Paper Coffee Cup Flying & Controlled Models of Hovercrafts




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Step 1: Materials & Tools

We will need:
- a paper cup
- 1 sheet of A4 (or similar size) paper weight 160-250 g/m2
(you can also use the lid from the children's shoe boxes or foam trays for vegetables)
- a toothpick
- a segment-edge cutter
- 9V battery (or similar size block)

- an adhesive tape
- scissors
- 1 permament marker (not nessesary)
- a hair dryer (not nessesary)
- computer printer (only if you do not have trays or cardboard lid)

Step 2: Cutting of Paper Cup

To build a model hovercraft will need about 25mm wide rings cut from the cup. This can be done using the knife and the battery (as well as photographs 2 and 3). If necessary, you can improve the scissors.

To cut a cover of the cockpit, you can issue the cards 9x9cm bent in half diagonally (photo 4). After drawing on the cup (photo 5), we cut out the element of scissors (photo 6). If we do not like the original decoration of the cup, we can painted over - for example, using a permanent marker (photo 7).

Step 3: Paper Deck of Hovercraft

As I wrote earlier, for this model of hovercraft, you can use ready-made items that will be the deck.
However, if we do not have the relevant deck, can be made from scratch.
For this purpose, you can use a drawing no 1 (photo 8) or independently to prepare their drawing with own shape.
The difficulty is to build a rigid, not twisted, solid hull, with the corresponding hole.

Step 4: Final Assembly

After carefully gluing (or matching) the deck, we can proceed to assembly. All the elements of  constituent shows the photograph no 9. Propeller of paper (from the same cup) is attached to the toothpick (but can also be glued to the ends of the ring).

Step 5: Controlled Flight!

For our model raised on a cushion (we assume that a well-made) simply blow (simply the mouth or better hairdryer) to the hole on board. It is very important that the airflow was directed straight down, otherwise the model will flee.  This requires some training!  ;o) If you can disconnect the heat in an hair dryer, will be even better. "Professionals" fly this model with great precision in any direction - flying over obstacles up to 2-3 mm.

Step 6: Foam Deck, Crew and Finding Centre of Gravity

Although I'm loving models with cardboard, I must admit that much easier to made a deck of this model with the vegetable trays - also is lighter and thus we can add driver lego. But beware!  Adding load, you have to do with the weight! For the balancing we can use crayons or felt-tip pens (photo 13) and few lego block (then we can stick it from the bottom of the deck).

Step 7: Application

For many years I use those nice models (with great success!) in the classroom, at outdoor workshops and even at international fairs modeling (during the workshop and presentation of model club). Young engineers is really like it!
I have a request - please send me a similar, but your pictures :o)

Step 8: More Modifications and Tips

If you liked these models, you can do next, more difficult with moving propellers, superstructures and sack apron, using inspiration in figures 3 and 4 (we've already built this!).

If outlet of your hair dryer is oval - you can use it to turning your model in place. Simply, if the inlet of hovercraft you do slightly oval!

Have a lot of fun!

Thanks for your watch! (and vote too ;o)

Coffee Cup Challenge

First Prize in the
Coffee Cup Challenge



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Metal Contest

      Metal Contest
    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge

    18 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 7

    could you post a picture of one in action


    I once made a ridable hovercraft (instructions online) and it won the science fair! They work well. You should make one.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. Just like those toys at the science fair that had a ballon., you would fill it up and then they would scoot along really fast.


    9 years ago on Step 8

    It's wonderful project! I think it would be a winner at this event.
    We're waiting for more models and projects :)
    And btw...
    Pozdrowienia z Polski :)

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi !
    If you like it, and for that you can understand what I write,
    - I have also already a lot of proven projects,
    the same time I care about learning English ...
    So - who knows ...?
    Meanwhile, I invite you to my website (in Polish).
    Do milego! ;o)


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 8

    Thx! This is only Corel Draw 9.
    I like this program and  I'm drawing in this a little already...


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi all!
    In the competition participates a lot of great projects - my is first time here ...
    I'm very glad if you all liked my project and I thank you all for those really kind words and your votes.
    Unfortunatelly, now I can't send you video clip with this flying (I have little problems with processing and sending movies) - but please belive me - it is real great flying! (especially with the foam deck) Easily check it yourself!  With "my" kids we play this already at few years...


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Witaj, z tej strony Starling z Konradus-a, tak jak obiecałem oddaję głos ;-)

    Pozdrawiam Grzegorz


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice job, and excellent pictures, too!


    9 years ago on Introduction

     Cool idea, and very well presented.  Those kids look really happy!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Fajna rzecz! Bede musial taka sobie zmajstrowac :-)
    Pozdrowienia dla wroclawiaka od wroclawiaka!

    A Pomyslowy Dobromil rzadzi !!! ;-)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Seems really cool
    Can you add a video of your hovercraft in action?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    wow verry proffesionally done. Iv been planning on building a rc hovercraft for a bit. I wouldn't build this but a very creative approach to explaining hovercrafts