Introduction: Simple Rideable Hovercraft

Picture of Simple Rideable Hovercraft

A large hovercraft that you can ride! I made this before I found instructables so these pictures are the best I could do.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1. Shopvac.
2. Plywood, 3ft or 4 ft square, 3/8in or 1/2in thick.
3. Coffee can lid or other small plastic disk.
4. Tarp 1ft larger then the wood.
5. Electric saber saw, drill, razor, staple gun, duct tape.

Step 2: Make the Board

Picture of Make the Board

Cut the plywood into a circle, or any other shape, with a 4 foot diameter. Cut a hole in the plywood that fits the shop vac hose exactly. It is a good idea to outline the hole by tracing your pencil around the circumference of the hose. If it isn't perfect you can later seal it with duct tape. This hole must be placed half way between the center and the edge of the plywood.

Step 3: Make the Skirt

Picture of Make the Skirt

Lay your plywood in the center of the plastic sheet or tarp. Fold the edges of the sheet up over the plywood, then use the staplegun to staple it to the top of the plywood disk. Put the staples about 4 inches apart around the whole circumference. The plastic should be tight against the wood, but not too tight or it will tear when inflated. Cut off the excess tarp and seal with duct tape.

Step 4: Skirt Underside

Picture of Skirt Underside

Poke a hole in the center of the coffee can lit. Attach it to the bottom of the hovercraft with small skrews. It goes over the plastic sheet and pins it to the wood. This helps with lift.
Cut six vent holes in the tarp with your razor. Make shure to space them so there is plenty of space between each hole. If they are too far away from the center they will be plugged when the sheet lays against the floor.

Step 5: Finished

Picture of Finished

Flip the hovercraft over so the plastic sheet is on the bottom. Place it on a smooth floor and stick the shopvac hose into the hole. Turn it on and the skirt should inflate. If not lift up the plywood and let it inflate. This hovercraft can easily lift one adult, and has lifted two adults with a lot of strain. The amount of total weight that a hovercraft can raise is equal to cushion pressure multiplied by the area of the hovercraft.


TheRandomEngineer (author)2016-12-15

does the fan move it?

Hambone22 (author)2016-01-07

Will it work on water

speedracer425 (author)2011-08-13

finally a easier way to get to school

Steamr (author)speedracer4252015-06-06

I like how you think.

edfel01 (author)2008-12-18

Wat does the skirt do? and the holes by the coffee lid? good instructable

KT Gadget (author)edfel012008-12-18

ill try to explain as best i can because i built one myself as a science project (but one that only hovered, didnt move that much) the holes are basically the exhaust for the air. but its also the force that pushes the skirt. the skirt acts like a wall from the board and the floor. the air rushing in inflates the skirt since the holes are being covers. as it inflates the holes act as the exit for the air and the only way for it to travel back out to the open air it has to push itself between the floor and the skirt. so, the skirt is basically what makes the hovercraft hover cause the air is creating a small empty space between the inflated skirt and the floor when exiting the skirt.

edfel01 (author)KT Gadget2008-12-19

that really helped thx

J.A.R.V.I.S. (author)edfel012012-01-18

thats the longest conversation ive ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!XD

XkidXhavocX (author)edfel012009-03-08

it pushes the air under the craft enabling you to float and also keeping the shopvac motor from burning out or popping the skirt

Sir-Jackington (author)2008-05-30

Pretty nice though I think it would look better with a Henry Hover. I was also wondering if you had any ideas on making like a battery powered one so you could ride about streets on it?

that would need a very large battery and it would probably be to heavy to ride on

Would a couple of car batteries work?

that would probably run it for a short time, but it would make it very heavy.

minerug (author)rocketman2212008-07-21

How about a garden leaf blower?

rocketman221 (author)minerug2008-07-22

the mythbusters did something like that and it used a gas powered leaf blower. it would probably work better than a shopvac.

Oh, I wasn't thinking of gas powered, but electricity is better for the earth. But I guess you're right, without a really powerful and light battery it won't work.

Bosun Rick (author)lnknprkfrk132011-10-30

This is as positive and constructive as I can get on this matter; If you are worried about the Earth & the ecology, what are you doing looking at Hovercraft building instructables?

