Hovercraft (Battery or Solar-powered) Experiment

Capable of travelling over land, water, mud, and ice, a hovercraft vehicle produces large volumes of air to hover.

In this experiment, a miniature hovercraft is built with a computer fan. A computer contains multiple fans for keeping components cool.



Removed from the computer, a computer fan has a red (positive) wire and black (negative) wire.



Attaching a fan to a paper plate and power source, the initial test proves a miniature hovercraft can hover. A circular hole the size of the fan is cut into the middle of the paper plate.





The first test fan circuit received too much current and broke.

A second fan is tested with a battery pack. 15.64 V DC provides enough power for the miniature hovercraft to hover without carrying its own battery pack. The idea to create the "solar-powered hovercraft" received a setback while recording the solar panel output. 5.47 V DC output from the solar panel was recorded. The solar panel cannot provide adequate current to lift the hovercraft.



An alternative to the "solar-powered hovercraft" is a battery-powered hovercraft. If proven, the battery-powered hovercraft can be adapted to use rechargeable batteries charged using the solar charger (Experiments > Solar Charger).

The first battery pack tested was too heavy. For each AA battery weight, 1.5 V DC was provided. I switched to 9 V DC batteries to provide more current with less weight.

Did you know?

Inside a 9 V battery, there are 6 miniature 1.5 V batteries (6 * 1.5 V = 9 V).



An initial test of 2 9 V DC batteries (18 V DC) proves the miniature hovercraft will hover (without carrying a battery pack).

Multiple 9 V batteries were connected and attached to the top of the rudimentary hovercraft. The batteries provided the hovercraft power enough to hover while carrying the battery pack, albeit briefly.


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