Battery Powered Hovercraft

You need a hover craft.

You don't need to be tethered by a cord.

You definitely don't want gas powered.

Let's build a lithium battery powered hovercraft

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Step 1: Gather Supplies

You are going to need
Gaffers tape (don't skimp)
Two plywood boards (we went all out , you can use what you have)
PVC pipe foam insulator
Two 120 hp lithium battery powered leaf blowers (1 actually worked, but don't play around)
2 shower curtains (again, 1 might work for a bit... But we are serious)
A screw
A coffee can lid

Begin by cutting 2 four foot circles out of plywood. We used a router with jig. Using a flat blade we cut our circles perfectly.

Step 2: Use a Router or a Jig Saw

We used a bit of both to get the circles perfect. The better the circle, the better your ride.

Step 3: Stare at Your Circles

Sometimes it's a good idea just to look at it.

Step 4: A Little Tip

We used the router to cut both circles to match. Do you know how to do this? Google it. Or just trace and use a jig saw.

Step 5: Leaf Blower Holes

So, you need holes for the air to blow through. Measure your leaf blower outputs. Cut holes to match. You want a very tight fit.

Step 6: Leaf Blowers

Our black and decker leaf blowers had little clips and bits we chopped off for a better fit.

Step 7: Chop Off the Overage

You want the bottom of your craft to be very flat. No sharp edges.

Step 8: Sand

Sand smooth your discs. No sharp edges or your shower curtain will rip.

Step 9: Shower Curtain

Wrap your doubled up shower curtains over a single disc. Staple the shower curtain flat. Pull it as taught as possible.

Step 10: Cut the Excess Shower Curtain

Cut the excess. Keep it neat. We are also using a hammer to make sure all the staples are down tight.

Step 11: Tape the Edge Down

We used gaffers tape. Duct tape is not adequate. It is not key. Use gaffers tape. It's for the pros. Be a pro.

Step 12: Tape

Keep taping. Don't stop until you smile like this.

Step 13: Flip It

Is it tight? Is it beautiful? Good. If not. Start over. You have failed.

Step 14: Sandwich

Put the discs together. The taped side in the middle, the shower curtain flat on bottom.

Step 15: Coffee Can Lid

Screw a coffee can lid dead center.

Step 16: Staple It

Staple that coffee can lid for extra professional points.

Step 17: Holes

Ok. Now, cut some 1 inch holes around the coffee can lid and reinforce them with gaffers tape. This allows the shower curtain to fill with air and escape out the holes.

Step 18: Tape

The more tape the better. You don't want rips while you are hovering around.

Step 19: PVC Pipe Foam Insulator

Wrap the outside of the disc with the foam tubing. Tape it down. Don't staple. Just use gaffers tape. Don't skimp. Your very life may be at stake.

Step 20: Foam Bumper

This bumper is very important. Make sure it is fully taped.

Step 21: Blower Time!

Install your blowers. We started with gaffers tape and ended up with 5 min epoxy. Keep it tight whatever you do.

Step 22: Mount

We made sweet wooden mounts so we could use the blower handles as good hand holds when hovering.

Step 23: Mounts

Look at those mounts. Just make something up like ours. You are a pro now. You don't need instructions for that!

Step 24: Finished

You are done.

Step 25: Float Time

Get on. Sit down. Install batteries. Hit the switches and hover like there is no tomorrow.

Step 26: You Go Girl

We are ready for maker faire!

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    92 Discussions

    I want one, I really, really, really want one... Best Instructable ever.

    I do hope that you'll be entering this in multiple competitions just to give me the pleasure of voting for you. I'd vote for this in any competition, including healthy eating and gardening.


    Question 6 months ago on Step 4

    what thickness are the peices of plywood


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm pretty sure they meant High Power lithium batteries. Originally I thought the same about horse power. BTW, leaf blowers are measured in maximum air speed, SCFM would be meaningless to average consumer


    Reply 3 years ago

    Ok, so by high power, what does that mean? I'm trying to find substitute leaf blowers so I can do this without spending so much money, and I'm trying to figure out exactly how powerful the ones used in this instructable are so I can find similar or even more powerful ones. I am totally ok with being tethered by a cord if it means I can make this and save some money, lol.

    Actually, they do - its the speed that the air exits the nozzle. And there is no way they are 120 horsepower, unless black and decker has invented the worlds most compact and efficient electric motors and battery system by a few orders of magnitude.

    D'Oh! My bad! A check of the Q&A's on the link given in answer to another comment shows they are, indeed, rated at 120mph!

    Thanks for putting me straight.

    Mick Bevan

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I made it but unfortunately it burst just after first start up. Im not sure what I did wrong but it actually lifted my daughter about 3/4 of an inch and then burst with a very loud bang!! I used a shower curtain and it was totally shredded. Bummer. back to the drawing board

    3 replies
    nerdindisguise99Mick Bevan

    Reply 3 years ago

    Did you cut the holes? (step 17) If you did, then maybe something was blocking them up so that the air filling up the curtain couldn't escape. Also, if you have suggestions, please tell me, because I am planning to do this for a physics project! Do you think that it would be possible to substitute the lithium leaf blowers for power cord ones? How strong do you think they would have to be????

    Mick Bevannerdindisguise99

    Reply 3 years ago

    I did but the shower curtain was too thin for the power being delivered so I used a trailer cover for the second craft, which did work, lifting my daughter easily but is a bit too bulky and not as flexible as a shower curtain. I have seen hovercraft that used two battery powered blowers inside a gymnasium. have lots of fun!


    3 years ago

    Would love to build one of these. Thanks for the inspiration.


    3 years ago

    How powerful does each leaf blower have to be?


    5 years ago on Step 26

    But it only stays in one place, you need another blower to get some movement. Then how to make it directional so that you can steer it?

    How much can it lift that pretty women must weigh all of a 110#'s?

    But nice project.


    4 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Step 26

    maybe it will move if you lean forward a little? like the old magic saucers at disneyland? does anyone besides me remember them?


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 26

    I loved those things. I was so sad when they remodeled that area and they were not longer 'tomorrow' enough.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Disney California Adventure Park has "Luigi's Tires" which is the same technology as the old saucers (minus the decompression problems).


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 26

    i think the problem was they were too slow. The kids wanted something faster so it would be more like bumper cars.