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The Paper Plate Hovercraft *

Difficulty
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.

Abstract

You can make a very simple hovercraft with a stiff, disposable plate-a pie plate should work well-and a balloon. Glue a square of cardboard in the center of the bottom of the plate. Make a small hole through the center of both of these layers. Enlarge the hole slightly with a pencil. Push a balloon through the hole so that the opening is on the front side of the plate, and rest of the balloon sticks out from the back. Blow up the balloon, then set the plate down (balloon side up). What happens? Add weight (using clay or pennies) symmetrically around the edge of the plate to measure amount of lift force. Can you control the direction of motion by making an outlet in the edge of the plate? (Parker, 2005, 14-15) Can you see any effect of changing the hole diameter? (This may be hard to measure.) You can also research and build more elaborate types of hovercraft using battery-powered fans for lift.

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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "The Paper Plate Hovercraft" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 30 June 2014. Web. 22 July 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Aero_p027.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 30). The Paper Plate Hovercraft. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Aero_p027.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-30

Bibliography

Parker, S., 2005. The Science of Air: Projects and Experiments with Air and Flight, Chicago, IL: Heinemann Library.

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