Hovercraft and Snowball Project

by FliteTest | March 2, 2016 | (16 Ratings) Posted in Projects

Flite Test headquarters had a lot of snow recently, so we challenged ourselves to build snow-friendly vehicles that we could take out to the yard and have some fun.

Peter built a skirter hovercraft with a pusher motor. It has two layers of foam stacked on one another and a foam board skirt with a Hefty garbage bag taped to the bottom.

The foam board in the skirt is 17–18" wide with roughly 3" of skirt between the edge of the foam and the outer perimeter. The holes in the foam board allow the air to flow through the hovercraft, and the skirt enables the hovercraft to fly easily over uneven terrain.

 

Josh built a giant Snowball by drawing an airfoil into a conventional FT Nutball. The top center section provided the girth we needed to make a stronger connection to the tail and make the entire craft more durable.

The Snowball sits on large pontoons and uses the conventional motor mount from Peter's Circle Plane. The tail uses elevon mixing and a simple rudder to help with bank control.

We've also partnered with Adams Ready Board to develop water-resistant foam board that will be available in the Flite Test Store soon!


Let us know if you want to see more projects like these!

 

Click here to download the Hovercraft plans.

Click here for the PDF plans for the Monster Snowball


COMMENTS

Ryan3212 on March 2, 2016
May you please post a build video i know you are releasing a pdf for it but to be honest many of us are better when we see hands on instruction, and i was just wondering what type of foam do you use like Adams
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joshuaparker on March 2, 2016
I couldnt agree more.
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Bellows on March 2, 2016
http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?24522-Best-SNOW-quot-plane-quot/page7&highlight=snow
I hope this link works. It is to the forum.Some folks have built some other SnoBall type snow boats that are simple and fun. Mine uses the swappable power pod and is a blast!
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joshuaparker on March 2, 2016
I can wait to get the plans so I can put wings on it. ITS GOING TO BE GREAT!!!
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james.ketchem on March 2, 2016
yes on a speed built kit & other things like it ,maybe a boat once you get the water resistant foam
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james.ketchem on March 2, 2016
i going to have to rebuild all my planes once you get the water resistant foam,i going to have to be putting in some long nights in ,to have them ready for spring
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PropSpinner on March 2, 2016
PETER PAN does it again!
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Addison on March 2, 2016
WOW ME IS WANTING THESE HOVERCRAFTSES ME IS: really nice job cant wait for plans
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LordVader on March 2, 2016
Can't wait for the water-proof foam board. Hopefully won't be terribly expensive to but and ship.
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DJRC on March 2, 2016
Who needs plans? Building a hover craft now. That thing was sweet.
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HilldaFlyer on March 2, 2016
I'm beginning to like bad weather... this was a great episode. Love the down and dirty, quick, spontaneous, successful and highly entertaining. I like hearing the laughter and seeing what happens. This is the true FliteTEST. Cheers!
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kkmalu on March 2, 2016
+1 for plans for hovercraft... Please include all the electronics details as well!
It is awesome! Great job Peter!
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jksbusiness on March 2, 2016
1. I would like the tiled plans to this snowball and the hovercraft......please and thank you.
2. Yes, I NEED water resistant foamboard.

Don't forget to explain the electronics installed on the projects.
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udo789 on March 3, 2016
When, when, when will the water resistant foam board become available? I've been hearing about it now for over a year. The suspense and anticipation is killing me!
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RockNBurn on March 3, 2016
I wonder how it handles on water.
We barely have snow here in Brazil (only on a couple of states down south, and no more than 1 cm or 2).
I'll build it on depron, so maybe I'll need to replace the foam prop Duct with some PVC pipe or something lighter.
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rog on March 3, 2016
Durable hovercraft skirt idea
You could build a durable skirt out of an old windbreaker jacket. A nylon windbreaker can be bought at Goodwill real cheap. That would give you a skirt that you can take down a gravel road. With waterproof foam will we start seeing float-planes? I live on a lake it be nice to walk out the front yard dock and fly!
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dgrigor02@yahoo.com on March 3, 2016
I'm not giving up my 80s parachute pants for a hoover craft !
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Freddef on March 3, 2016
Regarding the paper pealing from the foam mentioned.

