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2/23/2018 APSC 258

Preliminary Report

Andrew Fisher 55442131


Cole Laing 43735159
Riley Salter 37173151
Mackenzie Smith 23874150
Dario Sokic 28792159
Nathan Van Zyderveld 24533151

GROUP: L2C-3-UNCIVIL ENGINEERS


Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 1


2.0 Problem Formulation ................................................................................................................ 2
2.1 Problem Statement ................................................................................................................ 2
2.2 Needs and Constraints........................................................................................................... 3
3.0 Design Process .......................................................................................................................... 5
3.1 Recognizing the Need ........................................................................................................... 5
3.2 Defining the Problem ............................................................................................................ 5
3.3 Project Planning .................................................................................................................... 7
3.4 Information Gathering .......................................................................................................... 7
3.5 Conceptualization ................................................................................................................. 9
3.6 Selection ................................................................................................................................ 9
3.7 Evaluation ............................................................................................................................. 9
3.8 Communication ................................................................................................................... 10
3.9 Implementation ................................................................................................................... 10
4.0 Dividing Work into Engineering Disciplines ......................................................................... 11
4.1 Civil Aspects ....................................................................................................................... 11
4.2 Mechanical Aspects ............................................................................................................ 11
4.3 Electrical Aspects................................................................................................................ 12
5.0 Problem Specification ............................................................................................................. 14
5.1 Adapting Engineering Requirements .................................................................................. 14
5.2 Determining Engineering Requirements............................................................................. 14
6.0 Detailed Design ....................................................................................................................... 16
6.1 Undercarriage and Skirting System .................................................................................... 16
6.2 Payload Drop Mechanism ................................................................................................... 18
6.3 Steering System .................................................................................................................. 19
7.0 Engineering Tools ................................................................................................................... 20
7.1 3D Modelling Software....................................................................................................... 20
7.2 Physical Tools ..................................................................................................................... 21
8.0 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 22

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9.0 References ............................................................................................................................... 23

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List of Figures

Table 1: Needs, Constraints, and Objectives .................................................................................. 3


Figure 1: House of Quality Diagram .............................................................................................. 6

Figure 1:House of Quality Diagram ............................................................................................... 6

Figure 1:House of Quality Diagram ............................................................................................... 6

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Introduction

1.0 Introduction

A hovercraft is a multipurpose vehicle designed, as the name implies, to hover just over the

ground. This allows the hovercraft to not only travel over land, but also allows it to travel over

water and other mode choices as desired. When designing a hovercraft for any use, a detailed

breakdown of each part into the smallest scope is necessary to completely ensure the

performance is maximized. For APSC 258, the hovercraft in question will carry a load of

fertilizer over a crop. A hovercraft in this scenario may be more effective than the traditional

tractor and trailer combination. When a tractor drives over crops, there is a high chance it will

run over something in its path. To avoid losing money and profits from lost products in the

crops, innovative thinking leads to a hovercraft. This would increase the farmers overall profits

and depending on the efficiency of the hovercraft, the overall cost operation costs would

decrease as a result. Because of the relatively new and unused technology of hovercrafts, many

studies would have to take place in to implement the new technology. The design of the

hovercraft will have to be broken down into its simplest elements to ensure the most effective

solution. Many of these design aspects have been researched and will be discussed in the

following report. These aspects are broken down as follows; a basic understanding of the

engineering requirements, defining the problem, the design process, the needs and constraints of

the project, specifying and mitigating the problem and breaking down the process into a detailed

design.

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Project Formulation

2.0 Problem Formulation

With the needs, constraints and objectives defined, we can set them to be the standards for our

design. The main objective is to build a hovercraft adhering to the following criteria as close as

possible.

