International Journal of Mathematical, Engineering and Management Sciences

ISSN: 2455-7749

Design and Development of Unmanned Hovercraft

Surendar Ganesan
Centre for Autonomous System Research, Vel Tech Rangarajan Dr. Sagunthala R & D Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India.

Balasubramanian Esakki
Centre for Autonomous System Research, Vel Tech Rangarajan Dr. Sagunthala R & D Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India.


Received on April 11, 2019
Accepted on July 04, 2019


The present study focuses on the development and performance analysis of unmanned hovercraft. The inherent characteristics of hovercraft such as hovering and gliding on diverse surfaces like water and land are intended for pollution control in remote water bodies. The vehicle is designed with bag skirt configuration for ease and smooth functioning on multiple terrains. Computer Aided Design (CAD) model with incorporation of spraying mechanism as a payload is conceptualized. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis at internal flow condition is performed and bag pressure of the skirt is assessed. The prototype model of vehicle to accommodate a payload of 0.8kg is fabricated from suitable lightweight materials and the experiments are conducted to explore the desired operation of hovering and forward thrust systems. The performance studies are made with velocity component in linear direction on land and water surfaces.

Keywords- Unmanned hovercraft, Bag skirt, Air cushion vehicle, CFD, Spraying system.


Ganesan, S., & Esakki, B. (2019). Design and Development of Unmanned Hovercraft. International Journal of Mathematical, Engineering and Management Sciences, 4(5), 1180-1195.

Conflict of Interest

The authors affirm that there is no conflict of interest to be declared for this publication.


The Authors would like to thank the funding support from DST – GITA (Ref: 2015RK0201103) under Indo – Korea joint research collaboration. The technical assistance from Centre for Autonomous System Research and Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering, Vel Tech Rangarajan Dr.Sagunthala R&D Institute of Science and Technology are also greatly acknowledged.


Amyot, J.R. (Ed.). (2013). Hovercraft technology, economics and applications (Vol. 11). Elsevier.

Amiruddin, A.K., Sapuan, S.M., & Jaafar, A.A. (2011). Development of a hovercraft prototype with an aluminium hull base. International Journal of Physical Sciences, 6(17), 4185-4194.

Anguah, K., & Szapiro, N. (2009). Design and construction of a passenger hovercraft. E90 final report.

Anter, T.A., Hossamel-din, Y.H., & Abdrabbo, S.M. (2017, September). An autonomous hovercraft with minimum energy consumption. In 2017 International Conference on Research and Education in Mechatronics (REM) (pp. 1-7). IEEE.

Chung, J., & Jung, T.C. (2004). Optimization of an air cushion vehicle bag and finger skirt using genetic algorithms. Aerospace Science and Technology, 8(3), 219-229.

Esakki, B., Ganesan, S., Mathiyazhagan, S., Ramasubramanian, K., Gnanasekaran, B., Son, B., Park, S.W., & Choi, J.S. (2018). Design of amphibious vehicle for unmanned mission in water quality monitoring using internet of things. Sensors, 18(10), 3318.

García, D. (2014). Dynamic, Simulation and Control Design of an Unmanned Hovercraft. I+ D Tecnológico, 10(2), 40-47.

Gera, P., Sarkar, S., Jha, R., Raj, R., Bardhan, R., & Gupta, S. (2009, January). Design, fabrication and industrial application of a miniature hovercraft. In ASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (pp. 665-674). American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Hasnan, K., & Wahab, A.A. (2010, December). Towards the conceptual design and construction of an unmanned small-scale air-land-water vehicle. In 2010 International Conference on Computer Applications and Industrial Electronics (pp. 98-103). IEEE.

Hein, S.M., & Liaw, H.C. (2013). Design and development of a compact hovercraft vehicle. IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, (pp. 1516-1521). Wollongong, Australia. (2013, December 13). hovercraft-environment. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from

Lamberson, J., & Nelson, W. (2002). Environmental monitoring and assessment program national coastal assessment field operations: west coast field sampling methods-Intertidal 2002. US Environmental Protection Agency, Newport.

Lynch Jr, W.E. (2009). Controlling filamentous algae in ponds. School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University, US.

Miková, T.L., Gmiterko, A., & Ľubica, E.P. (2014). Design of mobile robot based on hovercraft. CER Comparative European Research 2014, 101.

Noor, S.M., Syam, K., Jaafar, A.A., Sharif, M.M., Ghazali, M.R., Ibrahim, W.I., & Atan, M.F. (2016, February). Development of a working hovercraft model. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 114, No. 1, p. 012150). IOP Publishing.

Okafor, B.E. (2013). Development of a hovercraft prototype. International Journal of Engineering and Technology, 3(3), 276-281.

Pavăl, M.S., Popescu, A., Popescu, T., Zahariea, D., & Husaru, D.E. (2018, November). Numerical study on the movement of air inside the inner cavity of a hovercraft model. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 444, No. 8, p. 082005). IOP Publishing.

Pope, G.G. (1976). An evaluation of a light hovercraft as a spraying platform and survey craft in the UK and Botswana. PANS, 22(1), 132-136.

Saad, K.A.M., Murugan, K., & Ramli, M.A.H. (2018). The development of hovercraft design with a horizontal propulsion system. In Engineering Applications for New Materials and Technologies (pp. 91-103). Springer, Cham.

Schaltz, E., & Soylu, S. (2011). Electrical vehicle design and modeling. Electric Vehicles-Modelling and Simulations, 1, 1-24.

Schleigh, J. (2006). Construction of a hovercraft model and control of its motion (Doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, USA.

Yan, R.J., Pang, S., Sun, H.B., & Pang, Y.J. (2010). Development and missions of unmanned surface vehicle. Journal of Marine Science and Application, 9(4), 451-457.

Yun, L., & Bliault, A. (2000). Theory and design of air cushion craft. Elsevier.

Privacy Policy| Terms & Conditions