to produce and setup. maybe generator powered, to use off the shelf equipment

STEPS TO REACH GOALS: (as of 20200214)
1. experience current hovercraft controls to see if paramotor controls are even feasable. weight shifting is certainly used when piloting a hovercraft
2. Airboat kayak. to test paramotor like controls on a smaller scale. electric, using existing inflatable kayak (this alone may be sellable as a kit)
3. Airboat paramotor. full size controls testing
4. Hovercraft paramotor.


Re: Paramotor Hovercraft

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:57 pm
by Primal Flight
So i bought a used SCAT1 hovercraft. Motor was not running. Rebuilt it and it ran for a good hour or 2. Ran it around dons 10 acres of grass to learn the controls. Then went to lake washington... unfortunately got stuck out there when the motor died. (Got video of it all)

So i needed another power source. Made a mount for the parajet zenith. It does fill the skirt enough to lift off, but only at full throttle. Next step is to extend the flow splitter closer to the prop.