How Does a Hovercraft Hover?

Before You Start

ACTIVE TIME:
30-45 minutes

TOTAL PROJECT TIME:
30-45 minutes

KEY CONCEPTS:
hovercraft, friction, aerodynamics, air cushion

Introduction

 

Have you ever ridden on a hovercraft? It is like gliding on a cushion of air! In fact, this is exactly what is going on. A hovercraft is a vehicle that glides over a smooth surface by hovering upon an air cushion. Since a hovercraft can travel on top of flat land or water, it is an amphibious vehicle. In this activity, you will get to build your own mini hovercraft using a CD or DVD, a pop-top lid from a plastic bottle, some glue, and a balloon. How will different amounts of air in the balloon affect how long the hovercraft hovers?

stem download How Does a Hovercraft Hover?

Credits

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies

This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

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