Mini-Lifter FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q- Why do you not have any actual pictures of the Mini-Flyer ?

A- Because this colorful version was not built. Three square cornered 4' x 8' hover pallets were built and used as industrial heavy lift units. These were capable of lifting over 3,000 lb. payload, i.e. used to move the Canair 512 hovercraft along its production path in the factory. Only one electric Toro leaf blower was used at times the Canair needed moving. When no one was around, I would sit on these pallets and push myself around using a rubber tipped pole. (I know, little things please little minds!)

Q- Why won't the Mini-Lifter work on short grass ?

A- Its all a matter of volume flow of air into the cushion. On a perfectly flat smooth surface like a good quality concrete floor, the actual air gap beneath the skirt, with a 300 lb. payload, might be less than 1/16 of an inch. If the grass could be completely flattened, then the Mini-Lifter would still work. What in fact happens is that the grass can only be partially flattened by the loop skirt. There is still a matted thickness of grass, probably equivalent to ¼ inch or more that allows the air to escape. With such an air loss area, the leaf blower fan can not provide the necessary volume flow to maintain the pressure and the Mini-Lifter won't lift off the surface.

Q- What can be done to allow the Mini-Lifter to operate on grass and other surfaces ?

A- I suppose trading in the leaf blower for a small lawn mower engine driving a small multi-bladed fan mounted in a bell mouth duct might do the trick. You have to be careful not to attempt too much of an upgrade for such a basic vehicle. The next question might be what if we added an engine and propeller, can it be turned into a self propelled hovercraft. REMEMBER, this is only a 4' x 8' piece of plywood, it has no flotation, no hull depth and so on. ACV Designs will shortly be adding its Hoversled as a plan package. This is designed to be powered by a lawn mower motor and will allow kids to toboggan down hills even in the summer.

 

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