High Stability Lift System:
The Lift System is the essential and exclusive element of amphibious air cushion vehicles. Therefore, we have given the greatest importance to having a lift system that offers, above all, a very high stability that confers the hovercraft the capability to operate in very adverse weather conditions for its size. The aim was to strengthen what had always been the weakest point of amphibious hovercraft.
This objective has at the same time been reached without increasing the lift power requirements or the manufacturing and maintenance costs of the hovercraft.
Results - Improvements obtained
The most immediate result is a very high transversal stability increase, without the need to increase in any way the required lift power. On the contrary, the latter is, in any case, reduced.
A direct consequence of this high stability is that the hovercraft can be designed with a greater air cushion depth for a given beam. This means that it can operate over higher obstacles and waves for a given size.
Another advantage of this high stability is that the hovercraft can be designed with a greater length to beam ratio, and this in turn leads to a lower wave-making drag and a higher overall efficiency of the hovercraft.
Technological Innovation: A.T.A.D. Lift System
The technological innovation obtained has been a new lift system which has been dubbed "A.T.A.D." after the initials of its working mode, which stands for "Automatic Transversal Air Distribution".
This system is based on a longitudinal flexible keel that divides the air cushion into two chambers. This keel continuously directs all lift air to the chamber towards which the hovercraft heels, and at the same time it shuts the air passage to the other, risen side.
The result is a remarkable increase in the pressure difference between both air chambers, with a simultaneous reduction of the air flow waste under the risen air cushion side.