The Vortex 7+ is a twin engined craft with all engineering power
plants placed at the rear of the craft. The 2 rows of seating can easily be
removed for carrying a wide range of cargo; More than enough room for 2
stretchers and attendants.
Whilst the design weight is 700kg we know from
previous experience of our other craft that this is a ‘safe’ under estimation /
Final payload is dependant on craft specification and what extras
are added to the craft, pilot with 600kg of payload should be considered as the
The pilot (driver) sits well up front and high and is in an ideal
position to see the beach, rock, ramp etc for easy slow speed manoeuvrability,
this position also allows for good control of the craft when at speed.
The use of 2 engines, lift and thrust, means that the craft can
manoeuvre much more easily at slow speed than an integrated craft and provided
better wave handling when at sea.
These engines have been selected for their
reliability and longevity, basic maintenance of these power units is simple and
requires minimum technical competency. The whole design concept of the craft is
to keep it simple and reliable. The fans are set up to run as slow as possible
and with quality engine silencing the intention is to get the noise levels as
low as possible we expect to be well inside the current 85dba @ 25m currently
recommended for vehicles like these.
The segment skirt with high pressure loop skirt at front and rear
is the best design solution for a craft of this size, giving excellent ride
quality as well as durability and stability; the replaceable fingers ensure
that down time is kept to a minimum. Hard structure clearance will be around
300mm; this can be increased if service demands dictate. The inflatable side
bodies with their separate sealed buoyancy chambers ensure that not only is the
craft buoyant, but there is a flexible outer structure when hitting / knocking
against hard objects. Should the craft be left on water and the air chambers go
flat for some reason, the 0.5cum of buoyancy foam (around the engine / fan
areas) ensure that the craft is safe.
By using inflatable side bodies it ensure
that towing the craft is easy and will fit a standard shipping container, the
2.25m towing width is well within the limits of a standard car and would not
require a multi-purpose vehicle (4*4 etc).
Whilst the final internal design layout is not fixed, it is
possible to add 2 extra seats either side and slightly further back to the
pilot should the customer require. We can offer a wide range of extras from
navigational aides to communications systems, however most customers prefer to
fit their own so that the equipments matches units that are already in service,
in this case we can provide suitable electrical and physical connections.
Depending on final engine choice air conditioning can also be offered.
construction, most areas are made up of a 3 layer system, 450grm CSM, 265grm Diolen
(hybrid woven cloth) 300grm CSM. Polyester resin is used making repairs in the
field easy. Addition layers of
Kevlar (255grm) are sandwiched to provide additional support in high
stress areas, ie engine mounting points and load mount fixings
· Foam cores also
increase panel stiffness in non stress areas.
· Underneath, the floor
has an additional layer of 12mm end grain balsa wood (as used in power boat
construction) this produces a very hard wearing, puncture resistant floor
· 8 off HDPE (high
density polyethylene) landing pads are bolted to the floor; these are
sacrificial items and are easily replaced at major service
intervals. These landing pads enable
the craft to operate on strong abrasion surfaces such as airport
· Unlike many other
hovercraft, any part of our craft can be walked on, even the rear duct.
Engine and Transmission
The thrust power unit
is an 80hp Toyota
engine. This K1 series engine 1000cc, 3 cylinder unit is
supplied to our specification by Toyota engine
developments. This includes an ECU system
programmed to match our fan installation.
· The lift power unit is
an 45hp Toyota
engine (de-rated K1 series engine 1000cc, 3 cylinder unit)
· The engines are rubber
mounted on a welded steel engine cradle
· The fans are produced
by Hascon in Italy, we are
distributors for their products.
· The power transmission
coupling system is provided by Centa Transmissions of Germany
· The HTD drive reduction system is designed by Vortex Services and produced
by Megadyne of Italy
· The fan frames are
fabricated from mild steel, heat treated welded tube, not stainless steel. As
a company we have found that a welded
stainless frame does not stand up to the loads that
the frame is subjected to over a long
period of use; age hardened stress cracks are formed in
welded steel structures.
· The fan frames are
plated and powder coated for long life.
· The fan guards are
also plated and powder coated.
Controls and Instrumentation
The main controls are
focused around the steering wheel.
· The engine throttle
levers are mounted to the left of the steering wheel.
· Hovercraft trim
control is provided by 2 sealed push buttons on the middle of the steering
· All instrumentation
and other controls are grouped around the driving position.