What do you do during the winter months in Ohio? Sledding of course! Sledding normally takes place on hills, but [Peter Sripol] is no slave to the terrain. He’s built an air sled to conquer the barren wastelands of unplowed parking lots. Air sleds aren’t as outlandish as you might think — the Soviet Union had decades of success with them.
The project starts with toboggan style plastic sled. [Peter] built a frame into the plastic using an aluminum square. The frame is used to support a motor pod at the back of the sled. The motor, of course, comes from his DIY electric plane project. Don’t worry — [Peter] didn’t cannibalize his plane. The plane’s motors are being upgraded, and this is one of the originals.
The motor itself is quite a beast. It’s a 150cc equivalent brushless outrunner motor from HobbyKing. It’s not cheap either at around $450 USD. The motor is controlled by an equally beefy brushless controller wired into a standard R/C car receiver. A pistol grip transmitter makes a great wireless throttle for the system.
Steering is a much more mechanical affair. The sled’s rudder is controlled much like that of an airplane. A steel cable pull-pull system is connected to a stick mounted in front of the pilot. The unreinforced styrofoam rudder turned out to be a weak point in the build — check out the video after the break to see the full story.
41 thoughts on “Travel In Style On An Electric Air Sled”
Safety? Nah… That thing is gonna cut somebodys hand off, or worse…
I don’t care how ingenious it is…
Just put a cage around it.
Nicknamed “the butcher” pbly.
His working aircraft of insulation foam, construction lumber and wire was ingenious and inspiring but my sense of most of most of his projects is that they’re models writ large (and hurriedly), without the usual ruminations about “what happens if…” regarding safety. I hope he’s scared badly before he’s hurt badly.
Pfft, that thing is the epitome of safety compared to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKAIwonRyAE
Related to the hovercraft (ACV).
Can add an additional motor and fan to lower the surface friction on the bottom to create a hovercraft. Maybe even certain “slick,” or lowering surface area, like surface coating/rails can aid also in performance.
I wonder if you can lower the drag with helium over the nose or am I thinking like supersonic flight stuff using hydrogen gas to lower drag and friction?
I like this guy, questioning the $$$ for a motor if duplicating his feat on a tighter budget.
Motor from a 40v chainsaw:
Alibaba source, $20 (MOQ 10):
Checking the e-bike forums some of these controllers can handle up to 6.5KW
YMMV, but looks like fun either way.
Controller? Were you ever a kid? There are only two speeds. Stopped and Full! Just need a knife switch.
Its brushless. . . but yeah, you could use the one speed controller that comes with the chainsaw.
My controller was 11.50, under 20 even with shipping.
“Just need a knife switch”
Alibaba motor: Crappy 83% motor efficiency. Looks like an ordinary AC motor rewound for 24V. The PM outrunner in the video is of much higher quality. Trivia: Wasn’t the guy building the sled in this video a member of the Flitetest youtube channel?
Not sure where you get 24v, but that is the motor in the 40v lynxx chainsaw:
I’ve run one myself off a 56v EGO battery in a scooter.
Granted if I paid 5x as much I’ll get something nicer, or can get 2x of these and steer :)
I think he works for HobbyKing now or at least he adverts for them.
The saw has a perfectly usable controller…might as well use the whole thing, since it has a battery as well…
“might as well use the whole thing”
especially the toothed chain for propulsion and traction!
Good idea! Just attach a chainsaw to a rudder and you are already half a way to the hospital …
Little fingers and high speed fan……. How can anything go wrong?
Now one knows how finger foods are made.
Nothing, as long as you keep your fingers out of the propeller. You can not make everything idiot prove – there would always be a better idiot.
Hospital Doctor asks and how was your hand cut off?
My friend built a electric sled. It was a slice.
But why is your other hand cut off…
I went to grab my first hand that got cut off..
That’s how one becomes rather stumped.
Relates to don’t stare into laser with one remaining good eye.
Dangerous: Good god, yes. Fingers, hands, pets. Imagine getting your scarf (it’s cold out there) caught up in that thing. Yikes.
Put a protective cage around that fan blade and we can start talking.
” Imagine getting your scarf (it’s cold out there) caught up in that thing.”
IIRC, an Italian movie star died when her scarf was caught in the hub spinner of a Bugatti.
Well, I got that wrong!
Next up on the Winter Olympics, the Electric Luge!
(A.K.A. The Fargo Woodchipper)
Like Rollerball only, ‘Murder Sled Derby’!
Kind of a side note but seeing the picture of the kid on the air sled reminded me of the old ads in the back of Boys Life where they sold the hovercraft from a vacuum cleaner plans haha. Cool build and looks like a lot of fun on the snow :)
There was the “hovercraft” (“As Seen on HaD!”TM) a kid built using a Sears 2-cycle leaf blower.
There was a YouTube video too.
I want one! As a kid had to settle for an iceboat built from plans in PM Magazine.
Oh wow, this is like that airboat I built on hackaday.io but bigger. Love the way it turned out!
I have a old car roof box I have been meaning to take the dump for a while now when I get the round tuits fixed as I’ve got a large van and box trailer anyway since being donated it. Its tore out its mounts which is why I got given it, but I have always looked at its aero shape and thought what a cool adult snow sled it would make. But no steering and only downhill, bit old for that, and prior experiments on my offspring has suggested if I make something scary fast and sleek, they will drive it scary fast into a solid object with no fear, so experimentation has to be controlled.
But, chainsaw electric motor, rudder and a prop+fan guard on welded alloy frame, I can do that in the shop easy.
The hoods (bonnets -Jenny) of a lot of old cars gave their lives to become trailers for snowmobiles.
Alas, and alack! Their new lives were short as they couldn’t stand up to the bumps!
Like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.*
*sled didn’t make it.
Go big or go home. Here’s the Madeline Island (Wisconsin) “Windsled” that runs regular ferry service on Lake Superior when the lake ices over. Capable of running through broken ice/water as well.
That’s their schoolbus. It’s twice every weekday on it for them.
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