2.1 Problem Statement

With competition steadily increasing for farmers in global agricultural exports, Okanagan

farmers are in need of a solution to improve their agricultural processes. The farmers

have worked with a consultant who has found and suggested various ways of

improvement. In order to achieve improvement, it is important to address which aspects

of the farming production are in need of improvement. Agricultural production is

composed of numerous processes that can be both time consuming and inefficient. To

assess what processes, require the most improvement, we have broken the entire

agricultural processes down into five smaller components. Some of these systems and

process include:

 Planting crops

 Applying fertilizer to the crop and soil

 Watering crops

 Harvesting

 Exporting and marketing crops

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Project Formulation

2.2 Needs and Constraints

The consultant has decided that improving the fertilizer delivery system is a key aspect

for increased efficiency. The current process of applying fertilizer can be time consuming

and expensive, as it likely requires the farmer to pay labourers to apply the fertilizer

manually. The consultant has suggested that if the fertilizer delivery process can be

improved, farmers from the Okanagan are more likely to stay relevant in competitive global

exports. The proposed solution was to design a hovercraft system that could deliver

fertilizer to the crops. To gauge whether the hovercraft will improve the traditional process,

a series of testbed systems will evaluate the effectiveness of various configurations, scoring

each based on an algorithm that indicated the improvement in efficiency for the farmers.

In order to develop an effective hovercraft system, our group must properly address the

stakeholders needs and constraints so that we can set objectives and design a solution to

accommodate for these needs. To organize needs, constraints, and objectives of this design

project, see Table 1.

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Project Formulation

Table 1: Needs, Constraints, and Objectives

Needs (physical)  Hovercraft with fertilizer delivery


system

Needs (theoretical)  Effective fertilizer delivery


 Increase in crop yield
 Reduction of labour costs
 Overall increase in completeness with
regards to global market
Constraints  Must be able to transport and
accurately drop three payloads
 Must be a hovercraft that can lift its
own weight
 Must be able to finish the course in
under 6.5 min
Objectives  To design and build a prototype for a
hover craft that can transport a given
payload, deliver fertilizer to crops, and
improves fertilizing efficiency
Need Statement  Design a hovercraft system that
improves upon the current fertilizer
delivery system used by Okanagan
farmers.

With the needs and constraints and objectives defined, we can set them to be the standards for
our design. The main objective is to build a hovercraft following these criteria as close as
possible.

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Design Process

3.0 Design Process

The design process is a standard method of ideating, implementing, and testing a design. It aids

in the steps of finalizing an idea and often is a guide used by students during projects. The

process usually consists of nine major steps; recognizing the need, problem definition, project

planning, information gathering, conceptualization, evaluation, selection, communication, and

implementation. During many of these steps, designers will look at the current design and rework

it to become better in some way (lighter, faster, etc.) until the best version of the most practical

solution is found.

3.1 Recognizing the Need

Recognizing the need means to improve upon something that is not good enough, this can

be anything from a coffee maker taking too long to make coffee to rockets producing too

much waste and anything in between. The need is the purpose of the idea and often this

step is the hardest for many to complete since many look at objects in everyday life and

assume that it is the best it can be. In our case the need is a way for farmers to deliver a

payload throughout a field precisely and quickly.

3.2 Defining the Problem

Once the need is found then essentially the problem is found as well. The problem is how

to fill the need and it provides a goal to work towards in the project. Unlike the need

however, the problem must have objectives and constraints. Using tools such as a quality

function deployment table shown in Figure 1, needs and constraints can be neatly

displayed for easy identification of the correlation between themselves. Objectives must

be unambiguous and quantifiable (having units i.e. dollars, kilograms, etc.) , usually

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Design Process

tables and graphs will be used to depict optimum solutions. Constraints are quantifiable,

limiting agents of the design that help determine a better solution (i.e. design must be less

than one dollar to produce, weigh less than one kilogram, etc.). Our problem is to design

a vehicle that can deliver a payload throughout a field, it must be small, lightweight,

cheap, and must be a hovercraft.

