Picture of Hovercraft!!!!
Photo 180.jpg

Well, this is a hovercraft. For those of you who are looking for a rideable or remote-controlled hovercraft, look somewhere else. This is meant for people who are not yet into radio control (like yours truly) or for people who don't want to make a life sized one, but there are plans out there for free or... well, not free. This is a small hovercraft that will go and hover. If you want it to stop when the front of it hits something, i can show you how to do that. or not. whatever.
If you don't know what a hovercraft is, it will not rise above your head and float in the air. Motors inflate a plastic bag underneath, so it does float off the ground, but something is touching the ground. But only barely. The air then seeps out between the skirt and the ground, making it almost frictionless. That's why it doesn't require very much power.
Even if you have none of the parts at all, it should cost under 30$, and i can give you links for some of the parts. Remember, this is what I did, so you can leave ma a comment if you can't find a part, and hopefully I can help you.
You might also notice that I have two hovercrafts, one completely broken with all the parts taken off, and another shiny one that I'm working on as I make this instructable. The broken one is one that I made before, then someone stepped on it.
It is a completely original design, at least i didn't get the plans from anywhere. It doesn't require very much time. I should stop talking now and move on. Even though I have a lot more to say. Which I will say later.
very very nice ...this is the best i have seen but you can still take it to perfection with just a bit more work.....Q:I'm using smaller motors but higher voltage so gives me the same power what made you choose such huge dc motors?
frankenboom (author)  sabingheorghiu3 years ago
Erm...they were the only ones I had. I was bored one day so decided to throw one (hovercraft) together. These actually came from a couple of bug vacuums (the toy ones).
Later, I decided I wanted to improve it, so...this is the result.
Still, the skirt could be improved... along with the motors and fans.

Lighter motors that spin faster would have been much better.
Your motors will be better, as long as the batteries to supply the higher voltage arent too heavy.
Computer fans may have been the best, but I couldn't find a reliable way to power them all the way up to 12 volts.
Send me a picture or something when you finish!

well...I don't think that I'll be ready with my project anytime soon(work), but (in about 2 weeks) I'll send you my project or better then that I'll post it and you could have a good look at it and tell me if you like it.
The motors I'm using are some old ones that I got by taking apart 2 of my toy cars (at the age of 8) and the 2 propellers are from a computer fan and the other from some strange toy (I don't even know what is it suppose to be or do)
( I didn't use the fan directly because it just doesn't deliver enough punch)
As I remember you are using 4 AA batteries that should give you 6V but I think that one 9V Battery is lighter and has more power ....also I am overpowering my motors for better performance(12V made out of 8 units that make a 9V(6+2separatly))your engines have huge endurance so you can even power them with two 9v packs (I have 3 of those too and I tested them)

I have a problem though ...Does the your lift sistem work as it should?Are the propellers big enough?...I have a centrifugal propeller from an old hairdryer but I didn't have the time to put it to the test and I don't know if it is up to the challenge.
frankenboom (author)  sabingheorghiu3 years ago
sorry about replying so late. the email to me was either marked as spam or lost in the interwebs :)
Anyway, 9 volt batteried do have higher voltage, meaning that when powering a normal brushed motor the rpm will increase along with the torque. The problem is, though, that the 9v battery will also run out of juice fairly quickly.
Yes, the lift system works. As far as i can remember, centrifugal fans provide more pressure than a normal fan (like a computer fan) although they don't move as much air or move it as fast.
A normal fan might work better with larger vent holes and maybe a larger skirt. Not sure about this one, but you should be fine with all that juice.
Also, the hairdryer fan depends really on its size and whether or not your motors can handle the fan. If they can, the hairdryer fan should be perfect.
The best way to figure it out is to experiment :)
Sorry for replying so late.
In any case, let me know how it turns out.
mr. clean5 years ago
a perfect centrifugal fan would be from a handheld ryobi vacuum and they come with amasing motors
frankenboom (author)  mr. clean5 years ago
 what are the motors powered by?
do they have a rechargeable battery, are they plug-in, or gas powered?
is there a certain model you were talking about?
and finally how much do they weigh? weight is a huge issue with making hovercrafts. otherwise, i can imagine that these would be very good.
yodia35 years ago
 good job nick i under stand i can add a radio control system too it to make it better
frankenboom (author)  yodia35 years ago
 thank you for looking....
i pm'ed u somthin.. y dont u look...
i just didnt want to.. *herm hreek* release ur name 2 evry1..
anyway how will u make it turn wen u get it?
yodia35 years ago
 it me from carver
projectguy5 years ago
Can I use a computer fan for the propulsion? And if you're wondering what's the deal with me and computer fans it's that I can get them easily and they don't nead propellers.
frankenboom (author)  projectguy5 years ago
haha i have a lot of computer fans too
 as long as the skirt is made correctly and there is very little friction between the skirt and the craft, the computer fan only has to be strong enough to overcome any headwind. 
the main thing you want with a propulsion fan is that the air moves fast. 
if  it blows really slowly, your craft will go slowly.

