How we made a hovercraft out of standard household material.
Step 1: Materials Needed
4x4 piece of plywood
5x5 piece of tarp (that doesn't allow air flow)
Coffee Can Lid
Jigsaw ( or other cutting utensil)
Step 2: Technical Drawing
Rough Sketch of Ours
Step 3: How to Build It
1. Use saw to round corners of the wood
2. Cut a hole in the plywood the size of the mouth of the leafblower.
3. Lay wood on the tarp and fold the edges onto it, make sure to leave some slack.
4. Staple the edges of the tarp down to the plywood, and duct tape the edges to minimize airflow.
5. Use the screws to attatch the coffe can lid to the bottom of the board in the center, holding the tarp down.
6. Cut 6 holes, 2" in diameter 6" from the center of the hovercraft.
Step 4: What worked, What didn't
We found that you have to keep the tarp fairly tight, with just a little bit of slack for the best performance out of your hovercraft. Also, the tarp needs to be stapled down and duct taped very efficiently, or too much air will escape out the sides.
Step 5: Physics Concepts
One of the main concepts demonstrated in a hovercraft is pressure. you have to build enough air pressure inside of the tarp to support your weight, and we used our physics teacher Mr. Schmedake's wonderful instruction to accomplish this.
Some other concepts demonstrated are Newton's first, second, and third laws of motion, the Kinetic Gas Theory, and Pressure equilibrium.
Step 6: Finished Product
Now you have your hovercraft ready to go. It will work best on a smooth surface, we used a gym floor, but be careful of the screws, they could damage the surface of the floor. and so can wd-40...