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[edit: changed from 'wing' to 'skid' ]
Ride it like a recumbant bike. It looks similar to the RC hydrofoils shown on YouTube with two "skids". Each skid besides being a hydrofoil skid, has an inner tube that pushes out air in tiny nozzles (tilted toward the rear) creating a thin air film which makes
the hydrofoil skid even more frictionless. This airpipe and nozzles are all imprinted inside the skid frame so that on the out side there are no "bumps"
Make the main body and the skids from Styrofoam covered by duct tape, or from those new lightweight packaging plastics.
Forward movement can be either of by
(1) a single wheel which can propel the ULHFEHC on land
(run by the motor or perhaps with a bicycle chain and pedals
(2) a hovercraft type back fan
(3) a rudder for propulsion in water
Technically, I expect much less thrust will be needed for this type of a "hovercraft" since most of the vehicle is not lifted directly by the air film, and the "connecting surface" is extremely smaller.
Manned Hydrofoil - with wings across
I meant a verticle one... link soon to come [pashute, Mar 09 2010]
RC Hydrofoil - with parallel skids (wings)
This is what I meant. [pashute, Mar 09 2010]
Maybe the hover part of my idea is unnecessary.... [pashute, Mar 09 2010]
||I added two links, and edited the idea a bit.
||For the material, I think very efficient structures are made
from rigid insulating foam "painted" with a skin of fibreglass
||Yes, how much power is required? Could it be human-powered?
||I think you mean Hydroplane not Hydrofoil. The first link is a hydrofoil, the second is a hydroplane. Neither is a hovercraft. I guess it would be a technical call to say whether a pontoon covered by a film of bubbles is a hovercraft. It is possible that the film would cut down on surface friction, but it still doesn't tackle standard drag.
||20+ years ago I started building a vehicle like this to compete for the Dupont Challenge, which was a contest to create a human powered watercraft to break the 20 knot barrier. I've since come up with a better solution, so I can tell you about this one. The main problem is the same for all HP projects and that is people are weak. Figure about 1/5 of a horsepower for a fit person. This doesn't lend well to running high pressure air pumps AND pushing the craft forward. My solution was a classic hydroplane design using thin wall aluminum tubes for pontoons and keeping them stiff by pressurizing them with air like car tires. Styrofoam is even heavy compared to 20psi air and aluminum is WAY stiffer than duct tape.
||Then cover the tops of the tubes with a parawing made of plastic sheeting that angles down towards the back to create a large bottom area that is pressurized by air coming in from the front due to forward motion.
||A craft I designed was 20' long and 8' wide and only weighed something like 25 pounds before adding propulsion.