POE Hydrogen Fuel Cell Airboat

Airboats were originally designed to navigate the swamps in Florida and Louisiana. They are still in use today; in fact, the airboat rides in the Florida Everglades attract many tourists every year. Airboats are increasing in popularity, especially among rescue personnel. During hurricane Katrina thousands of flood victims and pets were rescued by airboats. Airboats also played an important role in the Minneapolis bridge collapse rescue efforts.

A company that gives swamp tours has decided that exhaust and loud engine noise in their current airboats is less than appealing to tourists. More importantly, the boats are affecting the proximity of wildlife to the boat. They believe that if their engines did not emit fumes and were less noisy, their swamp tour would easily beat the competition.


To meet the requirements of this challenge you must design, construct, and test a prototype airboat that uses fuel cells as the power source. The prototye will have high speed capabilities. Other teams also hope to design the boat that the company will ultimately decide to purchase. They will choose the boat that provides a combination of high quality and speed.

  1. Define the Problem—review these rules and write a synopsis in your engineer's notebook.
  2. Generate Concepts—brainstorm ideas. Research the topic using available resources. Document your research. Perform tests on various motors and propellers using the hydrogen fuel cell. Sketch possible solutions. Decide on a solution to develop further using some logical method.
  3. Develop a Solution—sketch the final design in your engineer's notebook. Annotate the sketch. Show it to the teacher for approval. Could someone else build your design just by looking at your notebook?
  4. Construct and Test a Prototype
  5. Evaluate the Solution—compare your performance to other teams in the class. Decide on ways to improve your device for the next design itteration.
  6. Present the Solution—provide a written report in the informational report format or an oral report.




Last updated on 6 November 2017