Physics Thought Of The Day: Before The Quadcopter

StickFigure-BoomDIY: CD Hovercraft


  • Balloon
  • CD or DVD
  • Dishwasher bottle top (some sports drinks have the popup top too


  1. Place a piece of tape over the center hole of the CD and poke a few small holes in the tape to regulate the amount of airflow
  2. Glue or otherwise attach the larger opening of the bottle top to the CD centered over the center hole.
  3. With the nozzle closed, blow up the balloon and fit it over the nozzle of the bottle top
  4. When ready, open the nozzle


As technology progresses, it may be harder and harder to test out this experiment. I could really date this experiment if I told you to find a laserdisc. In this DIY project, we are basically creating a hovercraft. The air from the balloon is forced out through the small holes in the tape to form a cushion of air underneath the CD. This allows the CD to hover and move nearly frictionless over the surface.

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