Vanguard test flight

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Posts: 217
Joined: August 23rd, 2014, 4:43 am
Location: Scotland

Vanguard test flight

Post by AJW »

I thought I had finished with hovercraft. I have a balance disorder and have lost confidence being out on the water, so sold off my Surveyor and a Vanguard that I was building. :shock:

Well that idea didn't last long :roll: . August of this year I saw a 14' Vanguard for sale at a sensible price, but needed work, local to me (70 miles away), so I thought it would be rude of me not to go and have a look at it. The plan was buy it, sort it, sell it. Anyway to cut a long story short, I bought the hovercraft. It wasn't running as it had been stood for two or three years. I transported it home and started to work through the craft to see what needed doing. The hull & engine frame were good. Engine frame & prop guard were made from stainless steel. The electrics were not fit for purpose, so I totally rewired the craft. Carb had seized up, so I stripped it down to clean it out, but when I found out the price of a new carb, I bought a new one and fitted that. Anyway Hover is now running. I took it out a couple weeks ago for it first test flight to see how it performed and see if or what else needed attention. I unloaded it from the trailer, It unloaded itself, we had a quick waltz, then I parked it up while I moved the car & trailer and put on my life jacket.

I started the Vanguard again and went to set off down the slipway, but it was not responding to rudder and wasn't moving. I wasn't impressed at this point, but My wife give me a short pull to set me off down the slipway. I had no control :o I looked behind to see the prop not turning. I shut down the engine and investigated the problem. The hinge pin on the belt tensioner had came out. I put it back in and done a bodge to make sure it stayed there for the test flight, but this mean't I was staying close to the shore in case it came out again. I've since made and fitted a new stainless steel pin that will not fall out again.
From the test flight I found that the rudders were too sensitive, slightest steering input and the rear would over react. I'm altering the rudder length as it has five rudders that are 48" high x 12" wide. I'm going to keep the five initially, but cut the height down to 32".

Another thing I couldn't get on with, was the hand operated brake, so I have since made and fitted a foot operated brake pedal.

While fitting the brake pedal, I noticed the front corners of the skirt had worn through, so I have just bought a new roll of material to make a new skirt.

My wife has told me I'm not selling it and I was to keep it for us to use.

Lets just say, I ma currently planning my next hover build
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