Observations and results
When using the large-size balloon did the hovercraft usually hover for the longest amount of time? When using the small balloon did the hovercraft usually hover for the shortest amount of time? Were the medium-size balloon's hovering times somewhere in between?
Although modern hovercraft often use propellers on their tops to create air currents that are pushed beneath it, in this activity you used a balloon to create air currents. The air currents in your hovercraft traveled through the pop-top lid to go beneath the hovercraft. Because the pop-top lid stayed the same, the opening that allowed air to go beneath the hovercraft was always the same size. This allowed you to test balloons inflated to different sizes. The large balloon held the largest amount of air and should have allowed the hovercraft to stay aloft for the longest amount of time. However, some variation (of just a few seconds) among the three trials with each size may have been apparent because the balloon was probably not the exact same size each time you inflated it. Likewise, because the small balloon held the least amount of air and the medium balloon held an intermediate amount, the small balloon should have allowed the hovercraft to fly for the least amount of time and the medium balloon should have allowed it to hover for an intermediate duration.
More to explore
How does a hovercraft work? from Xinventions
Ultra-Simple Hovercraft Science Fair Project Can Lift Several Adults! from Bill Beaty, Science Hobbyist
Hovercraft: A Multi-Terrain Vehicle from Science Buddies
How Does a Hovercraft Work? from Science Buddies
This activity brought to you in partnership with Science Buddies