It's winter in Beaver Creek, Ohio, at the moment, and sub-zero temperatures mean liberal amounts of ice and snow. Kids may be heading for the hills for some sledding fun, but serial tinkerer Peter Sripol can aim for the flats with an electric sled that motors along using a propeller taken from his DIY electric aircraft.
We're no strangers to crazy home builds here at New Atlas, having previously featured frankly dangerous projects from the UK's Colin Furze, Sweden's Alex Borg and Australia's Chris Malloy (who is now developing his Hoverbike for the US Military). Sripol's credentials for membership of that elite club are impressive indeed, with previous examples of his skills demonstrated by a Winnebago electric skateboard, a hydro scooter and an electric ultralight aircraft.
And it's the latter that he's removed a HobbyKing 150cc-equivalent brushless electric motor to propel his latest build – the electric air sled.
The motor and prop were first seated in a custom-made wood and metal box, which was attached to a metal frame and secured to the rear of an off-the-shelf Terrain sled from KL Outdoor. Due to the bendy plastic floor of the sled creating some drag in snow, Sripol cut and fitted seating to help distribute his weight for a smoother ride.
A sheet foam rudder out back is controlled by wires attached to a metal shaft mounted in the center of the sled, while a wireless RC transmitter is used to adjust motor power via a receiver connected to a Turnigy dlux 250 A HV 14s 60 V electronic speed controller.
The project was then taken for test runs on the Beaver Creek snow and ice. Sripol hasn't revealed what batteries are used to power the motor, or how long he gets per charge, but he does say that the air sled is fast. Not exactly how fast, just that it's fast.
As is, this project should probably be filed in the "don't try this at home" category of DIY builds, but with the addition of some sort of cage over the prop it could be made a whole lot safer to ride. You can see some slippin' and slidin' fun, as well as build footage, in the video below.
Source: Peter Sripol