Figure 1:House of Quality Diagram

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Design Process

3.3 Project Planning

Project planning is essential to any project and doing it correctly can maximize

productivity of groups. Using tools like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project, teams can

develop timelines, Gantt Charts, PERT Charts, and more to assist them in distributing

work over periods of time. While there are many methods to do this, Gantt Charts are

usually the easiest and templates for them can easily be found online. These charts simply

show the duration of each task and the order of all tasks and following any line will show

each successor and predecessor of any given task. We have used Microsoft Project to

create a Gantt Chart for the timeline of this project, it can be seen in Figure 2 on the

following page.

3.4 Information Gathering

This step of the design process requires usage of the internet and/or library to find any

previous attempts or successes of others working toward the same solution. Ideas used

should be new and not reused without proper permission of the original owner. If it is

discovered that a particular solution has already been tried previously, groups should

work to rethink their design to make it even more efficient than before. Before building

the design we had sketched, we tested different arrangements of thrust and lift variations

to determine the most optimum solution.

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Design Process

Figure 2: Preliminary Gantt Chart

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Design Process

3.5 Conceptualization

Conceptualization is the step where teams will draw out plans for the solution. This could

be actual drawings of a device, prototyping, basic coding, lists of operations, etc. In this

stage, many different prototypes should be considered while all fitting within constraints.

These prototypes will later be compared and contrasted to determine the best design. This

part of the design process is usually the point where we applied the iterative design

process. After creating this group and attending lectures, the group had all prepared

sketches of potential designs that were carefully considered before finally picking the one

we would create.

3.6 Selection

In the selection stage, each of the prototypes and concepts will be compared against each

other. Using graphs, tables, and other forms of quantifiable measures each design will

show its strengths and weaknesses compared to the rest. It is up to the team to decide

which of the concepts is the best for the problem and one that best fits the constraints. An

example of selection would be to choose the cheaper of two designs if they produce the

same result. To determine which design we would choose, the group compared and

discussed potential benefits for each design and determined that one was better than the

rest.

3.7 Evaluation

After the selection of which design will be used, evaluation of that design will take place.

The design will experience testing and be scrutinised for faults and errors. This is where

iterations of designs would start when the selected one has faults. Iteration can occur as

many times as the developer wants until they are satisfied with the results of the entirety

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Design Process

of the design. As we have not yet built out design we haven’t completed this step yet

however, we plan to make ours the most balanced craft being able to drop precisely while

still being mobile and agile. To make sure we can get the most out of the design, we will

reiterate placements of weights, thrust power, and lift power.

3.8 Communication

After the design is perfected to the point where no more iterations are needed, the design

is shown to the customer or shown to potential buyers of the it. This stage is where the

design will create income for the designer and it will either go to production (mass or

single), marketing, or wherever the buyer would like to use it. Once the final testing is

complete, we will explain our design to the stakeholder, we will then do a demonstration

to show how well it works. Depending on feedback, we might need to change speed,

weight, durability, etc.

3.9 Implementation

The final step after many iterations of designs and communication between the buyer and

developer, the design will fulfill its purpose and be used in the field to solve the problem

it was meant to correct. This can be seen as a car finally driving on the road after going

through concept drawings, researching the statistics of the internals of the vehicle,

prototyping, testing for faults and checking safety requirements, reiteration of the design

and testing, mass producing the vehicles, selling them at a dealership and finally driven

by the customer. After meeting the stakeholders requirements, our design will be put to

work in the fields, driving through the crops delivering fertilizer.

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Breakdown of Work

4.0 Dividing Work into Engineering Disciplines

When considering the design of a hovercraft, many questions and constraints may arise. These

can each be broken down to specific disciplines of engineering. Each discipline would be trained

to mitigate and avoid major problems that could occur during and/or after the construction of the

hovercraft.

