The TRUE capacity of a hovercraft.

Over the years, we’ve seen many hovercraft manufacturers come and go. Among those that ‘went’ there seemed to be a fairly consistent practice of giving… let’s say optimistic payload specifications. 

Hovercraft are tricky. There are three figures one could use for “maximum payload” on a specification sheet and be technically correct. However, most only care about one of those three. Lets take a quick look at what we could use for a ‘max payload’ figure.

  1. Maximum lifting capacity on solid ground. Salespeople love this method because the number is enormous. It’s also mostly meaningless. Most hovercraft with an even marginally competent design will lift ludicrous weight on a solid surface. 
  2. Maximum “safe” operating payload. This is the manufacturers educated guess as to what a hovercraft can safely carry while maintaining a reasonable degree of controllability, roll stability, floatation, etc. The problem is that it’s entirely subjective with no clear value. Historically, it is the most common figure given by hovercraft manufacturers. 
  3. Maximum “hump” capacity. This figure represents the maximum payload where the hovercraft can still get up to speed from a dead stop on water. This assumes ‘ideal’ conditions  as the value can change with wind, waves, poor maintenance, lack of pilot skill, etc. It is always the most restrictive (lowest value) of the three methods because starting from a dead stop on water is one of the most difficult things for a hovercraft to do. 

In this video we test option 3, the maximum “hump” capacity of the EVOlution hovercraft. For the vast majority of people, what they’re truly asking when they say “how much can it carry?” is this value. 

Spoiler alert… the EVO is absolutely outstanding for a hovercraft of it’s size; it exceeds all other commercially manufactured 4 passenger hovercraft as well as our own original design goals.

Jason Kuehn
President, Hoverstream LLC.

Get in touch if you have any questions, 317-489-0075.

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