So you're wanting to make a hovercraft, huh? Well look no further! If you are wanting to make a simple hovercraft, then you should have these simple materials:
- Round Plywood Platform, preferably around 4ft (We used a 3ft one) in diameter and 3/4 in thick.
- Thick plastic sheet, such as a shower curtain or a plastic tarp.
- 2 leafblowers, electric if doing inside hovering.
- Pipe or Tubing that fits your leafblower or leafblower tube extension. Also a 90 degree bent hollow pipe at least 3ft long.
- A small metal or plastic plate, maybe 3 inches in diameter.
- A small turn table, around a foot or less.
- A few wooden boards, each around 1 to 2 ft.
- A light chair.
- Duct Tape, screws, drill, exactoknife or scissors, staplegun.
With these materials, you'll be floating in no time!
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Step 1: Step 1: Cutting the Hole for the Leafblower
Assuming you have your round board already, you need to cut a hole in the board for the leafblower to pump air through. For our hovercraft, we put a hole between the center and edge of the platform. This will help with balancing out the board when the leafblower and the rest of the material is attached. The hole will be as big as your pipe or tubing. For us, we had a part 3d printed so we could get a tight fit. With the tubing in, see if the leafblower will fit into it snug. You can seal it with duct tape for the best air flow, but not now! If it fits pretty well, we're ready for the next step.
Step 2: Step 2: Cutting and Attaching the Plastic Underside
Place the board over your shower curtain or tarp. Then measure out a circle 3 or 4 inches from the edge of the platform on the tarp. Cut this circle out and then place the edges of the plastic over the top of the platform. Make sure there is some slack on the bottom. Then use the staplegun to staple the plastic to the top of the board, using a staple usually 3 in from another one. After the entire plastic curtain or tarp is stapled to the top, use a couple layers of duct tape to seal the edges to prevent air from escaping.
When the plastic is attached, you need to attach the small metal or plastic plate in the middle of the tarp on the bottom. After the plate is attached, measure from the plate about 6 in away for a 3ft board or about a foot away for a 4ft board and mark 6 symmetrical points around the plate. With these points, cut around 2 to 3 in diameter circles . After this is done, you can attach the leafblower on top and test it to make sure it floats well with some weight. If it does, we can move to the next step.
Step 3: Final Steps: Adding Some Propulsion and Steering
For the last steps, we are going to put a second leafblower on a turntable on the back of the hovercraft in order to turn it. Make sure this leafblower is pretty powerful, otherwise you won't get much propulsion. To get the turntable on, we just detached one side and screwed the other onto the platform to secure it. Reattach the other side of the turntable. To make the leafblower steady and sturdy, build some type of wooden frame for the leafblower to be secured on, similar to what is in the pictures, to drill into the turntable so that the leafblower can turn with ease and stay attached. Make sure before you screw the frame to the turntable that your chair has enough room to fit onto the platform.
Next you can add the bent metal pole to the leafblower frame in order for the person sitting to be able to turn it. Make sure the bar is attached to the vertical portion of the frame and that it is angled away from the chair a little bit so that the pole won't hit the chair. With that, it is done! The only thing now is to have someone ride it and test it out. It may become loud with a lot of weight added to it, so start with someone light to test its limits. If it works well for you, I hope you have fun!