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[Moderator Note: This message asks a lot of questions that would have off-topic answers about hovercraft construction.  Please continue this discussion off list.  - Mike Substelny, DML moderator of the week]


> I think Rick G. has already given many details why it would have
> worked and the snowmobile engine that I insisted they ordered
> was more than up to the task (a little embarassing to the PRV)
> since it was just under 1.0L and produced 145hp at 8,000rpm.

Well, that changes everything. I don't recall seeing that on the show;
it appeared the stock engine from that hovercraft was used. 145hp
should have been plenty.

> Just in case any of you doubt that this can be done, it already
> has been done on the UK version of Monster Garage with a Lotus,
> although I realize the Lotus is nearly 900lbs lighter than a
> DeLorean.  I will have the UK Lotus Hovercraft show at DCS 2006.

FWIW, I didn't say it couldn't be done. I claimed it couldn't be done
with the materials I understood to be provided on Monster Garage (a
DeLorean and that little hovercraft). The stock engine off that
hovercraft just wasn't going to do it.

> I do not think it was a coincidence that they built the Lotus
> Hovercraft very similar to the way I described how we could have
> made the DeLorean Hovercraft work (in my Discovery interview).

Thanks for the interview link; I hadn't read that before. Do you know
who the hovercraft expert (the guy who canceled) was?

> As a side note to the power to weight ratio for hovercrafts and
> hover-platforms, very small engines/motors are use to lift TONS
> of weight over uneven surfaces by many manufactures and even the
> military, so, as Doc said, "weight has nothing to do with it".

Rich: You said you specifically requested that high hp engine. In the
Discovery interview I just read, you also said you "would have reduced
the weight by several different means" to "save a few hundred pounds."
I find it incredible that you & Rick can tell me my "weight vs. hp"
argument is wrong when you were so obviously aware of the need to
reduce weight and increase horsepower in order to make this project a

Yes, you can lift tons of weight with small engines. But that's not a
"hovercraft", it's a hovering platform of sorts. A vehicle you can
climb in and drive around, especially over water, has major design
differences over a simple weight lifting platform.

Please don't take any of this the wrong way. I have a lot of respect
for everyone who had the balls to get on that show and try to make
this work, and especially for you & your projects. Knowing now that
you had a proper engine, I have no doubt you could have pulled this
off given more time. You must understand, though, the show made it
appear that a ~20hp engine was going to be used, which, quite
obviously, could never have worked.


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