It do add some weight, but look at 3M Micropure surgical tape. I use it to strengthen the hinges, tape it along the hinge area and have a very thin layer of clear paper glue spread all over the tape area.
Since a couple of my planes is made out of some old IKEA transport cardboard sheets, I have improved the wing edges, with the exposed corrugated inner board with the same method, also spraying the finished wings and body with Artist Fixative. Accidentally dropped a wing tip into water for a minute or so. Thought the wing was ruined, tip all mushy, but allowing it to dry for 24 h, it was not even water-stained.
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HilldaFlyer on March 3, 2016
Can't wait for the Adam's FT-branded waterproof foam core to be available. First - this new product needs to be subjected to a barrage of weight, strength and resilient studies with a head-to-head comparison with Ross foam core. May turn out to be the best thing ever.
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model3113 on March 3, 2016
D/Led the hovercraft plans. I think this would be a good use for all the surface r/c gear I have on my shelf. I'm thinking that using coroplast instead of FB would make sense for the chassis since it's tough and waterproof. I think that maybe using gorilla tape to reinforce parts of the skirt would be keen, with some velcro instead of green tape. A lot of the science fair style vacuum cleaner hovercrafts use bicycle tubes--maybe too heavy.
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StickInk on March 3, 2016
Please include all the electronics details of the hovercraft!

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iaincg on March 3, 2016
I have not flown in snow nor on water, but is painting with polyurethane not enough to weather proof a foam board plane ?
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james.ketchem on March 4, 2016
how about the size of the hover craft on the plans? i can figure it out ,but it will take time

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rclover2.0 on March 4, 2016
Great video and the hovercraft was a good project to change things up. Keep up the amazing work.
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bikerman124 on March 4, 2016
How does the motor configuration work for the hovercraft. Both motors y-ed into the 1 esc? Can one ESC handle that?
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dgrigor02@yahoo.com on March 4, 2016
I'd imagine you wire it the same way as you would any dual motor like the ginnea pig, mini cruiser, etc. They go over that in the build videos for dual motor plans. 2 motors, 2 escs. You will need aux channel on your reciever and mixing in your radio. You can search the forms and internet for more specifics on the mixing for your radio.
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pintokitkat on March 4, 2016
Hopefully the fact that the paper doesn't peel off the waterproof FB will stop FT using that technique so often. It's really annoying for people who can't get suitable FB (like, perhaps the rest of the world) because the paper simply doesn't peel off. And if the waterproof FB is heavier, that too will suit us. The Mighty Mini series are almost unbuildable unless you use DTFB. To get the Corsair and Arrow to balance required four ounces of lead in the front at which weight, they just don't fly.
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mark d on March 5, 2016
For the hovercraft I'm gonna try some shelf paper over the board under the skirt and compactor bags for the skirt material. Years ago I experimented with a brushed version using a single fan and ducting about a 3rd to the skirts. It worked great but the asphalt wore out the skirts in a few 20 minute runs. The fact that it had to use sub-c 6 cell nicads probably made it worse.
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Yogenh on March 5, 2016
I want the new foam board. Hope that you get it soon.
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Kieran W K777 on March 8, 2016
Great episode, too bad for me that the snow is gone! I really would have liked to build a FT Hovercraft for the big snowstorm we had a few months ago.
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FoamTest on March 8, 2016
It's okay it will work on any relatively flat surface like concrete or a baseball field.
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Majesticness on March 8, 2016
on DIY Pocket Transmitter vid can you do elevon mixing on it. If yes then how?
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FlyJuice on March 8, 2016
10 pack skirts in the store and motor mounts speed build kit then shut up and take my money!
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brianrowe on March 9, 2016
Following the PDF for basic structure and pictures for the rest, I have a hover craft ready to go, just trying to decide what power pack to get. Do I need the Power Pack A Mini Twin Engine or the Power Pack C Large Twin Engine. Ready to order, just need to know the best one to get. I'm leaning to the large, just don't want to get something to big. Any advice?
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nicksta rc on March 9, 2016
I don't understand the PDF for the hovercraft

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brianrowe on March 9, 2016
How I interpreted it, was two combine the sections end to end to make one long piece. aprox 10" wide x 23" long. The part on the far left is the hovercraft body with the hole for the lift motor. The part on the right goes under the body and is what the skirt attaches to. The part on the far right is the cross piece for the under body and glues to the bottom side of it. The 3 holes are cut out and the skirt gets cut and attached to around it as show in the video. Make sure and use 2 layers of board for both sections. The cross piece can just use a single thickness. Here is how mine turned out. Now just need to figure out what power pack to get. https://goo.gl/photos/FkAqaH4wMqxQTsSx8
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brianrowe on March 9, 2016
Sorry fast typing. should be to combine and the 4 holes get cut out.....
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Yellowleaf on March 10, 2016
Really loved that hovercraft, and so did my son (12). We're now building one out of 6mm Depron boards.
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jackweed on April 1, 2016
LOL
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TheAdviser99 on May 8, 2016
Interesting :o
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Bob_Chen314 on January 2, 2017
Why didn't you make the lift fan on the bottom as big as the hovercraft was wide?
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JaneSmith76 on June 5, 2017
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