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Hovercraft FAQ

Question: What is a segmented skirt?

The segmented skirt is also called a 'finger' skirt because it
consists of several separate nylon segments that, when inflated,
press together to form a shape that looks like fingers of a hand that
are pressed tightly together (place your hand into a fist and then
look at your knuckles). Although much more complex to manufacture
than a bag skirt, the segmented skirt offers much less resistance to
obstacles and much more ease of repair when damaged since you only
need to replace one or two damaged fingers instead of an entire
skirt. Segment skirted craft, however, are less stable than bag
skirted craft (not necessarily a bad thing if you race hovercraft).
The bag skirt is basically just that... a bag. The bag skirt should
probably be called a tube skirt because it consists of a tube that
encircles the perimeter of the craft. The bag is inflated which
serves to lift the craft off the ground and more importantly, to
contain the air cushion. There are two methods of inflating the bag
skirt, the first being serial feed and the second being parallel
feed. The serial feed method requires that air be directed from the
lift fan _through_ the skirt and then out into the cushion. The
parallel feed method requires that a certain amount of air be split
off of the lift fan into the skirt (about 10%) and the rest into the

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