Wanted to build a hovercraft

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In summary, the conversation is about building a hovercraft using used components, a new propelling system, and some new components. The center of mass should be centered on the platform and the skirt should be made of robust materials. The theory behind hovercrafts is fairly simple and they do not require large engines. Propulsion is up to the builder, with the suggestion of using two small engines on each side for better control. The conversation also discusses using fans or motors as a power source, with the consensus that a gas motor would be more powerful. There is also mention of websites with hovercraft plans, with the conclusion that it is more cost-effective to build one rather than buying one. There is also a suggestion to build a land
  • #1

Nicool003

I have wanted to build one quite a few times and one ofmy friends showed me a good website and it is a $50.00 one if you buy used components and it looks pretty good but we would have to set up our own propelling system because it moves pretty slow can't remember the exact speed... So all in all it would cost maybe $150.00 with some new components and a new propelling system. Is anyone else into these things? I found a good website for them but they cost thousands of dollars...
 
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  • #2
The center of mass should be centerred on the platform. The skirt should be of contructed of robust materials.
The theory is fairly simple and hovercrafts do not require large engines just to float. Inflate the skirt to sufficient pressure then blow air into the cavity formed also at sufficient pressure. This engine should always run at the same RPM and might require some tweaking to get it hoverring safely.

Once all of that is done, propulsion is up to you. My preferred method would be to have 2 small engines on each side of the craft. That way turning can be done on the spot. You do not want to be driving a hovercraft like a rally car, you will hit something at great speeds or have one side dip down low enough to catch the ground.

I remember watching an episode of junkward wars where they built hovercrafts for single riders. They both worked and managed to achieve rather good speeds.
 
  • #3
Wow you seem interested. Is this speculation or do you have one or are you expecting to get one?
(or build one)
 
  • #4
AFAIK, the faster way to build one is to ask your neighboor for his leafblower... that is power enough for an individual hovering. Check google.
 
  • #5
Yes that is one way. They also say an old or used (or you could even buy a new one) vacuum cleaner motor could give enough power for individual hovering. One of the plan I looked at could hold up to 250 lbs ( I believe it was it might have been 200)
 
  • #6
Originally posted by emu


Once all of that is done, propulsion is up to you. My preferred method would be to have 2 small engines on each side of the craft. That way turning can be done on the spot. You do not want to be driving a hovercraft like a rally car, you will hit something at great speeds or have one side dip down low enough to catch the ground.

Could you use 2 rotating fans used in the home to propell and steer the craft?
 
  • #7
Well I think it would be possible but it wouldn't proppel you very fast. The two combined could but if you are using one to propel you and the other to decide your direction you would be moving slow. If you had them pointing in the same direction at all times then I suppose that could work but I am not a professional.
 
  • #8
yeah well I'm no expert either. So that doesn't get us very far does it. :frown:
 
  • #9
No but I have a strong feeling I am right. Think about it. Those fans aren't very powerful and if you include the hovercraft and your weight it could have to move anything from oh say 250 lbs up.
 
  • #10
Consider this, 650 watts= 1HP.
A 100 watt fan has less power consumption than a 1/6 HP motor. This is not a lot of power.

Besides, propellers are much more powerful than plastic fan blades. A decent gas motor, maybe a small engine from a dirtbike, should have more than enough power to lift the craft off the ground. A second motor of about the same size would be needed to get to speeds over 20 mph. Now you have the mass of the craft, rider and 2 motors to conted with. Although a Shop-Vac, some plywood and some plastic and you can have a human hockey puck. Bring the shop vac on the craft with the rider. This type of craft probably could be propelled by a strong fan(the 3 footers you sometimes see in gyms and the likes) to breakneck speeds. Need I emphasize you really can break your neck if the craft suddenly decelerates. There are no airbags or seatbelts. Hmmm, no airbag eh?


Damn, I feel like building one myself. Too bad good propellers can't be had for cheap.
 
  • #11
I have looked at many many websites and I found three good ones. Zeth and I use two of the same he sent me a third and I sent him a third... Well anyways I found some very good ones. If you go to universal hovercrafts (www.hovercrafts.com) they are far too expensive. The beginner set alone is 500-600 which I think is too expensive when you can build your own for probably $50-$100. And if you look at universal hovercrafts advanced and intermediate suggestions they get into teh thousands. But I still like looking at that site
 
  • #12
Hows about building a land speeder??
Check out, http://www.se-technology.com/wig/ [Broken]
 
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  • #13
pretty cool! And Kleinjahr it's good to see you!
 
  • #14
restform

An inflatable bed such as the "Restform" could be a way to get the frame. Just pop some holes under, and plug the engine :-)
 

1. How does a hovercraft work?

A hovercraft works by using a cushion of air to lift and propel itself over a surface. The air is forced downward by a fan, creating a layer of air between the bottom of the hovercraft and the surface, reducing friction and allowing it to move smoothly.

2. What materials are needed to build a hovercraft?

The materials needed to build a hovercraft include a lightweight frame, a fan or propeller, a motor, a skirt to contain the air, and a control system. Additional materials such as a battery and controls for steering and acceleration may also be required.

3. How much weight can a hovercraft hold?

The weight limit of a hovercraft depends on its size and design. Most hovercrafts can carry anywhere from 100-500 pounds, but larger commercial models can hold several tons of weight. It is important to consider weight distribution and balance when building a hovercraft to ensure safe and stable operation.

4. Are there any safety concerns when building a hovercraft?

Yes, there are several safety concerns to consider when building a hovercraft. These include proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from the motor, ensuring the skirt is properly attached and sealed to prevent air from escaping, and having proper controls and safety features in place to prevent accidents.

5. Can I build a hovercraft on my own?

Yes, it is possible to build a hovercraft on your own, but it requires a good understanding of mechanics and engineering. It is recommended to do thorough research and consult with experts before attempting to build a hovercraft. It is also important to follow all safety precautions and guidelines to ensure a safe and functional hovercraft.

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