Platte River Outings



It has been a very quiet year, from the deer rescue outing and giving a talk at the Logan Optimist Club about hovercrafting in the spring.  The record river levels and high and fast flow kept me off the Platte this year.  I have been working on the latest hovercraft design project and have it hovering on the drive.  I'm still working on the thrust system and hope to have it operational for testing before the winter sets in.  I'll then finish next spring. My other hovercraft is still fully operational and available for outings, or rescues, in 2012.  I had to cancel the Platte River Hover-In too due to river conditions.  Actually the weather was very poor over the weekend I had intended to use, so it worked out well from that point of view.


It was a slow start to the hovering year for us in 2010, mainly due to the bad weather and flood conditions on the Platte River, and a lot of house renovations that I've been putting off for a few years.

I did fit a new Hascon Wing Fan from  It was the best $200 I could have spent on a fan.

 We finally got out on the Plattte on Friday 9th July for a perfect cruise of about 60 miles. The weather was perfect and the river was nice and low with plently of huge flat sandbars to hover over as well as smooth water. With only two other airboats out for the whole trip, we virtually had the river to ourselves.

The lift fan made a huge difference to the way the craft hovered and increased our cruise speed by about 10mph, taking us up to a 25mph cruise and a 30mph + top speed (without really trying).  I think I need to fit a coarser thrust propeller as I think that the craft could easily do 50mph with the correct prop and a bit of skirt tweaking.

The outing only used about 5 gallons of fuel - not bad for over 2 1/2 hours of cruising.

We are hoping to get out on the river several more times, in between house renovation, car repairs, and other fun stuff. 

We did manage several more outings and had some great runs of 70, 80 and 90 miles up the river as far as Columbus, NE and Silver Creek, NE.  We did have one adventure when a thrust engine ignition coil died on a return trip.  I'll try to add the story later.

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