TOPIC: HOVERCRAFT

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The last couple of issues was some delamination of the side deck and erosion on the thrust prop.

The delamination is probably caused because I ignored the recommendation of Universal and painted the craft a darker colour, Marone.  They has said that this may cause the fibreglass to get to hot but I ignored them.  Now summer is with us I also placed black rubber decking on top of the marone and it simply got too hot causing the side deck of the UH18 to delaminate over an small area.  The sun reflecting off the side of the craft actually melted the black rubber decking.  To repair it I simply drilled some small holes through the top deck and using a syringe injected epoxy into the delaminated gap and then used Bricks to add weight to the deck.  It has worked well and the deck is now restored to new.  I have also kept the craft under cover when it is stored.

IMG 5708

The last remaining issue was what I had thought was bad erosion on the ends of the propeller.  when I removed the prop the erosion was less than I had thought but still needed repair.  In the earlier repair my son-in-law and myself has epoxied Kevlar along the leading edge and around the end of the prop and then covered the prop in carbon fiber.  The erosion had just gone through the epoxy but did not penetrate the Kevlar.

I talked with an aircraft supplier and they recommended metal tape.  The prop was sanded and then the erosion filled with Plasti-Bond.  This had also been recommended by the aircraft boys, apparently the Plasti-Bond is hard enough for the propeller.  I then sanded it and covered it with a layer of epoxy.  The first coat was too thick and ran so had to sand it all back and then put a thin coat on that now looks great.  I have then attached the metal tape to the leading edge where the erosion had occurred.  The prop is statically balanced and I re-sanded the ends so that the wood is not covered.

IMG 5716 IMG 5720 IMG 5727

IMG 5743 IMG 5749

The craft is now in very good shape.  I have to let the epoxy fully cure for 3 days so it needs another couple of days and the steel tap needs a week to cure so will have to leave it for a week or so and then take it out for a run.  I am looking forward to that.  My plan is the have my engine analiser, the EvoScan software, attached so that I get a good map of the engine under normal conditions.

I will let you know how it goes.

After this I want to put the long tails on and then eventually the wings but am very nervous about putting the wings on so if anybody who has flown their UH18 can comment on what it is like to take off and fly I would really appreciate your ideas and advice.

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Author / Member : lazza

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