Construct a simple fan-powered hovercraft for use in a science project or for fun. Use a fan from a personal computer to generate a cushion of air contained by the lip of a styrofoam plate. This allows the hovercraft to float over various surfaces. You can construct this hovercraft using a few components found around the house and a few parts that can be purchased at most electronics or hardware stores.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Personal computer fan
- Wire cutters/strippers
- 9-volt battery clip
- 9-volt battery
- Electrical tape
- Styrofoam plate
- Craft knife
Remove the connector from the ends of the computer fan wires with the wire cutters.
Remove about 1/2 inch of the plastic shielding from the ends of the wires with the wire strippers.
Strip about a 1/2 inch of wire from the ends of the battery clip.
Connect the fan and battery clip together by twisting the positive wires together and the two negative wires to each other.
Attach the 9-volt battery to the battery clip. Check that the fan works, then cover the ends of the twisted wires with electrical tape. Detach the clip from the battery.
Set the plate facedown on a flat surface, the lip of the styrofoam plate functions as the skirt of the hovercraft. Styrofoam plates work better for this project.
Place the fan in the centre of the plate and mark the plate at the centre of all four sides of the fan .
Sketch a circle with compass and pen, connecting the four marks you made on the plate.
Cut out the circle you drew on the plate with the craft knife.
Attach the fan flow side down to the styrofoam plate with glue making sure to centre it over the hole you cut in the plate.
Attach the battery to the plate with a piece of electrical tape, place the battery as close to the fan as possible. Placing the components as close to the centre of the plate as you can will help it operate better.
Connect the battery and place the hovercraft on a flat smooth surface, such as a wooden or tiled floor.
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