Radio Controlled Hovercraft.

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Introduction: Radio Controlled Hovercraft.

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This instructable i made in the last 2 months, meanly because of pending orders for parts i needed to get things going. I first started with a prototype made from old cheap rc helicopter parts, wich lead me to make a better working version wich i could control the way i wanted. This instructable is more a guideline and not a building plan, i only wanted to share the way i took to make this work.

Step 1: Things You Need

I had a bit of a hard time learning what parts i could use and what i needed to cennect them propperly, a good website where i learned most things is www.hobbyking.com (forum) the website itself is a good source for cheap and/or good rc stuff.

Things i used for the body:

Ply of Depron 0.5 cm thick  (plastic/foam like material)
Glue, (make sure to use correct glue when using it on Depron, because it can damage the material)
Hobby knife/stanley knife
Ruler
Pencil/Pen
Scotch and ductape
Glass fiber cloth (18gr per square meter)
Putty
Plastic sheet
Small rc hinges
Paint
Tent fabric to make the skirt
Sewing material
Gauze

Electronic parts i used:

2x 55mm EDF motor (one for hover lift and one for propulsion)
1 Servo (for steering)
Controller and reciever (i bought them as a set)
Esc's to get your motors connected to the reciever
Battery (i use a 7.4v 1000mah battery)
On/off switch

Extra things necessary:
Motivation
Free time


Note: i dont really have photo's of the parts only this one from my first order.

Step 2: Knowing What to Build

As all things go when making them by yourself it always comes in handy to have some guideline or sketches to have a basic guide to what has to be done. I made a real simple sketch because i already had my plan worked out in my head wich is somewhat difficult to get on paper the right way.

Step 3: The Big Build.

I started the build by cutting out a basic layer from my sheet of depron, my main dimensions are 40cm long by 20cm wide. After the basic layer you can go from there on measuring all the other parts you will need to get the body of your hovercraft build.

I made the basic plateau consist of 4 layers of depron (because i want to go over water eventually and don't want to loose my hovercraft the first time, so i made it floatable).

In between te lowest layer and the upper 2 layers i made a special cut out layer to get a bit of airflow going on inside the skirt.

After the basic plateau i started cutting out the ribs for support of the upper body and the panels wich will cover things up when glueing it all together.

Step 4: Covering Up the Depron.

If you are done making the main body out of depron and glueing things together it is time to get things covered up, i first started with glasfiber cloth because i wanted it all to be as if it was made from one piece, but after putting on putty and sanding for 2 days i got tired of it and glued on a plastic sheet (with the same effect as glassfiber and putty but cleaner and smoother with less effort. It looks a 100 times better now then before i put on the plastic layer.

I'm sorry if not all photo's are correct, i made some changes throughout the build to get things smoother looking.

Step 5: Skirt Making

I'm not the best sewer in the world but im a bit proud of what i could make.

I used tent cloth from an old beach shelter tent to make up my skirt, one reason for this is that the fabric is super light. (only downfall is it damages quite fast).

The elastic in one i have removed because it wasn't really usefull.
After testing i added some gauze to the skirt so it would not pick up stones and other trash when going around a parkinglot.

Step 6: Inserting the Electronics

After the body is made complete (without painting) you can best go ahead and test instal the parts you wil need to get it all working, i made some smal cuts through some of my ribs to wire everything (also i made a bit of air cooling in the front).
Test instal all parts before painting to not damage your paint job and just to know sure everything fits in how it should.

If the skirt is done you can even get a test flight if all electronics are fit in place. (i did :D)

Step 7: Finishing Things Up

After all is put together, fit together and tested i think now the time has arrived for the paint job and finishing things up.

You should be carefull with painting things, especially with depron, most paint sorts will damage depron, so if you want to paint it using a spray can like me be sure to put tape over every open (depron) part.

I'm not done painting my hovercraft but i ran out of time (for this contest) so i only will upload pic's in the basic paint layer with some striping added for better looks (i am still planning a god paint job).

Step 8: Done,,

After all the previous steps it now is time for the final assebly, some parts can be glued in (i did for the hover motor and on/off switch) make some short flights to test if everything reacts the way it should or maybe some fine tuning on the skirt or balance of the craft and your good to go..

Cruising around in my garage (bad weather forced me to stay in):


Step 9: Final Words

As with a lot of things the plan has changed from time to time to make things smoother and better looking.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this instructable, i tried to make thing clear and not to long so most people can understand it and maybe get some hope for projects like these. I really enjoyed the time i spend on making this little craft and am thinking of a next project to put on here some day.

Greetings.

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    48 Comments

    what is servo ?
    please tell me the site to buy it .....


    A servo is an electric motor used for steering and in airplanes for the movement of the flaps, you should look at www.hobbyking.com for parts maybe google some info if you are in doubt.

    Just goes to show how lazy some people can be lol (no disrespect meant )

    www.hobbyking.com has loads of radio cvontrol stuff

    its a type of motor that it used for moving the rudder or elevator

    I made a compartment like a car trunk in the back for the servo, the propulsion EDF is mounted in a bracket i made from some scrap and screwed on top of the servo after wich i tied the EDF on with a tie wrap.

    The way i have connected everything is included in the following link/image: http://imageshack.us/f/28/aansluitschemahovercraf.jpg/

    I have made a rc hovercraft but I have a weight problem because I was told you cannot power two esc's from one battery. Depending on the wire length the power distribution is different to the esc's. I am 3 battery's to power 2 propulsion EDF's and one for lift. Are you having any problems with powering your esc's and EDF's?

    You can power 2 ESC's from same battery just make sure its a biggish battery other wise it go flat more quickly.


    You will need to discounect the red wire (middle wire) that plugs in to receiver on one of the escs if using the same channel to power them

    Looking for advice on how to convert a RF helicopter to an RF Hovercraft?

    I'd like to use the controller, battery and any other parts you could suggest, then buy others. I assume the lift should use a 55mm EDF motor. Thanks for your help!

    How do you assemble and program the electronics? Also what servo did you use?