This is just a quick outline of how I put together a prototype hovercraft for the MBMS Science Olympiad. The prototype is made from PVC foam board, 0.125 in thickness. The example pictures are done in light poster board for ease of use.
Below are the steps taken to create the hovercraft.
The two small triangles are to used as support braces at the base of the motor assembly.
The above picture shows the shunt positioned between the side wall assembly.
Above: This view shows the pin-hole locations and the shunt. By placing a pushpin through the side holes on both walls, you can adjust the angle of the shunt. The position of the shunt controls how much air is forced downwards for lift, and backwards for propulsion.
Revisiting the original prototype picture, we can clearly see the shunt assembly with the push-pins in place determining the appropriate angle of the shunt for the hovercraft. This angle position was achieved by ‘trial and error’. Testing the shunt position in combination with the selected propeller and motor speed, took just a few minutes.
The hovercraft skirt can be made of many types of material. I chose to use a simple plastic bag seal on both ends. Marking out where the shunt opening would be on the plastic skirt, I used a razor blade to cut the plastic completely through the top and bottom layers. Using double back tape, I centered and attached the plastic bag to the bottom of the hovercraft.
This was a quick mock-up of the prototype seen above. Braces, attaching of the shunt, etc., are all variables. Meaning, you must test to see what positions and angles work best for your particular hovercraft. Remember to keep everything on centerline as best as possible and to take into consideration the balance of your craft. Make adjustments as necessary. Most importantly, have fun!
MBMS Science Olympiad study sheets are provided below. Please check them out. (courtesy Ms. Stacy)