Human Powered Hovercraft :: Steam Boat Willy

human powered hovercraft


Showing posts from 2009.

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Japanese Version of This Site

For a Japanese version of this site

click here

then select hovercraft.

Posted on [28th Dec 2009]


Testing Indoors Continues

No long trips ! We have the craft indoors and are hovering it statically. We have been closely examining the skirt while it is hovering. This has enabled us to find how to tweak it to reduce wasteful air leakage. We even get underneath while it is hovering to get a better view. These tests and adjustments continue.

Posted on [22nd Dec 2009]



Yes, we are not alone, there is another human powered hovercraft in Britain.
More news of this, as we learn it - if they want to tell it.
Meanwhile, back at Steam Boat Willy HQ, we are now hovering indoors.
We decided to do this as the best way of being able to adjust the skirt so that it is even all around the perimeter. The floor is flat indoors, and it is getting cold outside.

Posted on [31st Oct 2009]


Hovering at Climate Camp

At Climate Camp, Blackheath, London, today, the SBW was hovered by one hundred and three people , one hundred and one of them for the first time.
The new-today hovercraft pilots are listed here:-
Gareth, Richard, Margot, Shade, J. Tadea, J Tomlinson,Lee, Neil , Tim , Bobb, Tim, Joie, Jill, Philip, Brian, Julian, Jeuksy,Richard , Andrew, Katherine , Kevin Cach, Luke, Duncan, Tim , Nick Sellen, Elly Stevens, Aurora, Marika , Angus, Ed , Sophie, Neil, Toni (passenger), Simon, Luke, Kester, Donna, Lauren, Saloza, Frank, Ivan(passenger), Jonathan, Huw, Rowan, Xavier, Milo, Paul, Natt, Tom, Naomi, Alex, Liam, Flo, Chris, Caroline, Neil,Gareth, Carlos, Thomas, Kayte, Rory,Gordon, Jana, Jarvist, Peter, Like,Colin, Bob, E Carla, Casey, Druzed!,Wojtek,Martin, Aura, Joshua, Jonathan, Sam, Naomi, Lois, Rob, C. Campbell, P. Krekora, Preety,Patrick, Adrain, Richard, Heather, Jenna, Naomi, Oscar, Lydia, Harvey, Emily, Kieran, Anthony, Stuart, Joha, Jack, Simon, Markos, Colin and Lucy.
( If we have missed your name off, or got it wrong, or you would like your surname included, please let us know)
Although the craft was tailored for 6'2"" tall Alexi, it was noticeable that the lighter and smaller people found it easier to hover.
This was also the first time we really tested the experimental elliptical chainwheel, and the big tarpaulin that we laid over the grass. Thanks to all who enabled this to happen.
Apart from first-timers, Simon and Chris hovered a bit ourselves too, and were really impressed with the other things going on at Climate Camp, especially the wind-turbines.

Posted on [30th Aug 2009]


SBW was at the HOVERSHOW

You gotta believe, it wasn't just a good show, it was a great Show.
The pitch allotted by the brilliant show organiser Warwick Jacobs to SBW was between a hovercraft used by the Queen and Prince Philip and the stall of the Hovercraft Search and Rescue UK link here Two of these lifeboat-hovercraft pilots Alan Orchard and Bill Allen had a go on Steam Boat Willy and both made a creditable performance.
Lots of other incredible things happened.
A family came by with a pair of dogs. The smaller one seemed quite docile. I must have been madder than usual because I said "Pass me that dog" while sitting in the craft. The dog was duly passed across and calmly sat on my lap while I gave it a short flight. I then handed it back and was promptly told, "Ah, now you must carry the other one or else it will be jealous." The other dog was appreciably larger, and for all I knew appreciably fiercer, but when you're at a Show you have to keep the public happy. So, next, I had to carry the big dog too, but I am still here to tell the tale.
The wind was horrendous the whole time. But nevertheless, we took the craft to the arena and Simon did a couple of circuits, which, with the wind being what it was, impressed me - and the rest of the crowd.
Thanks for the help from Lewis Harris of the 6th Gosport Air Scouts, Malcolm Whapshott, Simon Durant, Louise Deane and lots of others.
But I haven't told you about Michael Milburn.
See picture of him in this website's gallery.
Michael, now 9, was our second passenger. At the show he asked "Can I pilot it ?".
Michael is 4 foot 6. (13.716 decimeters) The craft was designed for someone 6 foot 2. (18.796 decimeters) It was obviously impossible, so I said "Sit in it, and you will see that your feet just won't reach the pedals."
So he did - and proved me wrong - he took off.
Later that day he was again a passenger, and then on subsequent days did more flights as pilot. Getting better each time.
There is no such thing as impossible, just things we haven't done yet.
It was a dog, not a pig, so I can't claim "Pigs can fly", but I can claim
that Michael Milburn is the youngest human ever to become airborne under his own leg-power alone.

Posted on [26th Jul 2009]



With help from Monique the modifications continued, and today Sunday with help from Andrew, Bethany and Robert we rigged the craft and tested it with the new bow extension. It all worked fine. We tested it a week before the HoverShow to give us time to make any adjustments. But none are needed. See us hovering at the Show
Friday 24th July upto Monday 27th July
or back at the Mews
on Sunday 2nd August 3pm
or Monday 3rd August 7pm

Posted on [18th Jul 2009]



At last, we have a winner of the biggest size Sudoku anywhere.
With only a fortnight before the competition closes,
Godard Jean-Claude sent in a correct solution.
Godard lives in Bois d'Arcy in the Yvelines (near Versailles), France.
If there is anyone out there still puzzling with it, here are some clues :-
The words MUSCLE, LIFTER, DURING, DETOUR appear in the solution.
Sudoku comp ends at end of July
(unless hordes of folks scream loudly that they want another one).
BUT, we have a totally different non-hovercraft item on the site, namely
the fairy story :-
. A Week in the Life of Little Red Riding Hood.

Posted on [16th Jul 2009]


Three Continents

Max Shepherd visited us. See picture in galleries. This is the guy who along with a couple of fellow pupils built a pedal powered hovercraft while he was still at school in Florida. ( See our History section). His friend Dylan Harris also piloted the Florida craft. Picture also shows Paul Standeven, native of New Zealand who has piloted Steam Boat Willy in England. So - we had three continents represented.

Posted on [7th Jul 2009]


In the workshop

There's a lot been done, there is more to do before we can be hovering again.
We have amended the whole bow section of the skirt, we have repaired damage to the frame and pads.
We have started amendments to the skirt at the aft end.
We have yet to complete this, to repair the propeller tips ( again ), and to extend the transport box for the longer craft.

The sooner this is done the better, because we want to be hovering again.

Posted on [8th Jun 2009]


Modifications in progress

Its all indoors now and partly in pieces.
We are working on modifying the skirt of the hovercraft.
The skirt has been completely taken off, giving us an opportunity to inspect the frame. This will be our fourth skirt arrangement.
We have started cutting and sewing
We also have a few other ideas that will be incorporated.

Posted on [17th Jan 2009]


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