First tests of ekranoplan


The first tests of ekranoplan made. For the first time, fine, I think. The steering is working. The boat is not leaking. The motor has little power for this boat. The rear wing has a large lifting force and therefore presses the nose and does not allow the boat to accelerate. Perhaps if there was more power it would be pulled. I don’t know, I need to try different options. While I calmed down. I don’t have a powerful motor, which means that you can do airboats. I will rearrange the engine to a new aero boat and arrange races. now I have two airliners and two motors for my small boats will be just right, and the winged aircraft needs to be improved and a new engine. And in general, to come with him to the lake is a very big problem. Three bulky parts need to be assembled and taken by bus and then collected and adjusted for two hours. Very hard. For such tests, you need a base near the water and some free funds, then things will go faster. Yes, and I forgot to say, I was flooded with water from spray from head to toe. And the propeller hit the water. I don’t know when the next time I will take this green monster to the test, but so far I’m satisfied.

Special thanks to my friends Karlis, Tom and Roland for their help at an important moment.

The boat is assembled


I put together all the details of the boat. Without a pilot, the boat weighs 125 kg, with me – 200 kg. Connected and started an engine. Engine jams, can not give full throttle. Engine fills. I tried to adjust the carburetor, but there are no changes, we need to look further. But the fact that the motor made it clear was enough to understand that the rear wing rises, and the front does not move. On the model there was also a rear wing always the first to come off, but there the power-to-weight ratio was huge, but here it is not enough. According to the plan, it should be so. When the boat accelerates and the front wing starts to take off from the stream of air tending under it, the rear wing will have to push it down, balance it. But still too sluggish the engine blows under the front wing. I digested the engine mount. I lowered the motor 10 cm lower. Now the tip of the propeller is 30 cm from the ground and from the water it will be about 20-25 cm. Started up again, again tormented with an engine that stalled all the time, but still managed to understand that the lifting force under the front wing not enough to pick it up on the spot. The fact is that my wing is made of PVC fabric and it is soft, which was made for weight. And it turns out like a pocket. So I’m thinking, either redo the wing and make it flat below so that the wing plane is closer to the surface of the water and thereby increase the pressure under it, or not get hot and wait for spring to do sea trials. Then I understand firstly how the boat behaves on the water, how the wings work, maybe everything will be fine at speed. And then, based on water tests, you can continue to improve the boat, or leave everything as it is. I do not know what to do. So much effort has been invested and now wait until spring to understand whether I was right or not. Okay, if someone reads this blog, someone who has experience in such matters and some comments would love to hear any constructive criticism. As usual below the photo and video report.

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Pasting and painting


Christmas and New Year’s holidays came, everyone scattered home and the workroom remained at my disposal. Last week, the boat was glued with fiberglass for two layers. My colleague Tom helped me in this for a small fee, for what many thanks to him. And a week later, on the 24th and 25th, the boat was painted with dark green paint, my brother Vyacheslav helped me, thanks to him. I need to wait a couple of days until the paint finally hardens. In the hangar is plus eight  degrees centigrade, for the paint that I use (two-component polyurethane) this temperature is critical. But I hope everything will be fine. Thanks to global warming, the winter in our latitudes is getting milder and this winter is December 25, plus five on the street and does not seem any snow. These circumstances help me a lot, otherwise I would have to wait for spring, but I do not like to put aside what I had planned. Better I will do everything for the previously pack and put aside until spring and I can live and work quietly waiting for sea trials.

When everything dries well I’ll put together all the boat components. This is a very important occupation and I do not know how much it will take time. After all, I need to twist everything well, fit and adjust. Install the motor, guide the wires into the cab, install the tail and put the control handle. And most importantly, start the engine and check how it works in such a pulling mode and whether there is enough traction. This may take a couple of days or maybe a couple of weeks. In my workshop, I can only go about my business on the weekend, and then take it apart and take it away in the corners. But nothing, I will find the time. In the meantime, photos of the painting process below.

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Work on strengthening the structure


I thought about the boat and realized that the attachment point of the front and rear is very fragile. I decided to strengthen it with aluminum tubes. I did it this weekend. The boat looks very good, it has a beautiful streamlined hull. Pontoons turned out very well and look organically with the body. One problem that I did not see initially seemed to be plywood as a material – the hull slightly bent at the junction of the front and rear of the boat. Due to the increased humidity in the hangar, plywood absorbed a lot of moisture and bent from improper storage of parts, but now when I connected the front and back, a slight bend appeared. I have a couple of ideas how to fix this, but all this after I have glued the hull of the boat with fiberglass. After pasting the hull, the boat will become tougher and it will be possible to fasten and straighten it normally, and after painting, moisture will no longer affect the hull. I also made a front little ruder and figured out the place where he would stand. It turned out pretty well. As always, the photo report is below. The quality of the photos is not very good, for which I apologize the protective glass broke on the phone and the photos turn out a little muddy.

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I managed till winter


The front end of the ekranoplan is ready. The frame is welded, the pontoons are glued, everything is ready for gluing with fiberglass. I must say that the device is quite large. The main thing is not to sort out the weight, you need to keep within 150 kg without a pilot then it will be good. Honestly, I can’t imagine how I’ll take the boat to the test, although it can be divided into two parts, the roof of my small car is definitely not enough. And you will also need to find some secluded place to calmly conduct the test without unnecessary onlookers.

What else? I can only cover the boat with fiberglass in early December. a lot of work and the workshop is littered with various furniture so for a month I will not write anything here. If everything goes well, then before the new year the boat will be glued and possibly painted. Then the rudders, engine and cockpit will be installed. As always below the photos of the work done.

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