I really liked how simple the original project was, but I got to thinkin... bigger is better, right!? Hoopajoo's is quick and easy, mine requires a little more time but it is still very simple to build and it will stay in the air a bit longer too!
Ready to build? Me too, but lets talk a little first about this "Magnus Effect".
The 50 cent Hovercraft:
Step 1: What the heck is the Magnus Effect?!
The Magnus effect is the phenomenon whereby a spinning object flying in a fluid creates a whirlpool of fluid around itself, and experiences a force perpendicular to the line of motion. The overall behaviour is similar to that around an airfoil (see lift force) with a circulation which is generated by the mechanical rotation, rather than by aerofoil action.
See the complete article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_effect
Turns out, the Magnus Effect is what is usually responsible for curve balls in just about all types of sports- you now have something to blame for that nasty slice in your golf game!
To be totally honest, until I saw this project, I'd never heard of it... but lets see if I can enlighten y'all
Bernoulli discovered that fluids moving fast create low pressures, and fluids moving slowly create high pressures. Air flowing over the top of the wing moves faster than the air flowing underneath, so you have a high pressure underneath and a low pressure above causing the wing to rise.
A SPINNING object- a ball, or our little hovercraft thingamabob here- causes air to move. When the spinning object moves, the spinning air around the object speeds up in the direction the object is moving and slows down behind it, creating a low pressure in front and a high pressure behind. Clear as mud?!? Took me a few tries to understand it too! Check out the picture below for a little more help.
Okay. Lets get to it.