hovercraft effeciency and light gravity

jedion357's picture
October 8, 2011 - 8:07pm
Wondering about the effects of lighter gravity on hovercraft.

just how far off the ground could a hover craft get in 1g and what would happen on a 0.7g world?

I'm guessing that lower g is good for hovercraft.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
October 9, 2011 - 2:37pm
I suspect that the main advantage would be reduced fuel consumption since they don't have to work as hard to maintain lift.  Thus fuel consumption would scale with gravity although I wouldn't have it scale directly since some of the fuel is used to propel the craft around and that woudn't change appreciably since the mass of the craft hasn't changed.  Say for every 10% reduction in gravity you get a 5% increase in range. Likewise for every 10% increase in gravity you get a 5% reduction in range.
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jedion357's picture
October 9, 2011 - 2:42pm
That sounds about right.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Karxan's picture
February 7, 2012 - 11:51pm
Hovercraft use the cushion of air for lift. So I agree with TerlObar that  you would gain effeciency with a reduction of gravity. You should not be able to lift any farther off the ground though as you will come out of the ground effect. Unless of course they are using anti gravity. With this thought you should include a less efficient use on higher gravity worlds. You could also have problems with the amount of air available. Whether it is a higher altitude with thinnner air or a planet with a thinnner atmosphere in general. The less air to work with would reduce a hovercrafts effeciency also. In theory I would think a lighter gravity world would have a thinner atmosphere anyway.

I was thinking about doing a father/son project and building one but have not had the money or space. Now that I have both he has moved out and is on his own.

jedion357's picture
February 8, 2012 - 9:48am
In case it ever mattered: in the star questions column run in dragon mags when SF was active IIRC power consumption was asked about and the answer was 1 SEU/KM travelled or maybe that was 1 SEU for a robot to travel 1 km.

Either way I use that as a rule of thumb, so if gravity increases or decreases over or under 1.0 then that would be reduction or increase in SEU usage. so in gravity of 0.9 a hovercraft will save one tenth of a SEU per km travelled.

Probably wont be a big problem in most games anyway.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
February 8, 2012 - 10:27am
Remember your basics. Since now a 1000 kg hover cycle now wieghs 700 kg but still has the same mass the thrust would be higher. It could get higher off the ground since unless built for that planet. Top Speed would also increase unless you are able to put a governor on it.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?