HoverAid exists to reach the most unreachable communities with healthcare, education and other essential resources. We are now at a critical point, building the first new hovercraft based on a developed version of the proven “RiverRover” design.
We are supported by technical partners RICARDO (engine and systems), OnShape (CAD ), Mathworks (design), AnsysCADFEM (analysis), Cambridge University (fluid dynamics and testing). The design has been completely captured on CAD (below) to enable easier build of future similar craft either by ourselves or a third party.
The new hovercraft build is progressing. At this point we have acquired the engine, GFRP (hull / cabin / fairings) and aluminium (hull / deck / ducts) parts. The engine is mounted and configured, and most of the main structures are complete. Completion of the fan assemblies, transmission, skirt, electrical and cooling systems, and internal cabin are outstanding. We anticipate completion of assembly by the end of September 2023, followed by a thorough testing programme.
Before shipping to the field, the craft will undergo validation testing. This is to:
- Find and resolve any build issues/snags
- Prove the function of the craft over water and land.
- Stress-test the craft, including some full-load and extended operation
- Predict expected performance at altitude and higher temperature
The craft has been designed to fit inside a standard 40ft container. The following activities are included in the “Shipping” phase:
- Moving the craft within the UK on a modified trailer
- Sourcing and fitting out a 40ft high-cube container
- Shipping the craft
- Customs clearance
- Final transportation in Madagascar
Commissioning will then be carried out by the local technical team in Madagascar with support from UK engineers:
- Re-assemble craft and check for any damage during transit
- Adjust the setup of the engine for higher temperature
- Adjust the thrust fan and lift fan blade angles for local environmental conditions
- Full load, high temperature, and altitude tests to validate the improved cooling system
- Extended operation tests to flush out any issues
The commissioning phase will also give the local pilots the opportunity to be trained on flying the new craft.
The plan delivers the craft to the team in Madagascar in time for operation as soon as the cyclone season is over in Spring 2024
The total new-craft project cost is £150k, of which £65k is for the “post-build” phase, broken down in the chart below.
This covers UK and Madagascar labour costs, shipping, customs and spare parts. At this point we have secured £75,000 for the build work, and £22,000 for the “post-build” phase. We are seeking additional funds from supporters, charity events, sponsored challenges, and grant providers.
With your help, we can reach the unreachable..
HoverAid is entirely dependent on individual giving and receives no Government grants or funding. In order for the Hovercraft to meet the target deployment date of April 2024 – we need your help!