projectguy5 years ago
Im using the computer fans. So do I install them facing down?
frankenboom (author)  projectguy5 years ago
 yes, you install them facing down, blowing down, so that the air goes into the body of the hovercraft.
make sure there are no air leaks around the fans.
projectguy5 years ago
can I use 2 12v computer fans
frankenboom (author)  projectguy5 years ago
 yes, two 12 v computer fans will work perfect.
remember, the main thing to remember is that it has to be light.
especially the batteries, if your fans are not that powerful.... computer fans are usually designed to work with minimal energy and  move a lot of air.
they should be fine.
thanks dude. do u think it'd work with a 32cm by 26 cm tray?
frankenboom (author)  DEMONSLAYER15 years ago
 ya, it should work. just make sure its pretty light. if its too heavy it wont move too fast.
Before this one, i actually made a hovercraft that was exactly the same but with a foam meat tray. that worked A LOT better than the tin one i have here. 
good luck!
lemonie6 years ago
I can't really see the blades on the lift system but they look like the wrong sort to be used in this way.
Do you actually get enough lift? I'm not convinced by what I can see.

frankenboom (author)  lemonie6 years ago
i'm pretty sure the fans are used correctly. I do get enough lift out of them, but you need to make sure that the fan can suck in enough air from the center. You might get even more lift if you somehow configured the fans in this way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CentrifugalFan.png with the nozzle pointing into the base. Remember that you can do anything you want to make it work; modding it in any way. Also make sure the air isn't leaking out any where, including the holes that the fans are put into. If the skirt is inflating but it wont really hover, try making the vents bigger and bigger until you get it to work.If you still can't get it to work, leave me another comment. It requires a bit of tinkering.
Yes that's (Centrifugal fan) what I was thinking, which I guess explains why the inlets are the size they are, I understand it better now. Glad it works, but I don't suppose you could manage a video? (That would finish this off nicely) L
frankenboom (author)  lemonie6 years ago
Yes, I will put up a video after i get the skirt fixed. I was making it go it my garage and somehow there were nails on the ground. well, you can imagine what happened. One of them somehow ripped a gash in the skirt. I will also put up a video as soon as I find out how to. I see the "video" button when you are making the instructable, but i can't figure out how to do it. (I'm probably just being stupid)
The video button allows you to paste a link to e.g. YouTube, this embeds the clip into the page. Otherwise use the upload images/files to add as a file. (Please think of file size and save at a reasonable bit-rate) L
frankenboom (author)  lemonie6 years ago
ok, i'll put up the video after I fix the skirt.
lemonie6 years ago
Second thought: on a smooth, flat surface you might not need the skirt (if the foil edge is very flat). Skirts are used to deal with uneven surfaces. L
frankenboom (author)  lemonie6 years ago
It might still work. The foil edge isn't that smooth and it probably wouldn't make a very good "seal" with the ground even if they were both completely flat. If it did you would need a VERY powerful lift motor.