Instructables
Picture of How to make a RC Hovercraft
A while ago I posted an instructable of my radio controlled hovercraft, which you can see here:

http://www.instructables.com/id/RC-Hovercraft/


I hope you liked it, some of you asked me to make an step by step instructable. I thought that was a good idea and I decided to make one.

In this instructable I will show you how I build my hovercraft, powered by electric motors and controlled by a radio transmitter. I hope you learn from it so you can make it too.


Enjoy!

PS: sorry for my bad English. I'm Dutch but I will do my best to make everything clear. If you have questions or if I'm not specific enough about something, leave a comment and I will try to answer it.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
These are the materials you're going to need for making this hovercraft. I've bought them from a Dutch site, but I did some research for you to get the same stuff from other sites. (These are the materials that I used, you could also use your own if you want. No problem!)

===========================

Motors:
Thrustmotor: NTM Prop Drive 28-26 1350KV / 310W
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__21479__NTM_Prop_Drive_28_26_1350KV_310W.html
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__16719__NTM_Prop_Drive_28_Series_Accessory_Pack.html
Propeller:
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__5436__APC_style_propeller_7x6_E.html

Liftmotor; 
Emax BL 2215/25 950KV Outrunner Brushless Motor
(search for it on google, it's not on HobbyKing, but there are many other sites selling this motor. You can use another motor as well, same goes for the thrust-motor.)
Propeller: 
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__10394__SF_E_Prop_10x3_8_254x96_5mm_w_Adapters_Black_5pcs_set_.html

LiPo-battery:

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__8934__Turnigy_2200mAh_3S_25C_Lipo_Pack.html?strSearch=Turnigy%202200mAh%203S%2025C

ESC's:
2 x HOBBYWING SKYWALKER 20A ESC
(search for it, it''s on different sites)

A radio transmitter/receiver to controll your motors, doesn't matter which transmitter you use.
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Silicone wires (one black and one red)
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__9680__Turnigy_Pure_Silicone_Wire_16AWG_1mtr_BLACK.html

3mm Heat shrink tube (one black and one red)
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__3831__Turnigy_3mm_Heat_Shrink_Tube_BLACK_1mtr_.html

XT60 connectors:
(for connecting your your battery to the wires)
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__10414__Male_XT60_connectors_5pcs_bag_GENUINE.html

2mm Gold Connecters for connecting motors to ESC's:
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__66__2mm_Gold_Connectors_10_pairs_20pc_.html

And a soldering iron for soldering everything together!
===========================

Almost there... the final things you need:


For the body I used styrofoam (XPS)

Polyethylene lightweight tarp is used for the skirt.

Glue for your foam boards

Some wood

Duct tape

===========================

Enough materials, time for the next step!

Hi there and thanks so much for this set of plans; my students will get a kick out of it I am sure. Can you please provide a link for a good servo motor? Thanks a lot!

FifaG2 months ago

does it have to be black and red for the 3mm heat shrink tube or can it be black and black

Swampwater9911 months ago
Great project - thanks! My son and I are currently building this and we ran into a few snags. Please keep in mind that we have never built any type of RC project so we are new to all of this. How is the steering servo powered? How is the receiver powered? Is a separate battery connected to the receiver that powers the servo? All we bought was the Lipo that powers the motors - can the servo and receiver be powered from that battery as well?

Again, thanks for sharing and we will post vids when done.

Damien

the servo is powered from the receiver just plug it in and the receiver is pluged in to one of the little cords coming of the ESC controling the mottor it is a votige reg

you could all so power it by putting 4 to 8 volts over most recever power ports 2 of the prong dont put more that 1 amp over it thought

sjors073 (author)  Swampwater9911 months ago
Hello Damien,

Thanks for your comment! It's great to hear that you and other people are building this hovercraft too, it's a big compliment for me.

About the questions, I was also completely new to this kind of projects. But after a lot of research I have learned a lot. Maybe the diagram in step 6 will help you. We have powered the receiver with a separate battery that came with the receiver and transmitter. The servo is powered by the same battery, by plugging the servocable in the receiver. But it's also possible to use only a LiPo battery that poweres everything. But then you need a UBEC, it's a small converter that regulates the voltage down for your receiver, so you don't fry it or something. Once your receiver is connected to your UBEC, you can plug your servo in the receiver so it's also powered with the voltage coming out of the UBEC.

You only need the UBEC for the receiver (and servo), The motors are still powered via the ESC directly to the LiPo, they need a higher voltage.

I hope this can help you. Have fun building your hovercraft!
Sjors
Hello

I'm am currently building a hover craft from your design and I had a few questions about it.

can it go on water?

and

how long do the battery's last

(knowing hovercraft and the size of the motors I was presuming about 5 minutes but I ask just to be sure)

P.S you don't need to apologise for you bad English I live in Britain and you can hardly tell that it was written by somebody from a different country
sjors073 (author)  British Badger3 months ago

Hello,

That's a great compliment! Thank you. But about the questions, I'm not sure if it can go on water. I have never tried it. Maybe it can but after a while water can get in the skirt and they hovercraft will get to heavy. Maybe you can try it first on some puddles on the street. About the battery, I think it indeed would last 5 minutes, maybe a bit longer, but max 10 min. You can always add extra batteries, untill the hovercraft gets too heavy.

Good luck and enjoy building your hovercraft!

