Using Centrifugal Blowers For Hovercraft - Article

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Using Centrifugal Blowers for Hovercraft

Centrifugal blowers have been used in countless applications since their development. One of these applications is for generating the air flow needed to operate a hovercraft. Here, the advantages and disadvantages of centrifugal blowers for hovercraft applications will be briefly mentioned.

Advantages Of Centrifugal Blowers

One advantage of centrifugal blowers is the safety of the enclosures. Since these blowers are typically manufactured in their own metal enclosures, they are relatively unlikely to result in ejected debris in the plane of rotation, even in the event of an equipment failure.

Also an advantage for improved safety, is the lower rotational speed typical of centrifugal blowers. This characteristic also increases life expectancy of the blower.
Centrifugal blowers can also develop more pressure at a given rotational speed than a similarly sized propeller at the same rotational speed.

The simplicity of installation of centrifugal blowers offers an additional advantage. Typical installation techniques usually involve attaching the blower to the craft using the proper brackets with bolts.

Disadvantages Of Centrifugal Blowers

Centrifugal blowers do have their disadvantages, however, including a lower average thrust per horse power ratio. This means that more power will be required to produce the same thrust as a comparable propeller.

Because of the additional material that goes into manufacturing the blower enclosure, the weight of the blower is significantly increased. The blower wheel is also heavier than typical propellers or fans, resulting in a much longer response time to any changes in engine throttle.

Additionally, because of the lower rotational speed needed for centrifugal blowers, a reduction in the high rotational speed of the engine shaft is usually necessary. A common method of reduction drive applies belt and pulley arrangements, further increasing the weight of the system.


When deciding whether or not to use a centrifugal blower for a particular hovercraft, you should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of these assemblies. If high pressure air flow is a necessity, the application may fit the charateristics of the device. If lower weight, or similar requirements are needed, you may need to install equipment of a different type.

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