An electric solid-state hovercraft
This project investigates, designs and builds a magnetically levitating craft driven by Linear Induction Motors (LIMs).
Like a maglev train, there are no moving parts or mechanical losses, however, it has the range of motion of a conventional hovercraft. A low to ground wing segment provides lift when at speed by exploiting the ‘ground effect’, which is the increase in lift of a wing when it is close above the ground. Simulations were used in the analysis and optimisation process. Wind tunnel testing was utilised for the aerodynamic refinement of the craft.
The craft can levitate over conducting, non-magnetic surfaces like aluminium or copper. It’s expected that with testing at higher speeds, the aerodynamic ground effect can reduce the electrical power required for levitation. Further developments could see this design being implemented in modern transportation within an industrial environment or for recreational uses.
Mechanical Engineering + Electrical and Electronic Engineering