Introduction: Cardboad Airsled

On some surfaces, wheels are not necessary. Years ago I saw a video with airboat speeding like crazy through a swamp. It was really cool!

I always wanted to make something similar and recently looking through the window at the snow I thought I can make something different and even more exciting than airboat. That's how the idea of my airsled was born.

Later I specified how this airsled should behave to give a lot of fun from driving. I made a prototype, tested it and realize that what I really want are high speeds and drifts :).With knowledge gained with the prototype, I made the air-sled you can build following this instructable.

Step 1: What Do You Need?


  • Cardboard
  • Duct tape
  • Outdoor paint
  • Razor knife
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Rc equipment

  • Transmitter(even the very very simple is ok)
  • Receiver
  • 1 Servo
  • Battery
  • Small brushless hobby engine with a propeller that can produce 0,5-1 kg of thrust
  • Esc controller(about 20A-30A)

Step 2: Cut Cockpit and Rudder

Cut cardboard parts and plastic windows according to dimensions. Note that you will need 3 copies of a part shown on the first image

Step 3: Sled

The sled is made out of 3 cardboard layers. The first image describes shape you need to cut. Next images show that the next cardboard layers are smaller(10mm smaller).After joining these layers with double sided tape apply the same approach to the nose. You can achieve the desirable, raised shape of the nose simply by joining layers together.

Step 4: Sled Protection and Reinforcement

Glue edges of the sled with hot glue. Add strong tape on sides and bottom of the sled. It's important to apply this tape similar to way how roof tiles are structured, this approach will give you a lot more resistance to water. Don't forget to secure the upper edge as well as shown in the last image.

Step 5: Initial Painting and Gluing Cockpit Parts

Paint parts of the cockpit from inside and outside as well(only around windows).After dry, glue plastic windows. Lastly, glue all parts together as shown in images

Step 6: Glue Cockpit and Rudder to Sled

Now cockpit is ready and you just need to glue it to sled. Place it this way so the front edge of the cockpit will be on the line where sled starts to rise up on its nose. Also, draw a centerline for that will help you with cockpit and rudder placement. Lastly, glue and reinforce rudder with 4 sticks for skewers.

Step 7: Protective Paint Layer/shell

Paint everything with outdoor paint, excluding bottom. This paint will protect cardboard from humidity. Apply at least 2 thick layers. This protection will give you durable construction until you will not use this airsled as airboat :)

Step 8: Engine, Servo, Receiver, Battery, Finish!

The first image shows where the engine should be placed. Next, you can see a hole for cables. Before installing engine you should put Esc cables through this hole and connect them with the engine because connecting inside the cockpit will be hard.3rd image shows the fixed engine and servo. Note that another hole is near the sled surface.I made this hole for servo cable. Next, glue servo and cable as shown on last 2 images.

The last step is to connect Esc and servo to the receiver and add a battery. Organize all these things inside the cockpit by gluing them to walls and you are ready to go!

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