4.1 Civil Aspects

Thinking about the overall structure and stability of the frame, many civil related

properties are in question, such as durability, ductility, and strength. The frame and body

must be designed to withstand the own weight of the hovercraft, plus all the additional

loads it may carry. Considering the use of the hovercraft in the design problem, a large

load of fertilizer could be applied on the frame. While having to withstand this load, the

material would also have to be lightweight to maximize the lift potential. Another piece

of the hovercraft where material properties would have to be taken into consideration is

the hull of the craft. Because of the nature of the vehicle’s travel, there would be a lot of

opportunity to damage the hull. This could occur during flight or during the landing

procedures. The hull would have to be designed with this in consideration to avoid any

large damage from occurring, or even total failure.

4.2 Mechanical Aspects

One of the largest issues that could impede a successful hovercraft design is the lift and

thrust. A mechanical engineer would have to design the fans with these in mind. Taking

into consideration the weight of the load and craft itself, the engineer would have to

design the optimal number of fans and optimize how much lift they can produce. If the

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Breakdown of Work

lift force is too little, the craft will not operate at a high success rate or may not operate at

all. Yet, if the lift force is too high, other issues could arise. If the craft gets too high off

the ground, the stability may be thrown off and disaster could occur. To mitigate this risk,

many tests and factors will have to be observed. Another major problem that could

potentially occur is in the linkages of the steering system. When a hovercraft is in flight,

there is no friction to correct a steering malfunction, as would be seen in a car with a

drive train malfunction. Even the smallest of unalignments could throw off the trajectory

of the hovercrafts desired direction. To combat this, a mechanical engineer will have to

design the linkages to withstand a large amount of repetitions and be easily replaceable

and aligned. A very similar problem could occur in the dropping mechanism and steering

mechanism. If these systems fail to operate efficiently, money and products could be lost.

Much like the steering system, this problem can be avoided with the right care and

attention to the specs of it.

4.3 Electrical Aspects

When looking at the project from the perspective of an electrical engineer, the problems

may not be visible. If the hovercraft operates under electric power units, the electrical

engineers job is vital in producing a sound product. The batteries that must be installed

would have to be designed with long workdays in mind. This could be fixed by adding

more, larger, or more efficient batteries. These batteries could also be accompanied by

other forms of electrical producing systems, such as solar panels or a regenerative

system, much like that seen in a Tesla. Another problem that could occur is in the control

panel and the onboard computer. This computer would have control in almost everything

on the hovercraft. There would be major risks associated with a computer failure, which

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Breakdown of Work

could all be avoided with the proper planning and design of the system. If the hovercraft

is an unmanned vessel, much like the one in question for design in APSC 258 could be,

then an issue in the controlling/receiving system could arise. The engineers would have to

make, and choose, reliable products to create the relay between the two receivers the

most effective

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Problem Specifications

5.0 Problem Specification

To complete the hovercraft design clear technical guidelines must be adapted from the needs,

constraints, and objective. Technical requirements allow the design of the hovercraft to be both

more feasible and ensure compliance with the project objectives. The engineering requirements

will apply to the physical design of the hovercraft and will include but is not limited to: key

properties, weight requirements, thrust requirements, and maneuverability. Rules pertaining to

hovercraft competition will also be included if design adaptation is necessary for compliance.

5.1 Adapting Engineering Requirements

Engineering requirements control the entire design process putting clear limitations that

prevent the proposed design from exceeding the capabilities of structural, mechanical,

and electrical systems. By using the constraints, objective and needs basic requirements

can be establish allowing for base frame work further requirements can be based off. In

practice, the hovercraft would require small adjustments to compensate for variations in

the operating environment. Constraints impose clear boundaries on projects requiring

specific criteria to be met for design to be feasible. Target objectives can interfere with

engineering requirements. Innovative design solutions often must be refined to prevent

requirements from being violated to achieve objective.

