We put together some action shots of the new Phoenix on various Texas waterways. Lots of fun on just 13 horsepower, and you can have fun all day long with just a 5 gallon can of gas! We’re hard at work on the tooling necessary to produce a quick build kit version of this craft. We’re hoping to have the first molded parts out in a few months. And check back soon for video of the high power “Inferno” version of this craft, featuring a 23 horsepower Briggs V-twin!
The new Phoenix went for its first flight at the Brazos River hover-in recently! We were thrilled with the performance, with its light weight and efficient design enabling us to reach top speeds of 25 mph on just 13 horsepower.
The Phoenix has a comfortable and extremely quiet cruise at around 70-75% throttle. The craft is nimble in its F15-eligible base configuration with the 420 cc Predator engine, but the small block Briggs 23 horsepower V-twin is a drop-in replacement for builders who want more power.
The Phoenix is also very comfortable with its ‘kneeler’ configuration. The low bench seat is comfortable and keeps the center of gravity of the entire craft very low, resulting in great stability on cushion. As shown in the picture above, you can also stand on your knees in the padded footwells for short times to get a higher view point. We’re very excited about the new craft, and are currently working out details to offer a simple quick-build kit, which would include a molded hull, engine, reduction drive, rudder parts, controls, skirt material, and all stainless steel hardware. This craft is an absolute blast to fly, and is perfect for both new flyers and seasoned flyers who want a simple, quiet, reliable craft.
If you might be interested in a Phoenix kit, let us know and we’ll be happy to keep you updated as we finish the kit development!
Check out the video below to see the Phoenix in action:
The Phoenix is an entry level craft designed to be assembled quickly from CNC cut foam hull components. It’s a smaller version of our successful LSX design, and carries one adult passenger and will accommodate any of the single cylinder or small V-twin industrial engines (13-27 HP). We have the completed shell painted and are now installing the engine, skirt, and control system for testing. We expect to have most of the hull components available in kit form within a few months. For more information or details about the upcoming kit, drop us a line!
We’ve had some inquiries about the cutaway engine we bring with us to shows and Maker Faires, and I’ve always wanted to make more. I cut the first one away with a hacksaw and lots of elbow grease, but I’ve since streamlined the process. The new cutaway engines feature a precision milled engine block and cylinder head, revealing the engine internals. The crankshaft, camshaft, balance shaft, piston, pushrods, and valves all work with a turn of the crank. The starter motor, flywheel/ring gear, and carburetor with throttle and choke butterfly valves are also present, so this is as close to a working engine as you can get… except for the gaping hole in the side! The cover plate is made from laser cut acrylic, and the hand crank is zinc-plated steel for years of reliable service. Cutaway engines are great as both teaching tools and conversation pieces! See the Cutaway Engine product page for details.
We’ve been hard at work putting together a smaller version of the LSX designed around the F15 racing class. Like the previous craft, it uses a modular foam construction technique, but has a smaller 10.75′ x 5.25′ footprint. The driver will sit in a kneeling position to further lower the CG of the craft. As shown here, the base hull weighs about 40 lbs so far, and has almost 1000 lbs of flotation. The propulsion system is a 13 HP engine with a 2.25:1 belt reduction driving a 36″ Multiwing fan, which should be very smooth and quiet. Stay tuned for updates!
We just received our first CNC cut thrust duct former. We’re about to release a former designed for a 36″ duct with 1/8″ tip clearance, but contact us to ask about custom sizes! We can cut formers for larger thrust ducts, as well as smaller models for lift ducts. The former is cut from lightweight 3/8″ plywood, and comes in four identical pieces. Semicircular former pairs are assembled into circles with 4 bolts, and the two assembled circles are snapped together with 12 slotted tabs. The 1/8″ plywood typically used for the inside of duct is then simply wrapped around the duct former. A 1″ center hole is drilled to allow alignment with an engine or reduction drive output shaft on the craft, and can also be used to suspend the duct former during assembly and fiberglassing of the duct. When the duct is complete, remove the bolts and tabs, and the former easily collapses and is removed from the duct! Use the CNC duct former to drastically reduce your duct build time. Assembly only takes 5 minutes right out of the box!
Our new belt reduction drive is now ready for testing. This is an optimized version of the reduction drive that has been running on the LSX prototype craft. It is designed for the Generac or Briggs 35 industrial V-twin engines, but can easily be adapted to any industrial engine in this size range. The reduction drive features all aluminum and stainless steel construction for durability in all-weather environments and is perfect for hovercraft, ultralights, and small airboats. Pictured above is the shaft mount for fans, but we will also have an adapter allowing propellers to be mounted directly to the output pulley. It uses a 30 mm Gates Powergrip timing belt with spring-loaded autotensioner for long life and zero slippage! The final version will feature all powder coated aluminum parts for unparalleled looks and durability. We will be posting final pricing and options soon. Please drop us a line if you have any questions about specs or applications!