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Know The Five Basic Elements In Building A Hovercraft

Aug 25, 2008
What is a hovercraft and how do you make one? A hovercraft is a platform vehicle that glides with air cushion. Simply put, instead of wheels, the principles of physics and fluid mechanics are used. Not as simple as it sounds? But really it is simple. In building a hovercraft, you don't have to worry about the applied science that it adheres into. You just need to know the three basic things.

This means that you will be building three major elements and put them together. These are:

1. Platform or hoverboard

2. The Skirt for air cushion

3. Air Vents

When you get all three parts made, it's time to put them together. But first, it is important to know why these parts are important.

The hoverboard is where you will sit on. This is the vehicle. For the board to fly and glide, its surface area facing the ground should bear enough air cushion to support it. Building a hovercraft requires you to allow that pressurized air to reside underneath that platform. To do that, you should bore strategic holes in it to cause a thick air film to build below.

Because air molecules are more spacious and loose compared to liquid molecules, they disperse faster. To create the cushion of air, it should be controlled below the hoverboard. This means there should be a means to trap the air temporarily to build enough pressure to lift a weight up. This air trap design is called a skirt. This is the most important element in building a hovercraft. It delays the release of air thus creating a lift.

The air vent is the third major part of the hovercraft. These are simply holes on the platform. This should allow air to pass through. Part of building a hovercraft is the installation of fans. A fan builds a gush of concentrated air. The put that air power to productive use, you need to place them in the best strategic place where the vents are. The vents will lead the air underneath the platform surface thus building cushion.

Other things you may add to your hovercraft are:

- Propellers - It's that big fan you see behind a standard commercial hovercraft. Bigger units have more propeller fans.

- Rudder - Like the steering wheel of the craft, this is the thin vertical panel closely placed beside the propeller.

The rudder and the propellers are simply added features for a hovercraft. Especially if you want a hovercraft that seriously gets you places quicker, you need to have huge propeller fans and rudder. The latter allows you to steer the direction of your hovercraft. If you only opt to have a simple ride in your backyard or lawn, don't fancy it too much. The three elements above should do fine.

As long as your ship lifts up and can carry your weight, then you got the specs right. If you got kids at home, you can take turns in riding the homemade hovercraft and push it to move forward. That should be more fun than the propeller and rudder installed. So when you get all these things in building a hovercraft project done, you should be ready to go.
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What else do you need to learn regarding how to make a hovercraft ? Learn the technical and engineering elements of a building a hovercraft .
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