Have you ever laid your eyes on a machine and found yourself asking this question: ‘what would it feel like to be in control of THAT?’ Well, the Hovercraft at Avalanche Adventure is certainly one of those badass machines. And it is sure to raise more than just one question in your head.
Out of all the driving experiences that we have to offer, it is safe to say that the hovercraft is the the most exciting and also the most mysterious.
You see tyres and you can tell right away that they will roll. You see wings and you know that they will fly. But what in the name of all that is wonderful does an air cushion do?
Is it going to rise like a hot air balloon? Is it going to float or is it going to slide?
To know exactly what it does, you may have to read further or even better, give it a try yourself.
So, What is It?
The Hovercraft is a bit of everything. It lifts off the ground like a plane (though not as high, don’t worry), it floats on water like a boat, but it also drifts around corners like a high-speed sports car. That doesn’t exactly quell your curiosity now, does it?
Let’s find out how it works to give you a better understanding.
How Does it Work?
When we say that it lifts off the ground you shouldn’t picture it on the runway of an airport. It uses the same principles of physics that airplanes use to fly, except that in the case of a Hovercraft you don’t get high enough to experience proper flight.
See the gigantic fan at the rear end? It is definitely not meant to cool you down on a sunny day. It propels the craft in a forward direction and directs a portion of it to the skirt at the bottom of the craft. The air trapped inside the skirt creates a higher air pressure and lifts the hovercraft above the ground.
The engine’s speed is controlled by a ‘squeeze to go’ throttle control which is mounted on the right hand side of the steering handlebar. It looks similar to the one which is used on a bike to provide the braking function. When the lever is squeezed, it forces air into the craft’s skirt and in this way lifts the craft off the ground and pushes it forward.
Here’s the fun part. The hovercraft doesn’t really have brakes! To bring it to a halt, all you need to do is release the throttle and the craft will sink back to the ground once the air pressure has dropped.
Steering Handle Bar
Remember those racing cars in Fast and Furious that drift around the corners? Hovercrafts turn to their left and right in a similar manner. They do not turn technically but drift.
The steering handle bar essentially controls a couple of fins which are mounted behind the gigantic fan at the rear end of the hovercraft. The fins vector the air to the left or right and this pushes the rear of the craft in the opposite direction as per Newton’s third law of motion – ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ – but let us not get into that right now…
When you steer the handlebar to the left, the fins move to their left, air is vectored to the left, the rear of the craft turns to its right and the craft turns left. It may sound complicated but all that you need to remember is that the craft moves in whichever direction you turn the handlebar.
To effectively control a hovercraft you must move your body weight. When the hovercraft is being propelled forward you may have to kneel up to ensure that the lift is even. Leaning to the side where you want to turn lifts the air pressure off one end and makes the craft turn rapidly.
Whether its your last night of freedom, the beginning of something new or just another weekend to kill, you can turn any occasion into a special one by signing up for this truly unique joy ride.
The beauty of having an experience such as this is that you won’t have to pose for the camera when you get off the hovercraft. The experience itself will bring out the right expression.