"Hovercraft Amazonia", A New Way Of Roaming The Rainforest Rivers
Hovercrafts are used around the world with several different goals, from leisure and sports to civil and military transportation. It is an effective method of transportation, since it can travel in different surfaces such as water, ice, land, mud, and so on.
Their two main features are the blowers, which produce large volumes of air below the hull which is above atmospheric pressure, provoking a differential air pressure below and above the hull which causes for the hull to float above the running surface, as well as the skirt, found on the bottom of the vehicle, which allows for the hovercraft to travel over small obstructions without damages.
Abiatá Santana and Adimael Santana, from the LIAA Shipyard, had the idea of building a hovecraft after watching a documentary about them on the Discovery Channel, back in 2000. Their first move was to acquire an existing project, but the high price they were asked ($1.5 million) dissuaded them.
This first setback ended up being the motivation they needed to start: they began to build their own hovercraft, completely from scratch and solely using Brazilian technology. The prototype was presented back in 2012, and looked really good.
Nowadays the vehicle is still a prototype, but it appears to be promising. It is projected that "Hovercraft Amazonia" will have a top (cruise) speed around 80 km/h (50 mph) and room for 140 passengers, with a fuel consumption of 300 liters per hour.
Not only this project is a great example of the Brazilian innovative spirit, it can represent an opportunity for the Brazilian Navy as well, introducing such a vehicle into military operations.
Diogo Costa • International Innovations