A hovercraft is a vehicle that relies on air cushion beneath it. Sure you have seen a few of them on TV, magazines, and the internet. You probably think its complicated and takes a genius to make one. Well, guess what? Its easy. Like any project, the very first thing you need is a hovercraft plan. Then when you do have it, everything else should go smoothly.
Understanding how it works may have a lot to do with physics. Its the idea of air pressure and all other engineering applications. But of course there are shortcuts. Sets of a simple hovercraft plan can be found in your local library. There should be something just for you. All you have to do is look for the simplest you could work on.
This air-cushioned vehicle runs by controlled air beneath it. Once operational, it runs smoothly over a smooth plane. The most ideal for this machine is the water surface. If you want to build one, make sure you find these basic elements in your hovercraft plan:
1. Fan. This is where the flows and lifts the board. For homemade designs, you may use a leaf blower or vacuum cleaner. You can also improvise any similar device which air flow can be reversed. Without air lift, you wont be able to lift the board for a hovercraft. The leaf blower sucks the air on top of the board channeling it to a hole in the board. Then it goes to the bottom to trap air and create controlled pressure.
2. Propellers. It is important that you have this in your hovercraft plan. When your board is lifted, you need propellers to move it forward. Some hovercrafts have more powerful propellers. These powerful types are used for purposes of both air lift and thrust.
3. Hoverboard. In a homemade hovercraft plan, the alternative to a hoverboard is a ply wood. The surface area below should help control the air flow. It should be enough to create the necessary pressure to lift the entire board and its load. If youre doing a mini hovercraft at home, make sure the edges of your board are curved. Sharp cornered platforms can be dangerous.
4. Flexible skirt. What also helps control the air underneath the board is the so-called skirt. A hovercraft plan usually has a cross-section of the design. If you look at it, you can see a covering around the sides below the board. It should not be difficult to recognize them. They look like skirts from this perspective. Hence the name.
Now that you have the basic knowledge of a hovercraft, you can start building your own. You may improvise with available materials you could find. Be creative enough to get alternative solutions. In a hovercraft plan, whats more important to understand is the principles of physics. Though, you do not really have to go back to school to know about it. All the elements above follow that principle. All you need is common sense to put all parts together. A little bit of skills and patience and you will be set to hover over your backyard.