Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Mr. S. F. O'Leary

Second Advisor

Dr. S. Cassidy


This project is concerned with the development of design and test methodologies for hovercraft.

Full-scale hovercraft field-testing is to be achieved through the dedicated re-design and re-construction of the ABl11Crossbow hovercraft. The Crossbow hovercraft is an experimental craft, which was built in England in the early seventies. The Crossbows re-design focuses on the production of a versatile craft, which is capable of modification to produce a variety of different operating conditions. The re-design and re-construction comprises several distinct areas. An improved and adjustable lift and thrust system is designed. The design and manufacture of a new more stable and versatile skirt is undertaken with a strong emphasis on replacibility and testing of whole and individual skirt components. A lighter and more corrosion resistant “Nomex” honeycomb material replaces the original aluminium honeycomb chassis. A self contained cooling and exhaust system is designed and fitted to the 175 HP marine outboard engine. A specialised, high efficiency, transmission system is manufactured. The re-design of the field craft takes place in parallel and complementary to the development of a number of experimental test rigs.

The test rigs are designed to more accurately simulate the conditions experienced by an in-service skirt. Critical parameters in the development of these test rigs include comparative testing of candidate materials, correlation between test ng life and in- service craft life and relative costs of full scale and test rig experimentation


Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering.

External Examiner: Prof. A. S. Hashmi.

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