Pegasus can't stand two: Airbag
In the final shots of the cult Russian action movie "Return Response", a giant hovercraft flies off to the shore. This shot was not only the spectacular completion of the dynamic cheers and patriotic campaigns of the landing and marine corps, but also the first acquaintance of my peers with this technology. For many years, it was delayed in my head - the military has air-cushion landing ships. Much later, I found out that they came up with them in England, calling them “hovercraft”, and that they are not only military.
What was my surprise and delight when I was sent to take a ride on a civilian hovercraft "Pegasus", and even domestic production! But my joy was short-lived. From the side, the machine looks great. The size of a small passenger car, made of yellow plastic, beautifully shaped - there are no complaints about designers. But upon closer inspection, all the “charms” become apparent: curved and rusty screws, a poorly fixed battery, poor interior trim, poor-quality joints of parts. But that is not the main problem. Hovercraft’s original design involved three engines — one inflating a pillow, the other two traction motors. Accordingly, maneuvering was carried out by reducing the speed in one of the traction engines. This is exactly what the hovercraft is designed for - both Russian, Chinese, and American. But cheap civilian vessels, and Pegasus is no exception, are arranged differently.
To save money, only one engine is used, air cushioning is carried out by partial air extraction from the screw. The drawback of the circuit is obvious: when the speed drops, the pillow immediately sags. In addition, maneuvering is carried out by the rudders, much like in an airplane. As explained to us by the president of the company Plast, which produces Pegasus, Pavel Pleva, in order to turn, you need to reduce gas. In this case, the pillow immediately deflates. Well, if on the water - well, they flopped, and drove on. And on earth, this is already less pleasant, although, of course, not fatal.
We still failed to ride. First, due to the fact that the car was on a wheeled trailer. In the future, designers are going to develop a special trailer with a flat bottom, on which the boat can inflate a pillow and move out on its own. But we were not able to remove the half-ton apparatus on our own. Therefore, now the trailer with the boat is driven into the water, freed from fasteners, the ship floats up and only after that is ready for movement. When the Pegasus was nevertheless launched, Pavel Pleva, who was demonstrating the car, promised to give a ride to everyone later, after demonstrating the maneuvering capabilities of the device on the water. Not immediately, but it became clear why he had done so. Take off and cheerfully go, like in a movie, did not work. The device gained speed of five hundred meters. True, then quite briskly rushed through the bay at a speed of about 60 km / h. The fact is that a low-power, 65-horsepower engine hardly lifts one driver above the water. Actually, in the photos the device is captured just in this version. But with the driver and passenger, the boat becomes similar to the Zaporozhets, to which the bus was picked up. With a driver and two passengers, the ship simply cannot rise from the water. We were assured that the whole point is that in the demonstrated sample the weakest engine. There are options with 80 and 100-horsepower engines. However, we did not see them.
“Pegasus” is difficult to attribute to serious off-road vehicles, for example, for geologists or hunting hunters, especially when you consider that it is not started the first time. It is also not clear to whom he may be interested as a toy. For the so-called "middle class" $ 25 thousand for such a car is expensive. Those who have money for such toys are more likely to buy the original hovercraft, which, incidentally, is not that expensive - from $ 5 to $ 30 thousand, depending on the number of seats and engine power.The article was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 8, August 2003). Do you like the article?
Subscribe to the news and keep abreast of the most interesting and useful news. OK I agree to the rules of the site Thank you. We have sent a confirmation email to your email.