General Question

Eggie's avatar

In what year would Hover Crafts would be a means of transport?

Asked by Eggie (5591points) December 31st, 2013

I saw a video on YouTube that shows a Hover Craft concept from Volkswagen. It had a real model of a Hover Craft where two Chinese people got in and drove the thing. A lot of people commented that it was fake. Was it fake? If not how long do you think it would be before it comes to the streets?

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8 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Hovercrafts will be practical the day someone invents an anti-gavity shield.
Imagine what it takes to keep a vehicle off the ground: fans, jet engine exhaust, etc. Now think of the seals that are needed to maintain the positive pressure: bladder seals, flexible skirts, etc.
Now look at your car in the driveway. It is hovering about 8 – 10 inches above the ground, supported by 4 rubber rings inflated with air. And it takes no power to stay there!

Do not hold your breath. The laws of physics are hard to beat. Widespread use of hovercrafts is a loooong way off.
Get busy working on that anti-gavity shield.

Eggie's avatar

Yes but was the video real?

Lightlyseared's avatar

Here’s the video. Yes its a fake.

For real hovercars we’ll have to wait for someone to figure out how gravity actually works and how we can manipulate it.

Eggie's avatar

@Lightlyseared Yes it is, fake. I have done some more research and I just found that out. Do you think it would happen any time soon? The concept is really sound. What if the government designs the roads with magnetic material and then the cars that are built would have magnets of different poles making the car repel. The weight of the car would be just enough to keep it from floating too far in the air.

dabbler's avatar

Working hovercraft are certainly real now but there are lots of reasons there’s no good reason to use them on a street. They take up a lot of room (with the big inflatable skirt) they are very noisy (huge fans) and they don’t stop and start efficiently compared to automobiles.

Using magnets in a road is a huge waste of magnets because they aren’t in operation most of the time. Also just using the repulsive forces of magnets in the street would be very unstable, the vehicle will naturally fall to one side or the other.

LostInParadise's avatar

If you consider maglev trains as a type of hovercraft then they may be the way of the future.

jerv's avatar

The skirts really are the weakness of hovercrafts, and Maglev trains have other issues, mostly stemming from the fact that they are still trains.

Also, I don’t know how I feel about electromagnetism being that wide spread. I’d hate to screw up my watch and lose my credit cards just walking across the street, and those with pacemakers or artificial joints would have bigger issues.

gasman's avatar

@Eggie: Using like-polarity magnets to stably levitate an object is a losing battle because of Earnshaw’s theorem‘s_theorem [something wrong with link], making such systems unstable. Maglev trains actually use magnetic levitation for support, but they’re confined to tracks.

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