Introduction: Radio Controlled Hovercraft.

Picture of Radio Controlled Hovercraft.

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

Picture of 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 (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
Scotch and ductape
Glass fiber cloth (18gr per square meter)
Plastic sheet
Small rc hinges
Tent fabric to make the skirt
Sewing material

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:
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

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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,,

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.



GilesMJ (author)2017-03-05

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!

zork2006 (author)2016-10-18

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

SaBoi (author)2016-09-17

Hi! Do you know how much weight this can carry? I need to know for my school project. Thank You and good job!

hushmarrye23 (author)2016-04-06

did anyone make this and can help me with the steps

AkulB (author)2016-02-03

can you please upload step by step instructions regarding the electronics and assembly. thanks

pvlol (author)2015-10-21

which servo did you use

Pieter22 (author)pvlol2015-11-04

ssomshekar (author)2015-10-05

which glue did u use to stick the depron?

zowzow (author)2015-08-19

Will this work on water

nabib (author)2015-06-13

can you show us what the ESC's look like that would be very helpfull

CactusS (author)2015-03-17

can you seand it to me pleasce

CactusS (author)2015-03-17

can it go on water?

sid6602 (author)2015-03-07

How do you use a servo ?

Bauwser (author)2013-07-20

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:

SilverFlame3113 (author)Bauwser2015-01-13

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?

shonoe18 (author)2014-12-16

How fast does it go?

averma23 (author)2013-07-06

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

ktyildiz (author)averma232014-10-19

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

Bauwser (author)averma232013-07-08

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

Steveferneyhough (author)2014-09-16

nice can i got on water as well

punit panchal (author)2013-12-22


zspina (author)2013-08-31

What edf fans did you use? I'm trying to make a hovercraft and have had bad luck choosing fans

averma23 (author)2013-07-07

hey can we use insulation foam instead of depron ply

Bauwser (author)averma232013-07-08

As long as it will hold it's form anything will do

gmanfiggy (author)2013-06-07

How much did this project end up costing?

Bauwser (author)gmanfiggy2013-06-08

About 100 to 120 euro's for parts/materials and shipping costs.

debasish17 (author)2013-05-12

great work!! keep going.

King Advait (author)2013-04-27

the design is so cool!

Metalweasel (author)2013-04-10

great project

Presentteck (author)2013-04-04

so basically scale it up, use a small gas engine... and Boom hoverboard ;)

Bauwser (author)Presentteck2013-04-05

Whaha, that would be awesome, something i would really like to have, a hoverboard :P maybe something for the future, i have been thinking about stuff like this, plus i'm a skateboarder so my dream is to ride a hoverboard ever since bttf. I've also been thinking on making a bigger size hovercraft for real, already have a 100cc lawnmower engine lying around. Who knows,

Presentteck (author)Bauwser2013-04-05

yeah lol, basically you'd be making the bulldog hover board if you kept the fans on the back. you could go over water just fine :D
Also, this song... because hoverboards

Bauwser (author)Presentteck2013-04-07

Nice song, really enjoyed it :P

blazeofkorea (author)2013-04-04

How much did this project cost you in total? I think that your hovercraft is amazing, and i was thinking of trying to create one similar to yours. Unfortunately i dont have that much money, so i was wondering what the cost of all the materials were.

Bauwser (author)blazeofkorea2013-04-05

The electric parts in total were somewhere around 85 dollars from the hobbyking store, the other stuff like depron, glue, plastic and paint is about 20 dollars worth (bought in local stores), could be less this is a rough estimate. The goal for me was to build it as close to 100 (euro's) in total, with most parts ordered online and in dollar price i was not to far off. The skirt material i had lying around.

HavocRC (author)2013-04-02

Dude that is BEAST!
I gave you a vote good luck :D

Bauwser (author)HavocRC2013-04-02

thanks :D

babylonburn (author)2013-04-02

Very constructive and clear tutorial!!

Bauwser (author)babylonburn2013-04-02

Thanks man, i try to do what i can, you know how its like :P

old_alex (author)2013-04-01

Radio Controlled, yes it actually is!

The title is tribute to Tesla the real inventor of radio who in 1898 demonstrated a "radio-controlled boat" in Madison Square Garden.
While Radio Wave Controlled Hovercraft is more accurate, what you state is true also.

While wikipedi is not viable source fore term papers it is accurate on this account.

Marconi improved not invented the radio.

Read up on him, he is one of most important scientist of modern time.

Time to jump off the soap box.

Bauwser (author)old_alex2013-04-01

Haha, thanks for the info. I know who Nikola Tesla is, he actually is one of my favorite known persons in history. :-)

ASCAS (author)2013-04-01

That's a great build ! Thanks for sharing that wonderful project, helps a lot in inspiring people seeking for a good hovercraft design. Keep it up bro!

Bauwser (author)ASCAS2013-04-01

Thank you for checking it out :D i can only hope to inspire more people.

Bauwser (author)2013-04-01

not a real radio offcourse, but i think you already understand that :P I could have just gone for Rc hovercraft in my title but this was a bit more catchy.

supreme creator (author)2013-04-01

wow i mean this is totally super cool because your making a hovercraft but your powering it by radio super cool and thanks bauwser

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello, I'm Joey, and i live in the Netherlands, i like to build or try to invent stuff. Tech always had my interests since ... More »
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