Ka'u Science

Go to Hovercraft 2 - Teachers onboard!

It has long been a desire of mine (MrB) to build a hovercraft with my students... I've been a Hovercraft afficionado since the "flying saucer" ride in Disneyland in the early 1960's. In addition to the Disneyland hovercrafts, I've ridden a SRN4 from Calais to Ramsgate, a SRN6 from Isle of Wight to Southsea, and a sidewall hoverferry (HM2?) in Hong Kong. So - How about building one in Physics Class?

I had long seen the plans for a simple 4 foot around / shop-vac powered / single seat vehicle... Finally: Plastic, wood, duct tape, staple gun, sabre saw and drill all came together with the physics class....   Here are the basic plans


(Here's a set of plans I stared at a lot in ?Jr High?)

A 4x8 sheet of plywood  (122cm x 244cm) humorously turned into a 4 foot/122cm diameter disk. With duct tape on the edges and a hole suitable for the shop-vac placed half way between the center and the rim - Plastic (6mil) was added, stapled (with a staple gun), and duct taped yet again. The bottom "can lid" was screwed on and the 6 air holes (2 inch/5 cm each) were cut into the plastic. Pretty much done.... add a low stool and insert shop-vac with extension cord.... ready to go. (OK, then we added more duct tape; under the can lid, around the edge of the plastic and over the staples and finally around the rim. (all the places it had blown out the first time!))

Installing Plastic Sheet - and Adding Duct Tape!!!

More Duct Tape  (a Ka'u Robotics Tradition???)

You don't think they are having fun, do you????

Bottom View    - Note - 6 air holes in plastic, 1 air hole coming through the wood for the shop vac, and lid screwed into the center.

Top view -  Note - lots of staples, duct tape all over, hole for shop vac, and the plug from the hole over the small bits of screw that made it through - Safety :-)  

All Built Up and Ready to Energize

Leslie is one of the first students to try - It is like a 2D zero G - or an air hockey puck!

It looks like we get a maximum of 10 cm / 4 inches lift! and very low friction

Robert gets into the action - fan is off and he is settling to the ground.

Yes, I have to have my turn - It was Halloween, so, there is a little bit of costumery going on.
This is the current and "ultimate duct tape" version (compare to above).

  Pushing off for another flight across the room - watch out for the spin!!!

Now, All we need is a gasoline powered leaf blower - and we can terrorize the whole school!!!!

Go on to Hovercraft 2 - Teachers on Board!

web page by  ted Brattstrom - Ka'u Science - updated 30-Aug-2018