Engineering Projects/HoverCraft/Howard Community College/Fall2012/p1501mank

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Hover Craft[edit | edit source]

Air Fans
RC Battery Pack
Drilled a Hole in the Frisbee to fit the Fan
Super Glued Fan to Frisbee+Added Bubble-Wrap for the Skirt
Our Hovercraft with battery-mount working

Problem Statement[edit | edit source]

We want to be able to create a hover craft. Either one that can be piloted or a remote control one, depending on the parts required. We want to successfully create a device that hovers above the ground and can maintain itself airborne.

Team Members[edit | edit source]

Neil Pasricha

Kyle Crosby

Adam Miller

Summary[edit | edit source]

The teams that have worked on the hovercraft in the previous years have generally made them with remote controls rather than a one man pilot. There is some programming involved as well as finding the right pieces to make it work (weight and area wise).

Story[edit | edit source]

11:30 p.m. 9/25/12

So far during Week 1 we have been searching endlessly for fans and power supplies. Each fan we have found requires 12V of power, while all of the PSU's we can get are either 10 times that or 9V. We settled on batteries because 9V is better than 120V. Three batteries were tested, first we measured their voltage. The highest voltage out of all of the batteries was roughly 6V. We decided to test this one, and managed to get one of the fans spinning decently well. We realized it was only at half power, and set out to get a 12V battery. We have managed to pick out 4 different fans that will work well on our hovercraft, as well as a backup leaf-blower fan just in case we need more push.

9/26/12 12:40

We are currently attempting to find a power source for our fans. Myles fan had 4 D batteries, and although it pushed a ton of air, it weighed a lot. We then managed to find a 12V RC battery pack, and charged it. Once charged we hooked it up to one of the air pump fans (12V) and it worked beautifully. The amount of air pushed out by that one fan was incredible, and we had three more for a total of four. We decided that we would use two battery packs to power the four fans, as one batter pack was enough to power them a solid amount, and any more could potentially be too heavy. Our conclusion is that we will use the four air pump fans to lift the hovercraft off the ground, and our "directional fan" to guide it along in the back.

9/27/12 9:00 p.m. Adam drew up a design for a prototype (on the right) which we are going to test out. It looks pretty good and all we have to do now is test it, which will most likely be in the next couple of days.

10/7/12 3:19p.m.

This week has been extremely productive. We have managed to create a working hovercraft with only one fan, and now are in the final stages of production.

We went with Mr. Foresters advice and used only one fan instead of four, and it worked out great. We now only need 12V of power and therefore less batteries and weight.

The bubble-wrap we used for the skirt instead of a plastic bag worked out great.

Rather than making a hovercraft shell from scratch (we were using duct tape and cardboard before), we decided to just use a Frisbee. This ended up being good because plastic is both stable and lightweight.

Next week we are going to be adding a propeller to the back of the craft as it works very well otherwise.

Summary of Project

Week one

The group first gathered possible parts that we could use for our project which would later define possible designs for our project. Then we tested the motors with a battery to see what kind of power we could get out of them.

Week two

The first design constructed had to much friction so it didn't move and on top of that the amount over motor used needed to much power from any available power supplies. With the council of Professor Foraster we changed the design to fit one motor/air pump but the designs still had to much drag. So i went home to think of a new design.

Week three

This week had the most success off all so far. I was able to find a frisbee as a bod for the hovercraft and adapt the design to it. With the help of my group we were able to construct a structure that floated but still lacks directional motors and a power supply independent from an outlet. For the new design the air pump was attached to the underside similarly to previous designs. Different from older designs we used bubble wrap instead of thin plastic bags. The bubble wrap is much stronger which allowed it to be stretched tighter and resist bubbling or bulging out. The center of the bubble wrap still had to be glued down to keep secured but the bulging was sill minimized by a lot. The next change was added a rope skirt. The rope killed 2 birds with one stone the rope was need as a skirt to contain the air cushion and raise the craft. The boost in height was needed because after glueing the air pump to the underside of the frisbee I noticed the motor protruded out farther than the rim of the frisbee making movement impossible because of to much friction

Week four

We built directional motors, added an on and off switch and a place to place the battery that is centered to keep balance and does not affect airflow. Then we changed it. With the help of my dad I got the idea of of how to make a light weight power supply. i synchronized 2 nine vault batteries to make a power supply with 18 volts to power the 12 vault air. Testing it could've been risky cause it had the possibility of damaging the motor but when we make a permanent power supply I will combine a nine vault with triple or double A batteries to get a more accurate voltage

Failed Prototype
Another Failed Prototype

Decision List[edit | edit source]

Make either a remote-controlled hovercraft or a piloted one.

Decide how many fans/what type of fans will be used.

Decide what to use as the remote control device.

Material List[edit | edit source]

Bubble Wrap (To hold in air)

Air pump (12v)

Hot Glue

Duct Tape (lots of it)

Wires to battery

A switch that can control it (for on/off)


12V Battery pack for PSU

22" of rope (for the skirt)

Software List[edit | edit source]




Time[edit | edit source]

Neil and Adam have been meeting outside of class two to three times a week since the project started, for roughly an hour a two each time. On top of the amount of work we have done solo and in class, I can confidently say we will have spent well over 20 hours by the end of the fourth week (considering we have most likely already broken that barrier).

Next Steps[edit | edit source]

Our next step now is to mount a rotary fan on the back of it to give direction. At the very minimum we will have mounted the fan by the end of the fourth week to at least give it forward direction. Hopefully if we can manage it, we will control it with Arduino and be able to fully control which direction it pushes the fan in.