When I first got the hull, it had a large bench seat across the cockpit. As I wasn’t planning on taking passengers, it had to go. Racing hovers don’t generally have seats at all, you need to be agile and move around from side to side so I went with convention an fitted a centre console.
I made an early decision not to hide anything important inside the console. If anything breaks, it’s important to be able to get at it as quickly as possible.
You can see from the photo that the console has the master kill switch (inside the red triangle), the water temperature gauge, rev counter (on the right), steering cable and limit bolts.
The handlebars are connected to a piece of 25mm steel tube with a nut welded to the bottom end. This nut is wound onto a captive bold that goes through the hull. You can see the top of the tube comes up through a slot in the console, an on through a bush in the folded steel mounting bracket.
The white cable hung over the handlebars is the lanyard. The kill-switch is on the left hand side of the duct.
The duct is 750mm internal diameter and as it’s an integrated craft, there is a splitter plate running horizonaly across the duct about 150mm up from the bottom edge. Any air going below the plate provides lift, any air above provides thrust. In the center is a cone to help smooth out the airflow as it passes the centre of the fan assembly and to hold the flow straighteners.
Flow straighteners and generally regarded as “A Good Thing”. They are supposed to improve steering and help the airflow through the duct. They also do a good job of helping to keep the duct round, which is important, and I’m sure a host of other things.
The flow straighteners I made for Random Orbit are unusual in that they sweep around the duct as well as curve down their length. The idea was that air flowing off the fan blades should be straightened as gently as possible as each time you poke it you knock our some of the energy and I want as much as possible. It’s quite hard to explain a shape so take a look at the pictures.