Hov Pod Hovercraft Design Philosophy
Until now, hovercraft have tended to be backyard vehicles or
supplied in kit form, designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. Our
design approach has been to take a 20th century invention, and
create a 21st century vehicle, designed for the demands of the
marine leisure market.
Design and Manufacture
Hov Pod uses the very best components and manufacturing processes
For all craft supported by air including hovercraft, planes and
helicopters, weight needs to be kept to a minimum. In the design of
the Hov Pod we had the desire to keep the craft weight down but we
also needed to maintain a high degree of durability and strength.
For its size the Hov Pod is fairly heavy weighing in at 250 kilos.
This is due to the much-enhanced levels of durability, reliability
and safety that are built in as standard. Aspects such as a thick
double skinned floor and a large car battery add weight but give far
greater security of use.
To ensure the highest levels of quality, we have selected components manufactured by long established companies. This ensures that the latest manufacturing techniques and quality standards are adhered to in the component production and design.
The manufacture of the hull is sub-contracted to experts in GRP and composite boat manufacture. Their 25+ years experience in boat manufacture ensure that the Hov Pod hull construction is manufactured to the very highest standards required for marine usage. The hull manufacture takes place in a temperature controlled environment using logged batch Scott Bader materials.
Assembly of the Hov Pod takes place in using a controlled, repeatable process production line system. Quality control is built into every stage of production. Our objective, through attention to detail, is complete customer satisfaction; and we achieve this by adhering to our company wide ethos to create world class products that every member of our company can be proud of.
Our commitment to quality at every stage of the Hov Pod design and production ensures that customers do not experience long-term problems such as improper curing, softness, poor mechanical properties, shrinkage, and discoloration. Manufacture of any glass fiber object other than by experts, or in a fast uncontrolled manner can lead to poor fiber/resin ratio leading to poor impact strength, soft spots, cracks, and easy surface chipping. Long-term problems with poor GRP construction can include de-lamination that can lead to severe weakening of the molding. Other problems that can occur over time include surface bubbling and blisters, crazing, cracks, hard points, voids and a general poor finish. Time and energy invested at the design and manufacturing stage ensure that the Hov Pod is built to last and give our customers complete satisfaction.
Craft use and control
Historically, hovercraft have been difficult to operate and learn
how to use so Hov Pod’s designers have addressed these issues and
resolved them. Hov Pod has completed hundreds of hours trials and
test ensuring that the overall balance and set up of the craft make
using it very simple, natural and easy to use.
The Hov Pod solution to "plough in" - the IAPSS System
Since their first introduction hovercraft have suffered from an operational problem referred to as plough-in (or digging in). In certain operating circumstances, the nose of a hovercraft will dip into the water and if not corrected, cause the craft to rapidly stop. This can cause the occupants to be suddenly thrown forward, and requires the driver to be on guard to prevent this potential hazard. Some hovercraft manufacturers accept this is an operational problem or try to overcome it by adding elevators and additional counter-measure controls. Hov Pod recognized this as a major problem and conducted a year long study to find a solution hoping to eliminate user anxiety during operation. From this study emerged the IAPSS system (Integrated Anti Plough Skirt System) which is designed into the craft. We are proud to report that, to-date, Hov Pod has never suffered plough-in.
The engine and drive arrangement were carefully considered during the design stage and a belt driven assembly was chosen. Our designers eliminated the need for a gearbox driven fan as this necessitates the engine being raised up to head height and makes the craft harder to control due to decreased stability and increased roll characteristics.
One engine or two?
The Hov Pod uses one engine, which is controlled by a handlebar twist grip throttle the same as a motorbike or personal watercraft giving users immediate familiarity the controls. Increasing engine revs gently brings the craft up and away in whichever direction the handlebars are operated. This deliberate simplicity of use means that you do not have to worry about controlling two engines at once or reducing revs on the wrong engine. Problems with a two engine hovercraft lowering the wrong engine revs at the wrong time can cause either:
Additional Craft Controls
Many craft incorporate elevators and/or reversing mechanisms but our design philosophy was to keep it as simple as possible to use. By paying particular attention to the operation, feel and responsiveness of the Hov Pod, these extra controls are not needed. In terms of maneuvering the Hov Pod it can be used to undertake long graceful turns or make tight turns in confined waterways or marinas. The balance and set up of the Hov Pod means that you can turn it on the spot on both land and water.