Sjors

I have made a hovercraft based on yours (I changed a few things) and I was wondering if it would be okay to put it on instructibles I'll put a link to your step by step and note it was by you originally if you like.


Things I've changed

added a onboard camera
use a different foam (celotex)
use a different motor
and completly redesigned the back end
Thanks, I'll test it in some puddles (we have plenty in Britain) and then get back to you
rpost2 months ago
Netjes hoor!! Goed bedaxht

Hello,

I am building a different hovercraft and I am slightly confused about the transmitter/reciever. You have two ESC's connected to both the motors. Then you have the reviever connected to both ESC's and the servo.
My question is, how did you calibrate your transmitter? Does the transmitter control the speed of both motors AND rotates the servo? Basically, are you controlling both fan speeds and steering via the transmitter?

nmohd nor17 months ago

hello...i am creating the hovercraft.can i have the program?

fguoonghe8 months ago
Can you pls tell me the size of styrofoam
mal-hakim9 months ago
hey I really liked the way you arranged the hovercraft, i was wondering if there is a way to make it but on a larger scale, one that could hold up to 3 people maybe. Please answer as soon as possible.
shreyasparab9511 months ago
which servo have u used to move spoiler?????
niels heineman11 months ago
Hallo Sjors,

Je Hovercraft ziet er erg mooi uit! ik Doe samen met een vriend een profielwerkstuk over Hovercraft en wij gaan ook een eigen RC Hovercraft maken. Ik vroeg me alleen wel af hoe je hebt bepaald welke propellers je nodig had? Dit heeft naar mijn weten te maken met het gewicht en de grote van je Hovercraft. Heb jij dit berekent?

Ik hoor graag van je!

Vriendelijke groet,
Niels Heineman
aray141 year ago
hello ,i am thinking to start making a hovercraft so can you please give me a picture of with with the parts connect real picture. . .and also what`s the dimension of the hovercraft.
amr wasfy1 year ago
i'm trying to make a one like this with styrofoam and acrylic and i have a problem with the lifting motor thrust calculations,, please tell me more details about the dimensions and weight to expect the thrust needed for mine
I can speak German some Dutch but can't write Dutch. Any way very good and I love your vids they really made the instructable
Eey ik had een vraag hoe heet die nederlandse site en wat heb ik allemaal nodig
sjors073 (author)  jelmarbombzz1 year ago
De site die je moet hebben is www.rc-addict.nl.
Materiaal dat je nodig hebt staat allemaal in de instructable, er staan links bij van hobbyking maar je kunt dezelfde producten ook vinden op rc-addict.nl.

Sjors
A nice blog and a very nicely designed made hovercraft i am really impressed to see that with the picture as i see it requires a lot of skills and dedication which you have managed quite wonderfully.Hope to see more from you.Read more

Marijnnos1 year ago
nou het zou misschien goedkoper kunnen door ipv die ESC gewoon analog of digitaal een brushed motor te regelen. die zijn een stuk goedkoper en vind je overal en je hoeft niet die dure ESC's te kopen. ik ga het maar is proberen met computer fans, stuk of 4 en ook samen met arduino (lekker beetje kloten er mee)

maar zeker een mooie bouw!
gr Marijn
This looks really good. I'm on a budget, though. How much did these materials cost you? Are there any cheaper alternatives?
sjors073 (author)  connorsabers1 year ago
Thanks! This hovercraft cost me about 150 euros excluding the transmitter & receiver, which cost me 60 euros. Unfortunately there aren't any cheaper alternatives I think. I've tried to keep it as cheap as possible. Maybe this project is a bit expensive, but it's really fun to build!
Edgar1 year ago
If this is not Fun Time Stuff, I don't know what is! :D
Went to my Blog:
http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/03/acendedor-de-churrascada-electricidade.html
mcmonte1 year ago
As you're using two ESCs, did you program the lift motor ESC to provide constant running? For example, when you throttle off the push motor for a turn, is the lift motor still running?
Would be interesting to keep lift motor at a nominal idle to prevent digging in.
sjors073 (author)  mcmonte1 year ago
I did not program the lift motor ESC. I just connected this ESC to the channel of the right throttle stick of my transmitter. This throttle stick stays in position when you move it forward. In contrast to the left throttle stick which falls back to the center position when released. So in fact the lift-motor runs at a constant speed: you move the right throttle stick forward, and when the hovercraft is lifted enough you release and use the left throttle stick to steer and control speed.

When I controlled this hovercraft with my Arduino, I just used a potmeter to set the lift-motor to a constant speed manually.
congratulation!
Mic1001 year ago
nice work :)
I absolutely love this!! Does it go on water?
sjors073 (author)  camping crazy1 year ago
Thanks! I haven't tried it yet, see reply on ErhanEsk ;)
ErhanEsk1 year ago
That one can be driven on the water or not ?
sjors073 (author)  ErhanEsk1 year ago
I haven't tried it on water yet. I'm planning to make some more footage and maybe I will race over some puddles. If that went well I will try it on the water.
This reminds me a bit of a balsa non r/c hovercraft I made at school 40+ years ago - it never worked properly but this looks really good, nice job!
Dave A1 year ago
Ziet er goed uit Sjors. Staat ook nog op mijn todo lijstje.
PeckLauros1 year ago
Nice job!
pheenix421 year ago
Oh, the memories of my old Tyco R/C hovercraft...I was stunned how fast that thing was on a smooth surface!
redsoxsf1 year ago
This is amzing
Oracus1 year ago
Very nice job!