Main Article Content
This paper presents the development of a novel air-gliding (hovering) “skateboard” (or “skim-board”) which
operates based on an aerodynamic principle that distributes airflow uniformly between the board and a flat surface to provide an
effective air-bearing for air-gliding. Experiments were parametrically conducted to understand the aerodynamic hovering principle as well as to characterize the performance of the hovering system. We have built several prototypes of the hovering system and showed that it is possible for a board with surface area of ~1mx0.3m (weighing ~5Kg) to glide in air with a rider of ~50Kg on top of it. Besides the obvious fun application of using this hovering board as a skateboard that requires no wheels, another example of applications is to use it as an „air-skimming‟ board – when a rider takes a running start and jump onto the board, the board is able to glide with the rider on top of it for several meters. This „air-skimming‟ board concept is similar to skim-boarding on a thin-sheet of water that is popular with young adults in many parts of the world. The basic design methodology and performance characteristics of this novel land transport system are described in this paper.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International License.