Easy CD Hovercraft
With Andrew McCartney
Easy CD Hovercraft
Hovercrafts are vehicles that move on a cushion of air. Capable of operating on land and water they are used in many parts of the world to carry people and goods across terrain that would be too difficult for normal vehicles and boats. With just a few bits and pieces, you can make your very own working model hovercraft.
You will need:
- A CD or DVD
- A 'Pop top' drink bottle lid
- A Balloon
Take your drink bottle lid, remove the clear plastic cover and make sure the 'collar' on the bottom has been taken off.
Take your Blu-Tac and roll it into a sausage shape then carefully place it around the bottom edge of the bottle lid. It is important to make sure there are no gaps as this will create a seal between the bottle cap and the CD.
Take the bottle lid and press it onto the middle of the CD so the hole is sitting below it. Make sure it is firmly attached.
Press the 'pop top' down so the lid is closed, then blow up your balloon. Holding the neck of the balloon closed, very carefully stretch the mouth of the balloon over the nozzle of the lid. This part can be a bit tricky so you may like to ask an adult to help you.
Place your hovercraft on a smooth surface then pop the top and give it a push. It should glide across the surface.
So what's happening?
As the air comes out of the balloon it creates a very thin layer of pressurised air beneath the CD which lifts it off the ground. This layer of air allows the hovercraft to overcome the natural friction of the ground causing it to glide when you push it.
Actual hovercrafts achieve the same effect using powerful fans in the place of a balloon. In some cases, these hovercrafts can create a cushion of air up to 2m thick allowing them to cover quite rough terrain with ease.
(Broadcast: 6 July 2012)