When in operation is it a helicopter or a ground vehicle that uses some sort of ground effect, hover mode, or form of levitation like ducted fans (personal fav)?
I was about to clarify this, so your question is well timed!
Basically, it's anti-gravity tech that uses ducted emitters under the tank, hidden behind armoured skirts*
so that the propulsion system can't be one-shotted. Cheaper or less technologically advanced hover tanks will probably use different propulsion, though.
In general you're right, though. Most of the system's thrust is devoted to keeping the tank floating. Although it can give the tank a shove and let it hover at a higher altitude for some time, putting that sort of load on to the ducted anti-gravity system and sustaining it for a long time might increase wear & tear or rarely invite a premature failure.
@Outriggers, landing and drilling into the earth:
deal with recoil, though it might be something of a liability in an offensive or during a fight with a maneuvering opponent (it's generally not a good idea to stop and then fire, hence all the gyroscopic stabilisation etc. in modern tanks to allow them to fire on the move).
@Names for hover tanks:
I like Hover Assault Vehicle and Armoured Ground Effect Vehicle.
If my tanks were to use a counter-recoil system, what peculiarities would that entail?
edited 20th Nov '13 3:16:12 AM by Flanker66