Prototype Hover Platform




Here is a Hover Platform we built for an upcoming Young Innovators Festival that we are hosting at Scitech.

This is how you can make a Hover floating style platform easily and cheaply. The main body of the unit is made from MDF (Craftwood) and a tarpaulin, and uses a portable battery powered blower vac to provide the air.

You can get up to 6 small children on there easily.

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Step 1: Description of the Build

Description of the Build:

Cut out two circles of MDF - one being a full circle and the other a ring. Wrap the tarpaulin over the ring and staple it to the other side.Trim off the excess tarpaulin.

Drill a hole in the full circle piece to let the air in. Then, screw the ring to the full circle piece trapping the stapled edge between the pieces of wood.

Cut out a small round piece of wood and screw into the center of the tarpaulin side. Then, cut about 6 small holes just outside of the piece you just screwed in.

Fit a nozzle flange on the other side over the small hole you drilled for the air to go in (see step 2).

Attach the blower to the nozzle flange and power up. The platform should lift off the ground and hold your weight.

Step 2: Parts

You will need the following parts:
  • 2.4m x 1.2m 16mm thick sheet of MDF (Craftwood)
  • tarpaulin about 1.5m x 1.5m or shower curtain
  • 25mm wood screws
  • Cordless / Corded blower vac or a vacuum cleaner that blows
  • Screw-on flange with an inside diameter to suit the blower vac / vacuum cleaner end

Step 3: Tools

You will need the following tools:
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Holes saw
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Screw driver bit for drill
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Gaffa tap

Step 4: The Build

The Build:
  1. First you mark out two 1200mm diameter circles on the sheet of MDF. On one of the circles mark another circle inside of it with a diameter of about 1050mm. Cut these out with the jigsaw leaving you one full circle and another ring. Also cut out a small disc about 150mm round (to be used in step 5).
  2. Use the hole-saw to cut a 50mm hole about 150mm in from the outside edge. This will be for the air to come in.
  3. Lay the tarpaulin down on the ground and sit the ring in the middle of it. Fold the tarpaulin over the top of the ring and start stapling it on. Make sure you keep it taut! Once finished, cut off any extra tarpaulin, keeping to the inside diameter of the ring as a guide for the fold over width.
  4. Lay the other circle on top of the ring, with the staple-side up. Now screw the two pieces together, keeping about 30mm in from the outside and space the screws about 200mm apart. Thus trapping the stapled side between the two circles.
  5. Flip it over with the tarpaulin side up and screw the small 150mm disk (from step 1) into the centre, trapping the tarpaulin between it and the wood. Cut about six 25mm holes out about 50mm from the central disc.
  6. Flip it back over and screw the flange in over the hole in the top you drilled earlier.
  7. Get your blower and fit the nozzle into the flange hole. You can use the tape to fix it there.
Now it's all ready to turn on and test it out.
Keep your weight over the center and use a flat surface to ride it on. Enjoy.

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    21 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Wow this is so futuristic and seems so unreal! Nevertheless, thanks for the comprehensive step-by-step guide which is easy to follow. I bet the kids would be so enthralled by this instructable once I have managed to successfully build it. It sure looks perfect for a gift and since Christmas is just over, I will wait for someone’s birthday and make that an excuse to construct this genius. Moving and floating humans will be a common sight around the house then.


    6 years ago on Step 4

    how did you cut that mdf
    what blower did you use


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Do the boards have to be cut in a perfect circle, or would an oval shape work?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work. I've had my classes build a few of these over the years, and as I was digging one out of the basement last week, I noticed a roll of ground fabric, the kind you put down to prevent weeds from coming up. I was wondering if that would work in place of the tarp or plastic sheeting we usually use. If it did work, it would be more durable (at least than the plastic sheeting). Might be too porous, but I was just wondering if anyone had tried it yet.....


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Could you give us a better look or description of your blower? Not sure if we would have the same thing around here, but some idea of at least published stats would be nice. CFM or cubic feet per min. How long does the battery last... etc.

    I am part of a maker/hackerspace and we are thinking of a hover bowling competition between some other spaces near by.

    The idea is to make some large cardboard or foam bowling pins and use ourselves on the hover craft as the balls.

    should be fun, but gas blowers are temperamental and corded blowers are well corded.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The blower we used is a Makita BUB142 workshop blower.
    14.4V and 2.6 m3/min air flow which is 92 CFM.

    Lol. Sounds like a great game.

    Only the last page has multiple pictures.
    They seem to work ok for me.
    Try a different browsers. eg google chrome etc


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for all the great comments.
    We built this 7 times for a show on the weekend. Everybody loved it.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have one of these I built for my students. I use a corded blower. I'll have to try the added ring and small blower. Looks a lot more stable.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The ring is what makes it work. Without that you have a blowup pillow.
    The ring in the middle makes a half donut shape on the outside which makes a small edge for air to get trapped and ride on.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    What is the max weight you have been able to lift? This would be handy moving furniture in the house.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm 100Kg and it lifts me ok.
    A larger one can lift a lot more weight you just need a powerful blower.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    We made these in high school... it was a really cool project! I would love to build one again!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    a friend of mine built this exact same thing once!
    however, he used a gas powered blower. It was pretty cool.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, I'm amazed at the power of that little blower!
    This one I made has worked great  for years:
    ...but it uses a good-sized Shop-Vac and is tethered by a power cord (which I use to fling passengers around). The next step on this one was going to be a gas-powered blower, but maybe I'll have to rethink after seeing this 'ible! The really hardcore hovercrafts use the engine/prop from an ultralight plane, but now you've got me wondering about battery-operated possibilities...
    Thanks, and nice work!