Building Your Own Drone Hovercraft With a Plate

This DIY hovercraft toy needs to be seen to be believed!
Christopher McFadden

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Are you looking for a simple yet enjoyable drone-based DIY project? Then this amazing DIY hovercraft will be right up your street.

With a few basic drone parts and some common household items, you should have little trouble getting this little beauty up and running. Plus, it really is a fast little machine!

diy hovercraft in action
This DIY hovercraft really can gun it. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Read on to find out how. 

Like any project of this nature, you are going to need a few bits and bobs. For this build, you will need:

*Note: For best results ensure the receiver and transmitter/remote are the same brand to make sure they can actually communicate with one another. 

With all your materials gathered together, the first step is to grab your plastic plates. Now, grab a basic ruler and mark a line with a pencil just off the center of the plate's base, as shown in the video. No details are provided, but attempt to make the line where the plate measures around 4.72 inches (12 cm-13 cm) wide i.e. not along the diameter. 

diy hovercraft mid line
Mark out a line along the upper half of the back of the plate. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Next, mark out two points 1.1 inches (3 cm) distance from both ends of the ruler on the raised part of the base of the plate. Using a pencil and pair of compasses, set the width to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm)

Around each point you marked earlier, draw a 1.1 inches (3 cm) diameter circle using the pair of compasses. Using a craft knife, but out the circles very carefully!

diy hovercraft circles
Cut out two holes to receive the motors later. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Next, cut out a small rectangle of cardboard 2.36 inches (60 mm) by 1.38 inches (35 mm).  With the cardboard rectangle cut out, mark out points at 0.78 inches (2cm) along the long and short edge of one side of the cardboard rectangle. 

Now take a protractor and draw a curve between the two points. Watch the video for more details if you need more information. 

Next, mark out a smaller rectangle on the opposite corner to the curve you just marked out about 0.78 inches (2cm) long by 0.24 inches (0.6cm) wide. Also, mark out another curve on the diagonally opposite corner of the cardboard as shown in the video. 

diy hovercraft cardboard pieces
The final cardboard pieces should resemble this piece. You will need two of them for this project. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Using the crafting knife, cut out all these pieces. Rinse a repeat to make two identical cardboard pieces. 

diy hovercraft propellers and motors
Assemble the motors and propellers. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Now, grab your DC drone motors and propellers. Affix the propellers to the drone shafts in reverse, as shown in the video and image below. 

Do this for all four of your motors and propellers. Now, glue, or tape, two motors (and propeller) to each piece of cardboard section you previously created as shown in the video and the image below. 

diy hovercraft cardboard motor
Stick the motors to the cardboard pieces. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Stick the two cardboard/motor assemblies to the base plate using a hot glue gun as shown in the video. Be careful here, as hot glue can burn you very badly if you don't take care!

Ensure that the propeller that is placed inside the holes you previously made can rotate freely within the hole. 

diy hovercraft motors to plate
Stick the motor/cardboard assemblies to the plate. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Do the same for the other cardboard/motor assembly. Take care to ensure that both pieces are parallel to one another. 

You may want to mark out some guidelines on the plate before committing yourself to glue them in place. Once complete, you may want to close the gaps on the cardboard edges using some duct tape, or similar. 

Now, cut a strip of more cardboard long enough to fit between the space of the two cardboard/motor assemblies. 

diy hovercraft spoiler
Create and affix a cardboard mounting for the receiver. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Stick into place using superglue, or similar, to form a mounting point to receive some of the DIY hovercraft's electrical gubbins. 

Now grab your drone receiver and stick to the cardboard platform you had previously created. You can use the hot glue gin again for this purpose.

diy hovercraft receiver
Stick the RC receiver board to the hovercraft. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Now, wire up the drone motors to the drone quadcopter receiver board. The connection points will vary depending on the drone quadcopter receiver board you managed to get your hands on. 

diy hovercraft wire up motors
Wire up the motors to the RC receiver board. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Now, grab your drone quadcopter remote control and battery pack. Connect up the battery to the receiver board on the DIY hovercraft and stick it into place using an adhesive pad or similar. 

The receiver board should light up to indicate that it is working and the battery pack actually has some juice. 

diy hovercraft battery
Connect the battery pack and stick to the hovercraft's fuselage. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

If needed, add batteries to the RC remote/transmitter and turn it on. So long as the RC transmitter and receiver are paired you can now begin to play around with your new toy!

Be warned, however, this hovercraft is very light and will really move fast. Ensure you have plenty of space to experiment and learn how to control it. 

diy hovercraft complete
Your DIY hovercraft is now complete! Time to take it for a spin. Source: The Wrench/YouTube

Well done you!

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