Inshore salt water use
Hov Pod is designed for inshore salt-water environments using
advanced construction methods and materials. This greatly reduces
corrosion, increasing longevity and reliability, keeping the craft
looking good after use in these conditions.
Reduced noise levels
From their introduction, hovercraft have been perceived as noisy,
so a major objective for the designers of the Hov Pod has been to
find ways to reduce noise levels to a minimum. In comparison to
other hovercraft, you will notice that Hov Pod incorporates a high
efficiency one-meter duct. Many craft use a small diameter duct that
requires a high fan speed to create the necessary performance,
resulting in high noise levels. The large duct works to maximize the
effectiveness of the fan blades and requires a slower turning fan to
produce the same performance.
The balance and set-up of the Hov Pod are critical to its ease of
use and the engineering incorporated to create this ease of use
ensures that the Hov Pod ride experience is very stable and smooth.
Set up for on water starts with three adults
A very important factor in the specifications for any hovercraft
is the maximum load it will carry and still retain the ability for a
start when stationary on water.
Towing - The "RollOnRollOff" trailer
The Hov Pod is small enough to be towed easily behind a car,
extending customers to visit areas inaccessible to other craft. Hov
Pod can be used from any suitable beach, at any tide. The trailer
option ensures that you are not restricted to using public slipways.
Take Hov Pod at weekends and on vacations to explore rivers, lakes,
inland grass areas. Use Hov Pod to reach areas for photography,
video filming, hunting, fishing and exploring.
Hov Pod has been designed with the emphasis on fun.
Its 52hp engine has been selected for its high power to weight
characteristics so that you can be off and away for exploration, fun
and excitement (from an on water start if required) with 3 large
adults or 2 adults and 2 children.
There are many aspects where safety relates not only to the design and engineering of the Hov Pod but also craft use, operation and handling. The following list details the Hov Pod’s safety features:
Hov Pod uses a larger than required, sealed car battery which offers regular and reliable starting and safety against the escape of dangerous explosive gases and burning battery acids.
The Hov Pod uses a drive belt recommended for our application by Gates®, the leading worldwide manufacture of belts. The Gates belt is world class and offers durability and trouble-free operation.
The Hov Pod is fitted with stylish color co-ordinate anti-slip floor mats from Hydro Turf®. This offers the driver and passengers maximum safety against slippage when boarding and alighting the craft in wet conditions.
The Hov Pod is fitted with a towing eye which spreads the load from a large backing plate through to the front of the craft using a reinforced GRP unidirectional tape.
Service and Maintenance
The Hov Pod has been designed so that access for maintenance and
servicing is quick and easy. Engine covers can be removed in seconds
to give full access to all areas of the engine and sealed electrical
Hov Pod’s design attracts a great deal of complimentary
attention. The aesthetics of the craft were closely considered at
every stage of development and design. Hov Pod owners can expect to
be the centre of attention during every outing.
A range of standard colored skirts, upholstery and graphics are available. Hov Pod owners can select corporate colors and logos to promote their business, and customize the graphics with domain names or names of yachts when using Hov Pod as a tender. Whatever the application, whether rescue, patrol, survey craft or leisure, the Hov Pod provides terrific scope to personalize the final appearance through use of color combinations in GRP, skirt materials and graphic decals.
Hov Pod is supplied with a comprehensive user manual. All aspects of craft use, maintenance and service are covered. The manual includes photo images and detailed routines explaining how to service the craft for optimum operation making it easy for you to understand the craft and maximize your fun.
Global Dealer Network
Reaction International is creating a global network of authorized dealers to provide local sales and technical support. Authorized dealers sales and technical staff undertake a program of comprehensive training so they can provide complete support. This network ensures great peace of mind because:
Copyright© 2005 USAHovercraft.com