The BEST way for the Earth is to stay home in a natural cave, naked, and eat only vegitation and animals that have died of natural causes. Don't forget to hug your favorite tree each morning too!

jimmy dean (author)lnknprkfrk132009-08-28

Except that the electricity you're using to charge the batteries was most likely created using some sort of fossil fuel and is therefore just as harmful to the earth.

minerug (author)lnknprkfrk132008-07-25

What gas the leaf blower uses depends on the emmissions i think..

junits15 (author)minerug2009-03-18

ya but most of them use gasoliene

Yeah, I wish that i could use a gas powered blower but in Los Angeles, California it is illegal to have a gas powered blower. As if the cars don't do 3 times as much damage as a blower. But we have a Prius!

Why are gasoline leaf blowers illegal in LA? is this one of those emission restrictions?

Yeah. because cars don't do enough

Oh yes, and i have a question: if I have a boogie board will it work? or does it have to be a circle. I think it will work because i have a box fan on the back of my ideal craft.

It might work. In fact it probably will

XkidXhavocX (author)rocketman2212009-03-08

use a car battery or two and just use a small transformer to up the amps to about 2x and youl have one hellof a hover craft.... just try not to touch the terninals on the batteries or the transformer.... it would give you a deadly zap...

ReCreate (author)XkidXhavocX2009-06-09

No, Not really, The Voltage Would Be Way Too Low to push enough current through your skin

drakuz (author)ReCreate2009-07-11

voltage doesnt kill people. current kills people. low current means it requires more time as it is just slowly dmg'ing you. ima radar tech in the navy

ReCreate (author)drakuz2009-07-11

Umm...yeah, The voltage is low, Therefor low current goes through...

andros1200 (author)ReCreate2009-07-11

Thats incorrect. Amperage is the amount of current flowing through a given point in 1 second. Amperage is what kills you. Voltage is pretty much how much your muscles will spaz, its not what does the damage.

ReCreate (author)andros12002009-07-11

Yeah...What i said

jimmy dean (author)ReCreate2009-08-28

Amperage is the unit of measurement that measures current.

ReCreate (author)jimmy dean2009-08-28


drakuz (author)andros12002009-07-13

Current is also called amperage:

andros1200 (author)drakuz2009-07-13

I meant to say Amperage is the amount of electrons... nevermind Just nevermind.

ReCreate (author)andros12002009-07-13

Well, That is almost exactly what i thought my point was, what i said *facepalm*

drakuz (author)ReCreate2009-07-13

for example btw. in relation. all tesla coils are HIGH voltage Low current. think of voltage as the speed at which water travels and current is how wide the river is. mississippi: low voltage, high current.

ReCreate (author)drakuz2009-07-13

umm...yes? I know how it works, I'm just horrible at explaining

drakuz (author)ReCreate2009-07-13

ahh well the navy raped my brain with this crap lol. i actually didnt want to be a radar tech. i wanted to work on a .50cal ha! personally dont care too much for those aspects of electronics. but, once i learned it, it became very useful

drakuz (author)ReCreate2009-07-13

not true. this is the formula:
V over I, R
voltage over current times resistance.
if voltage goes up. current goes down. visa versa.
resistance increases with voltage.
Ohm's Law Ftw:

Current is also called amperage:

ReCreate (author)drakuz2009-07-13

*facepalm* Yes i know this, I am just bad at explaining it XD

tristantech (author)XkidXhavocX2009-07-11

another argument about electrocution. Here we go again....

use a gas powered leaf blower instead of the shopvac

KrispyKr33m (author)2008-06-04

how fast will the hover craft. I 'm building one but i need to find out how fat a fan of that size will move it

lnknprkfrk13 (author)KrispyKr33m2008-07-09

These have no friction so pretty much anything will move it. I would strongly suggest getting a relatively strong fan, and if you can afford it, two fans.

conrad2468 (author)lnknprkfrk132008-07-11

oooooorrrr a lawnmower with a blade attached!

Kendallkip (author)conrad24682008-08-15

then that would pretty much kill the hover idea from all the weight

conrad2468 (author)Kendallkip2008-08-15

great point....touche

Kendallkip (author)conrad24682008-08-18

touche? lol do u mean DOUCHE?

conrad2468 (author)Kendallkip2008-08-18

no....touché prounounced (tōō-shā') Used to acknowledge a hit in fencing or a successful criticism or an effective point in argument. A.K.A. good point...but i do see how douche would fit in there

About This Instructable




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