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Balloon Hovercraft

Postby jamiedirenzo » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:55 am

My son is in the 3rd grade and for his Science experiment he chose to make the balloon Hovercraft. His hypothesis was: Does the amount of air in the balloon affect how long the hovercraft will hover. We thought it would be pretty cool to build our own hovercraft! We followed the directions on this website for creating a balloon-powered hovercraft however our balloon would not hover. We tried it many times with various sized balloons. Am I missing something? Thanks for any help you can give me.

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Re: Balloon Hovercraft

Postby rmarz » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:35 pm

jamiedirenzo - You really didn't describe what your hovercraft was doing as air was released from the balloon, so I'll make some assumptions. The balloon hovercraft works best if it hovers over a fairly smooth, hard surface. The critical adjustment is to regulate the rate at which air is allowed to escape from the balloon, and float the CD on the cushion of air. Too slow and you can't achieve a stable cushion that overcomes the weight of the balloon and CD sufficient to levitate it. If the air is released too fast it will have a tendency to fly away without a balanced levitation. The balance might be tricky depending on how well your 'valve' works. Try this approach to see if you notice an improvement.

Rick Marz

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