5.2 Determining Engineering Requirements

Engineering requirements can be both required elements of the design as well as

numerical quantities that must be met. Engineering tool are integral to defining

engineering requirements. Often further simulations, calculations, or investigation is

necessary to define engineering requirements. The use of tools such as Solidworks, FAE,

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Problem Specifications

QFD, feasibility studies allow for designs to be functional in the real world. Laboratory

data and simulations for improving accuracy. Clear requirements promote safety,

reliability, and functionality of design projects allowing of more efficient and consistent

solution

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Design Details

6.0 Detailed Design

The hovercraft has gone through several iterations of design, with major defining components of

the design decided in a group setting and the more minute details being researched and refined

by individual team members. Whenever possible, our group would bring our individual work

together to reach consensus and approval, and to ensure that all design components would work

in unison. Some of the major design components which required comparatively more analysis

were the payload drop mechanism, the undercarriage and skirting system, and the steering

system.

6.1 Undercarriage and Skirting System

Early in the design phase, it was determined that lift was a primary design goal. To

maximize lift, a flexible sheathing will be built onto a wooden skeleton attached to the

underside of the hovercraft body. Enveloping this skeleton and sheathing structure will be

a similarly flexible skirting, extending from the body of the hovercraft to about 2 inches

underneath the undercarriage. This design will trap the air introduced by the fans,

increasing the maximum pressure underneath the craft. Additionally, the air that escapes

from the skirting will be directed underneath the craft again, increasing the length of time

that it remains within the high-pressure area. In theory, this comparatively rudimentary

system of capturing and redirecting air within the skirting and underneath the craft

mimics the undercarriage design of several variants of modern hovercraft employed for

commercial or military use.

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Design Details

The skeleton structure will be constructed from slats and square rod sections of balsa

wood, with sufficient truss supports to prevent deformation under added load. The

material of the sheathing element for the skeleton and skirting will both be created from a

thin polymer material, which is flexible, has a low coefficient of friction, and resists

tearing. An important parameter of the undercarriage system is the height of the skeleton

structure, which determines the height of the lift fans. As seen below in the attached

Figure 3, the lift output of each fan varies significantly based on the height of the fan off

the ground and the radial distance the measurement was taken from the centre of the fan.

Although suffering at measurements at the centre of the fan, the graph shows that the

most lift is generated when the fan is at 0mm, or against the ground. Therefore, the height

of the skeleton created for the undercarriage will need to be minimized as much as

possible.

Figure 3: Lift Generated by Height of Fan

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Design Details

6.2 Payload Drop Mechanism

The design of our payload drop system is motivated by simplicity of parts and reliability

of design. Furthermore, the incorporation of a hopper that holds the payload items allows

for a possible expansion of the number of payloads that could be carried and distributed.

The base of the drop system will be two disks, each with a hole on its perimeter slightly

larger than the size of the payload. The bottom disk will be stationary, and the top disk

will rotate about its axis via a controlled motor. The hopper will sit atop the top disk,

located at the position of the holes. The payloads will be stacked into the hopper, first

falling into the hole in the rotating disk but still supported by the fixed disk. Once

positioned at the drop point, the top disk will be further rotated until the holes in both

disks are aligned, and the payload drops out and away from the hovercraft. Although

reliable and simple, a disadvantage of this design is the inability to "aim" where the

payload drops beyond steering the entire hovercraft into the appropriate position. Another

disadvantage is when a payload is dropped it could potentially bounce. The first

disadvantage is addressed with additional emphasis placed on steering and

maneuverability of our craft. The second disadvantage was addressed by adding a hula

skirt inspired module to the outlet of the droppers shaft to slow down the payloads

vertical velocity.

