Simple Rideable Hovercraft




About: Avid Geocacher and fan of all things iBles.

A large hovercraft that you can ride! I made this before I found instructables so these pictures are the best I could do.

Step 1: Materials

1. Shopvac.
2. Plywood, 3ft or 4 ft square, 3/8in or 1/2in thick.
3. Coffee can lid or other small plastic disk.
4. Tarp 1ft larger then the wood.
5. Electric saber saw, drill, razor, staple gun, duct tape.

Step 2: Make the Board

Cut the plywood into a circle, or any other shape, with a 4 foot diameter. Cut a hole in the plywood that fits the shop vac hose exactly. It is a good idea to outline the hole by tracing your pencil around the circumference of the hose. If it isn't perfect you can later seal it with duct tape. This hole must be placed half way between the center and the edge of the plywood.

Step 3: Make the Skirt

Lay your plywood in the center of the plastic sheet or tarp. Fold the edges of the sheet up over the plywood, then use the staplegun to staple it to the top of the plywood disk. Put the staples about 4 inches apart around the whole circumference. The plastic should be tight against the wood, but not too tight or it will tear when inflated. Cut off the excess tarp and seal with duct tape.

Step 4: Skirt Underside

Poke a hole in the center of the coffee can lit. Attach it to the bottom of the hovercraft with small skrews. It goes over the plastic sheet and pins it to the wood. This helps with lift.
Cut six vent holes in the tarp with your razor. Make shure to space them so there is plenty of space between each hole. If they are too far away from the center they will be plugged when the sheet lays against the floor.

Step 5: Finished

Flip the hovercraft over so the plastic sheet is on the bottom. Place it on a smooth floor and stick the shopvac hose into the hole. Turn it on and the skirt should inflate. If not lift up the plywood and let it inflate. This hovercraft can easily lift one adult, and has lifted two adults with a lot of strain. The amount of total weight that a hovercraft can raise is equal to cushion pressure multiplied by the area of the hovercraft.



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    201 Discussions

    KT Gadgetedfel01

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    ill try to explain as best i can because i built one myself as a science project (but one that only hovered, didnt move that much) the holes are basically the exhaust for the air. but its also the force that pushes the skirt. the skirt acts like a wall from the board and the floor. the air rushing in inflates the skirt since the holes are being covers. as it inflates the holes act as the exit for the air and the only way for it to travel back out to the open air it has to push itself between the floor and the skirt. so, the skirt is basically what makes the hovercraft hover cause the air is creating a small empty space between the inflated skirt and the floor when exiting the skirt.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    thats the longest conversation ive ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!XD


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    it pushes the air under the craft enabling you to float and also keeping the shopvac motor from burning out or popping the skirt


    Pretty nice though I think it would look better with a Henry Hover. I was also wondering if you had any ideas on making like a battery powered one so you could ride about streets on it?

    10 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    the mythbusters did something like that and it used a gas powered leaf blower. it would probably work better than a shopvac.


    Oh, I wasn't thinking of gas powered, but electricity is better for the earth. But I guess you're right, without a really powerful and light battery it won't work.


    This is as positive and constructive as I can get on this matter; If you are worried about the Earth & the ecology, what are you doing looking at Hovercraft building instructables?

    The BEST way for the Earth is to stay home in a natural cave, naked, and eat only vegitation and animals that have died of natural causes. Don't forget to hug your favorite tree each morning too!


    Except that the electricity you're using to charge the batteries was most likely created using some sort of fossil fuel and is therefore just as harmful to the earth.