Picture of Hover Sled 1.0
     Some time ago, I saw someone, somewhere floating about on a homemade hovercraft, slapped together with little more than a shower curtain, a piece of plywood and an old vacuum cleaner. This of course set me to thinking about how I could join the ranks of such bold aeronauts of the DIY persuasion. So, I naturally started reading up on the subject and scoured webpage after webpage. Finally I found one that spoke to me in both ease of construction, and in simple enough terms that would allow my mind to easily digest the concepts while allowing for my own improvising of design. The author, WilliamJ. Beaty appears to be a research engineer and as far as I can tell his design for the ULTRA-SIMPLEHOVERCREFT was created for a child’s science fair project. I won’t go into detail or rip off any of the pictures from his website out of respect and more importantly because I am lazy when it comes to displaying all my research.

One day while at Lowes I spotted some 7/16th roofing OSB that was on sale for nine dollars. I just couldn’t resist and ended up buying a piece. For deep within the recesses of my mind the dreams of sliding about on a personal hovercraft started to bubble forth into my consciousness. A small voice whispered to me, “It is time”, and before I knew what was going on, I was strapping a 4x8 piece of OSB to the top of my vehicle.
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nselch1 year ago

will it go higher with more power

Would this work with a gas leaf blower?


z0rb (author)  Caleb Nehrbass2 years ago
It would probably work BETTER with a gas blower. I used an electric one at 425 CFM. I would suggest something more powerful.
Would it be a good idea if you could put a lawn chair on it over the leaf blower?
z0rb (author)  Halflimey_jt2 years ago
I actually had that thought, however this version of the craft was barely strong enough to lift me. It will have to be implemented in to 2.0 :D
If I were to cut this in the shape of a big skateboard, would it work as a hover board?
z0rb (author)  bobthebuilder7282 years ago
I suppose with a big enough power plant
AJMansfield3 years ago
I built a compass somewhat like that, except that mine used a brass rod that I could slide the block holding my pencil in and out, and clamp it in place with a screw. I should really make an instructable about it...
z0rb (author)  AJMansfield3 years ago
If you make one I want to see it :D
would you not have more air flow mounted pointing down without the black or white tube, the bend must restricked just like with duct work
z0rb (author)  truesprocket3 years ago
Already working on that
raypsi3 years ago
Seriously you have to upgrade the leaf blower engine, tear the engine down and grind all the rough edges out of the ports then, after you get it back together toss the muffler out and use a tuned exhaust with a DIY muffler, at least you won't go deaf from the leaf blower noise.
z0rb (author)  raypsi3 years ago
Heh the little one I have running now whistles like a jet engine. And yes I do need a better power plant to work with. This blower only provides like 425cfm which is not much. I have a co-worker willing to give me his old leaf blower I just need to bother him more until he does.
Bosun Rick3 years ago
You stated in your opening: "On further inspection of this photo, particularly in the background you will notice that it is also trash night, and I still have left over flags from Memorial Day on the floor of my garage."

I certainly hope you disposed of the trash (flags) properly, after picking them up off the garge floor! If you didn't want them, you can drop them off at a VA hospital, or nursing home. the veterans there will gladly take very good care of them for you.
z0rb (author)  Bosun Rick3 years ago
I didn't throw them flags away. I just didn't want to climb into my 120 degree attic to store them.
ROCKETMAN3 years ago

I'm thinking a 6ft X 4ft oval hovercraft using three gas blowers. Two for lift, one for propulsion/steering. Anyone have thoughts or suggestions I should consider before I start?
z0rb (author)  ROCKETMAN3 years ago
I would not use a leaf blower for propulsion, they do not seem strong enough. Also if you are using leaf blowers for lift I would imagine that they would need to be greater than 500 cfm.
Do it! I want to see how it turns out. You might get better stability with 3 in a triangle configuration and you standing in the center. Maybe pointing them all down and having a vent hole in the skirt in the back to add forward thrust as long as it doesn't eliminate the vertical thrust.
Instead of cutting and taping the holes, why not use a grommet kit? With their smaller diameter, you could increase the number of holes thus spreading distribution of the air cushion more evenly. This could increase the air pressure in the donut by restricting the outflow through the smaller holes and possibly make your blower more efficient. Grommets would also reduce the chance
z0rb (author)  TopperFiveSix3 years ago
Thats a really interesting idea. Definitely something to factor into 2.0. Gorilla Tape kept the cost down.
Those grommet kits are pretty cheap. You can get a simple one at Harbor Freight. With more and smaller holes there will be less chance of the skirt deflating when you lean into a turn. I also thought about a ring around the top of the disc in place of all those staples. A thin plywood or even plastic ring on top of the disc could be sealed with silicon adhesive and screwed down to the disc. That would make a better seal, again increasing the efficiency of the blower by reducing leaks and look cleaner.
Just used the Harborfreight grommet kit to hang a canvas tarp over the entrance to my shop a couple weeks ago. I had problems getting the hole punch to actually cut through the canvas, may have better luck w/ plastic/vinyl/whatever, but I wound up just cutting a small square out w/ an exacto & stuffing them through that. Hope this is useful.
bowmaster3 years ago
Oh man, if you used this for sledding on snow you'd build up ridiculous amounts of speed!!
azlar3 years ago
Very cool! I've worked with a number of military and commercial hovercraft and the skirt pressure is minimal. I think it was ~15psi for an 80 ton LCAC when on cushion, but a huge amount of CFM. That blower is highpressure/low volume, but it worked!
Great Instructable.
Jakwiebus3 years ago
Any chance you watch "Mythbusters" ?? they made something like this in the early days ;)
But they say: "don't try it at home"
You say: "here are the plans how I made it, now make it yourself" :D
nice build!!
Yeah, but from what I remember, the Mythbusters ones failed pretty badly!
Indeed they did, but the fun-factor was sky high :D
My first thought when I saw this was "Mythbusters!"
z0rb (author)  Jakwiebus3 years ago
I did see that one and I also saw the one he built for his kid. It's all good stuff.
You know this specific hovercraft had some instructions put out there by Adam himself. he also made it as a kid so...
No I didn't know that :D But now I do, thanks!!
jxmorris123 years ago
This is awesome! Have you tried it in snow? That would be SWEET!
joefed623 years ago
You know, I can't help but think this would be good enough to use behind a self-propelled lawn mower! You'd have to go to either a rechargeable, or gas powered blower (of course), which hopefully wouldn't ad too much wait. This way you'd be basically "pulled" behind the mower...which I think would be very cool! =]

Great job on this!
z0rb (author)  joefed623 years ago
I most definitely would like to get a gas motor involved. For this version I merely used what was on hand.
mdmowrey3 years ago
Next time you need to cut a circle, work out a way to attach your saber saw to the swinging arm.
z0rb (author)  mdmowrey3 years ago
Heh thats not a bad idea. It would certainly be a more consistent cut.
Doc_Cottom3 years ago
Just don't forget you don't have brakes on this, and they will "float" down hill!
z0rb (author)  Doc_Cottom3 years ago
My brakes would be, me jumping off of it :D
Doc_Cottom3 years ago
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Catapult Program (http://www.rose-hulman.edu/admissions-financial-aid/early-planning/operation-catapult/about-operation-catapult.aspx) builds one of theses as a team project each summer. These hovercraft are built use several means of propulsion include battery powered lawn blowers, small gasoline weed-eaters and such.
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