Interesting concept, using hovercraft-like technology to create a “floating” covered area on a sensitive surface. See the above for more information.

I am a hovercraft enthusiast. I just finished re-coating the surface of my 14 foot hovercraft from its original blue color to Piper Cub Yellow. This is a homemade hovercraft, covered in aircraft fabric on the top surface, and powered by a 16 hp lawn mower engine. Top speed is about 25 mph. Total weight is about 300 pounds and can carry 2 adults (3 adults if not too big and you are patient about getting up on the air bubble).

The original blue covering was peeling and cracking. That was painstakingly removed from the old fabric over a period of weeks. The fabric was repaired (several torn sections had to be fixed), cleaned, vacuumed, re-shrunk (heat shrinkable fabric), and then coated with an adhesive layer, then 3 coats of a “filler” layer and ultraviolet light protectant, and then five coats of Piper Cub Yellow. I used the Stewart Systems water-based coating system, rather than the traditional nitrate dope and butyrate dope method. Really liked using the Stewart Systems products, their tech support was very helpful, their online downloadable e-book is excellent – and I would recommend their products for similar fabric coverings.

When operated with 2 people, the hovercraft exerts a force of perhaps 7 to 9 pounds per square foot – vastly less than a person standing on their feet! A 200 pound person is putting 200 pounds on the ground – over may be 1/2 square foot of surface, by comparison!