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Design Details

6.3 Steering System

The steering system of our hovercraft was determined in several steps. Foremost, only

one fan is to be used for steering, delegating the other three fans to lift. This was

determined by the logic that maximizing lift to minimize friction between the craft and

the floor would result in a higher speed than if a second fan were used for thrust. This

early design idea became further supported during Lab #3 on thrust, which demonstrated

that as the craft began moving faster, the useful output of the fan decreased. If two fans

were to be used for thrust, the initial improvement in thrust would decay until not

significantly greater than a single fan. Two primary methods of attaining rotation of the

craft for steering were discussed. A stationary fan placed in front of rotating rudders

would be robust but would introduce unnecessary drag and therefore reduce thrust. Our

group decided on a design in which the entire fan rotated within a housing mounted on

the aft of the hovercraft. This design will maximize the thrust from the single fan by

removing any obstructions of the airflow. However, special care will be needed to ensure

that the housing of the fan and motor control system is durable enough to perform

consistently throughout use.

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Design Details

7.0 Engineering Tools

The first steps that were taken in the design of the hovercraft were to determine our thrust and

hull pressurisation capabilities using physical labs and data collection. We then took the

information we learned and determined the optimal number of thrust and lift fans that we would

use. This data collection and analysis required us to use various physical measurement devices

such as pressure testers and air flow meters. This then led us to our next step of preliminary

design of the base of the hovercraft.

7.1 3D Modelling Software

Using Solidworks and the information that we extrapolated from the preliminary labs we

came up with a design for the base of our hovercraft. We also began designing our

forward propulsion and steering system with the Solidworks program. Within this

program we can assemble the entire hovercraft before any physical components are

created. It also allows us to visualise the design to ensure that our final design will both

be functional and well thought out in the placement of every component and the space

that each will take up. Once we have completed the visualisation of the design in

Solidworks we will move on to the building phase of the craft. During the build phase

we will use various hand and power tools to create the design that we have mocked up in

Solidworks. If we have completed the first two portions of the design phase correctly the

build phase should be simple as we will only need to move our designs from a virtual

space to a real world working design.

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Design Details

7.2 Physical Tools

After we have completed the build phase we will move on to the testing phase in which

we use physical measurement devices to work out any possible design flaws and ensure

that the product that we build will hold up to the customers wants and needs. We will also

work out any coding flaws that may arise as we will have been unable to test all our

componentry in its final places and orientations until this stage. This stage will most

likely take the longest amount of time as it is common to find many small design flaws

that may have been missed and will need to be fixed before the competition and product

release. We will use problem solving skills that we have obtained from our class and

project work to determine these issues and fix them efficiently.

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Conclusion

8.0 Conclusion

For students to complete a project effectively and efficiently, they must work together, plan for

absences and errors in design, and overcome disagreements within the group. There are many

tools to aid students in preparation and planning of projects such as using Gantt Charts, PERT

Charts, timelines, and agendas. There are also tools such as a Quality Function Deployment

diagram, an aid in preliminary project design, which illustrates the relationship between internal

and external components relevant to the project. This project requires multiple disciplines of

engineering to work together. While civil, mechanical, and electrical students may have different

perspectives they need each other to complete the project which requires knowledge of fluid

dynamics for thrust and lift, knowledge of circuitry and programming to control and maintain the

craft while in use, and knowledge of structural integrity and how to use supports properly to

provide a strong base while still being light.

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Conclusion

9.0 References

-Yun, L. Bliault, A. (2000). Theory and Design of Air Cushion Craft. London, England:
Arnold.
-Crawford, B. (2018). Laboratory 2: HOVERCRAFT PROJECT- Fluid Mechanics Lab.
Pressure Map Under a Hovercraft Hull (Experiment). Kelowna, British Columbia:
School of Engineering, University of British Columbia Okanagan.
- Crawford, B. (2018). Laboratory 3: HOVERCRAFT PROJECT- Fluid Mechanics Lab.
FAN and PROPELLER PERFORMANCE (Experiment). Kelowna, British Columbia:
School of Engineering, University of British Columbia Okanagan.
-Crawford, B. (2018). APSC 258 2018 05- Hovercraft Design. [Power Point Slides].
Retrieved from
https://canvas.ubc.ca/courses/3786/files/562400?module_item_id=191683

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