Extreme Hovercraft




How we made a hovercraft out of standard household material.


Step 1: Materials Needed

4x4 piece of plywood
5x5 piece of tarp (that doesn't allow air flow)
Duct Tape
Staple Gun
Coffee Can Lid
Jigsaw ( or other cutting utensil)
Wood Screws
Leaf Blower

Step 2: Technical Drawing

Rough Sketch of Ours

Step 3: How to Build It

1. Use saw to round corners of the wood

2. Cut a hole in the plywood the size of the mouth of the leafblower.

3. Lay wood on the tarp and fold the edges onto it, make sure to leave some slack.

4. Staple the edges of the tarp down to the plywood, and duct tape the edges to minimize airflow.

5. Use the screws to attatch the coffe can lid to the bottom of the board in the center, holding the tarp down.

6. Cut 6 holes, 2" in diameter 6" from the center of the hovercraft.

Step 4: What Worked, What Didn't

We found that you have to keep the tarp fairly tight, with just a little bit of slack for the best performance out of your hovercraft. Also, the tarp needs to be stapled down and duct taped very efficiently, or too much air will escape out the sides.

Step 5: Physics Concepts

One of the main concepts demonstrated in a hovercraft is pressure. you have to build enough air pressure inside of the tarp to support your weight, and we used our physics teacher Mr. Schmedake's wonderful instruction to accomplish this.

Some other concepts demonstrated are Newton's first, second, and third laws of motion, the Kinetic Gas Theory, and Pressure equilibrium.

Step 6: Finished Product

Now you have your hovercraft ready to go. It will work best on a smooth surface, we used a gym floor, but be careful of the screws, they could damage the surface of the floor. and so can wd-40...



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    14 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Do you cut holes in the tarp and have the coffee can blow air into the tarp?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    1. as loud as the leafblower is (its the source) 2. about six inces from the ground or so 3. as long as the ground was flat and smooth like concrete


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    what if the concrete is rough? because my driveway and sidewalk have this textured concrete.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I build a slightly upgraded version in 8th grade. It worked great on sand, and even tar until my skirt popped off the bottom (too much pressure, not the tar. Fixed it, but never tested after due to parents locking it away.)

    1 as loud as the leaf blower you chose to use 2 about 1/2an inch from the bottom of the skirt so it kindow depends on its size it works on any relitively flat ground so i would say yes


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I'm enjoying the hovercrafts. Looks like this was a class project? Could you ask the instructor to contact to me? I'd like to know how posting on Instructables turned out.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Sure, the instructables page is our final exam. He has an account to, i will see if he will message you.