Big Toys

Hovercraft -- weekend DIY project

On Saturday February 9, 2013 my daughter and her friend helped me build a hovercraft. In just two hours we were floating across the floor!

We started with one 4'x4' piece of plywood (4 ply) that is 1/2 inch thick.

Lift is provided by an electric TORO leaf blower but I plan to upgrade to a cordless (battery powered) leaf blower.I prefer electric over gas power because I plan to only use this indoors.

For the hovercraft to move forward it must be pushed (or pulled).

The hovercraft worked great on the cement floor of the warehouse. It did not work well outside on asphalt (pavement).

This hovercraft was inspired by a project in the MAKE Magazine blog HERE.

Science of hovercrafts found HERE.

 


Near Space Balloon Launch

In the fall of 2012 I helped a group of middle school students send a GoPRO HD video camera to "near space".  What follows are the details of the project.

Here is the 3 minute video showing the highlights of the launch and recovery:

Asheville, NC Tedx Near Space Project from Peter Lutz on Vimeo.

 

 

Project Facts:

  • 1200 gram latex weather balloon was filled with 150 cubic feet of helium -- weather balloon was approximately 6 feet in diameter at lift off.
  • Payload was an off-the-shelf styrofoam cooler that was modified for this project.
  • Payload weighed 4 pounds.
  • Payload contents included: GoPRO Hero 2 HD video camera with a 32 GB memory card and extra battery pack, SPOT gps unit, PocketFinder gps unit, personal items from each student
  • Launched on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 9:20 am EST
  • Launching location:  Francine Delany New School for Children Charter School (www.fdnsc.net) in Asheville, NC
  • This project was a collaboration between the school and TEDx Asheville 2012.

more coming...