what is the science behind it
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Better reference than my rather flip comment about ramjet.
You see sean followed up with the same answer. But I've not seen any of these cardboard hovercraft. L
You know I didn't even look... Thanks man L
it works by compressing the air it "scoops" up and redistributing it to the edges of the vehicle to lift them off the surface and thereby produce a reduced friction environment. If you had a fan driving it, you'd have a ground effect airplane like the Germans devised prior to WWII (used for sea transport) and then carried into the Jet age by the Russians as the Ekta-plane.
When it is shoved forwards, I think the hovercraft scoops air in the front which supports it, so it slides along on a cushion of air. Neat.