Areas of Science Aerodynamics & Hydrodynamics
Difficulty
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

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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.

Bibliography

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

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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "The Paper Plate Hovercraft." Science Buddies, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Aero_p027/aerodynamics-hydrodynamics/make-a-paper-plate-hovercraft. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2020, November 20). The Paper Plate Hovercraft. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Aero_p027/aerodynamics-hydrodynamics/make-a-paper-plate-hovercraft


Last edit date: 2020-11-20

Experimental Procedure

For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

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