Introduction: WonderCraft

What is a hovercraft?

A hovercraft is a vehicle that can travel across land and water. It floats above the land or water on a cushion of air. The friction between the surface and the vehicle will become very slight. A hovercraft can move faster than an ordinary craft with the same power. Hovercrafts are widely applied in commerce, military, recreation and many other fields.

Materials you need

  • Plastic foam (for hull, 40 * 40cm)
  • Plastic bags (for skirt, 30 * 40cm)
  • Wood boards (2 mm thick)
  • Electrical (Insulating) tapes
  • Hot melt glue and hot melt glue guns
  • Screws and nuts
  • DuPont Lines (Wires)
  • Radiator fan x 1 (12V,1.5A)
  • Electronic speed controller x 2 (ESC, 30A is enough!)
  • Brushless motor x 2 (XXD KV1000)
  • Propeller x 2 (diameter: 6.4cm)
  • Servo x 1 (9g)
  • Arduino UNO board x 1
  • DC power socket for Arduino x 1
  • Battery x 1 (2200mAh, Li-Po battery)
  • PS2 wireless joystick & Receiver x 1

We purchased those materials on You can purchase similar ones on

Tools you need

  • Craft knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissor
  • Electro drill

Time requirement

  • Preparation: 2 weeks
  • Installation: 2 hours
  • Testing and debugging: 3 hours

Difficulty level

Recommended age: 13 years old and above

Step 1: Shape the Plastic Foam & Attach the Skirt

  • Cut out a piece of 40 * 40cm plastic foam into the shape of a 20 *30 cm rectangular.
  • Cut the front of the rectangular into a semicircle of radius 10cm.
  • Cut out a circular hole of diameter 9cm at the center of the board.
  • Cut two pieces of 2 *18 cm plastic foam and one piece of 2 *16 cm plastic foam.
  • Stick the three pieces of plastic foam onto the edge of the hull.
  • Cover the whole bottom of the hull with the plastic bag and cut a 16 *16cm square along the three pieces of plastic foam.

Step 2: Fix the Radiator Fan

  • Fix the radiator fan against the hole.
  • Use screws and nuts to fix the fan to the hull.

Step 3: Fix the Motors & Propellers

  • Cut out two pieces of wood of 4cm wide and 7.5cm long.
  • Drill holes on the wooden board to fit the cross-shape metal.
  • Fix the brushless motors on the wood boards with screws and nuts.
  • Fix the propellers on the motors.
  • Cut two 4cm * 3cm *2cm pieces of plastic foam and stick them onto the bottom of wooden boards
  • Use the hot melt glue to fix the wooden boards on the hull.

Step 4: Attach the ESCs to the Motors

  • Attach the red wire on the motor to the VCC (positive) slot on the ESC.
  • Attach the black wire on the motor to the GND (ground) slot on the ESC.
  • Attach the yellow wire on the motor to the SGN (signal) slot on the ESC.

Step 5: Attach the Adapters

  • Prepare a T-shaped interface adapter, a DC power interface adapter and two DuPont lines.
  • Make your own adapter for the radiator fan and Arduino UNO
    • Cut one end of the T-shaped interface adapter off.
    • Attach both the DC power interface and the two DuPont lines to that end (in parallel connection).
    • Bind all the connections with the electrical tapes.
  • Attach all the ESCs to the adapters.

Step 6: Install the Receiver of PS2 Joystick

  • Use the electrical tapes to stick the receiver on one side of the radiator fan as shown in the picture.

Step 7: Install the Arduino Boards

  • Upload the program to the Arduino.
  • Connect the receiver and Arduino according to the instruction in the picture.
  • Connect the white pins on the ESCs to one of the digital pins (we used #3 and #5) on the Arduino; connect the black pins on the ESCs to one of the GND pins on the Arduino.
  • Plug the DC power adapter into the Arduino.

Step 8: Install the Servo

  • Fix the servo in the middle of the two fans with hot melt glue.
  • Connect the red wire to the 5V pin on the Arduino; connect the black wire to the GND pin on the Arduino; connect the orange wire to one of the digital pins on the Arduino.

Step 9: Install the Battery

  • Fix the battery in the front of the radiator fan with electric tapes.
  • Place the Arduino board on the battery. Bind them together with electric tapes.
  • Attach the battery to the T-shaped interface adapter. The hovercraft will float up. Control the hovercraft with the PS2 joystick.
  • Drive (or say, fly) at will!

Step 10: Problems & Solutions

If …

  • The hovercraft fails to float:
    • Check the skirt to see if it’s broken.
    • Make sure the total mass of the hovercraft is less than 800g.
  • The hovercraft rotates on itself:
    • Move the battery around on the hull. Try to balance the weight. Just place the battery where the hovercraft stops rotating.
  • The hovercraft does not respond to your control:
    • Make sure no other PS2 controllers around are interfering your signal.