Stan Taylor and his physics class at Miles Community College built a hovercraft powered by an average electric leafblower, some very standard materials like plywood and heavy plastics but the result is pretty fun and exciting. As you will see it can bare weight, I suppose the only restriction is the length of the powercord, watch it in action in the video below.
If you’re interested, full instructions are available here for you to get started right away!
Like your RCs? Then you will most definitely like this, according to the project, this was done on a tight budget and the only money spent was on the propellers and the batteries, of course, you will need the materials to do it if you haven’t already got them in your shed or something. As you will see in the video, it works pretty well and looks to be great indoor and outdoor fun!
The workings of a hovercraft are fairly straightforward: one high-power motor with an airplane propeller forces air down through the hole in the center, which pushes the bottom of the hovercraft off the ground. This greatly reduces friction, allowing the hovercraft to scoot around without much trouble. It also makes it much more difficult to control, however: when the hovercraft turns, it will keep traveling in a straight line unless more thrust is applied. Since we are used to controlling cars or boats, the newtonian behavior of a hovercraft is challenging indeed. The body of the hovercraft is made out of styrofoam, cut with a saw and sanded to smooth the edges. The skirt on the bottom is made out of pieces of a plastic GAP bag, attached with Scotch tape and hot glue. The radio control unit was scavenged from an old boat I had, along with the drive motor mounted on the wooden supports, while the lifting motor was from my physics teacher. The battery is 300 mAh 6V NiMH (or NiCd, I forget), and I have a pair of them. They were about $6-$10 each (again, forgot) and about $12 for the 2 1/2 hour charger. The servomotor for steering was from an old RC car I had, but I unfortunately wasn’t able to find the radio unit or else I would’ve used that instead. I needed the gears in the thing so it could provide enough torque, however.
Probably the single most useful thing during construction was hot glue – the entire thing is held together with the stuff and it will hold for some time to come. The physical construction of the hovercraft was really the easy part… the hard part was trying to get it to work the way I wanted it to.
The latest ‘Jump Jet’ from Snelflight remote controls offers you the latest technology in flying R/Cs, it’s design is like a jet plane but only to find that it takes off like a helicopter – vertically!
Jump Jet is a genuine VTOL fixed-wing plane especially designed for flying indoors. It can take off vertically and hover, then fly forwards, backwards, even sideways. It can swoop and dive just like a real jet plane, and then land on the palm of the hand!
Uniquely, it combines the self-righting stability of fixed-wing planes with the hovering capability of helicopters.
Jump Jet offers the same precision control and robust mechanical simplicity which together made the Hoverfly helicopter so popular. And Jump Jet offers what no other currently available model can – full three-axis controllability combined with extreme self-righting stability, all from minimal moving parts. This makes Jump Jet ideal for learning to fly rotorcraft. It has all the controls of a helicopter, but it is easier to fly.
A triple axis gyroscope contributes to incredible stability and precise flying control. Experienced flyers can hone their skills indoors, independent of the weather.
The relatively low cost for this level of control and stability is an additional bonus.
To me I think what is great about the Jump Jet’s design is that the spinning rotors aren’t pointing out like R/C helicopters and there are no propellers to get bent and broken in a fall or crash. If you’ve played with R/C helicopters you would know exactly what I mean, sometimes those rotors are actually quite difficult to manage for beginners and I think the Jump Jet has an advantage over that. It’s battery is also charged from a brick like power source and not the remote control (that’s brilliant, much more convenient), however, as usual battery will only last you six minutes of flying time!
Here are some more pics…
Watch this video as the latest flying R/Cs are demonstrated at this year’s toy fair (includes the Jump Jet of course), notice the cool remote the guy is holding…
Int13, a french mobile game developer, has released a game preview on YouTube showing what their latest creation, the Crazy Kart 2 would look like once adapted over to the iPhone. The video has been embedded below, what I think is going to be great about the game is that Int13 will offer downloadable content updates like new tracks and vehicles / characters, etc… What is also worth looking forward to is that Crazy Kart 2 will also be expected to support multiplayer play via WiFi with up to four players at the same time, so you won’t get so bored playing on your own all the time!
Here are some other features:
- 320*320 pixels playing area
- Touch controls with a virtual steering wheel
- 3 vehicle classes (karts, motorbikes, hovercrafts)
- 6 characters with different vehicles
Though it’s expected to arrive this coming summer, it looks like Int13 has designed Crazy Kart 2 so that it will be played using the iPhone’s screen vertically, what I had hoped for was that it took advantage of the iPhone’s high quality touch screen capability the horizontal widescreen way, but nevermind!