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Vintage Nitro Airboat to Brushless

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Vintage Nitro Airboat to Brushless

Old 08-24-2022, 11:43 AM
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Will01Capri
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Default Vintage Nitro Airboat to Brushless

Ok, so many years ago i used to be part of a flying club down at the bottom of the A329 (M), every year the river would flood and then those of us with planes without floats always had to give up. Many of us did convert our palnes to run flaots aswell for water take off and landings, but then some of us starting making our own airboats using left over parts from the planes. We always had surplus nitro engines haha

One of the guys in the club designed a 25 size airboat that would run very well on water, but i remember we only used to have a 38mds, so we stuck that in it. But it was always too much motor and it would flip easy haha

Anyway, the mds was always troublesome and a few months ago i found the old airboat and though, it needs a brushless conversion so it can be enjoyed again. So role on EV power conversion
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Designed up a simple nitro to brushless motor mount and 3d printed it in PLA so didn't have to convert the rest of the boat
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It is made of plywood and it quite a solid thing, it had to be because it gets some abuse!
Now the only piece of decent water i have to play with it on, is down the beach, so it runs along the beach and there are rocks and shells etc.

I think from memory the brushless motor is 900kv and i am running a hacker 3s lipo 2400 battery and it runs through a cheap 80a skywalker esc
Its forward only, there is no reverse!
Runs dual rudders, one change made recently was to enlarge rudder area to help steering as it was always a bit slow in turns
Old 08-24-2022, 11:44 AM
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Will01Capri
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Some videos aswell
1st test video

Really happy with it and very good fun, not bad for a direct swap and no setup
Old 08-24-2022, 11:52 AM
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Will01Capri
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2nd test run, i promise i wasn't trying to kill my wife! But she said you need to get closer flybys so it looks good on video, unfortunately i got a little too close, lucky she was ok, but these things can be nasty, so need be careful in future.
Anyway she was laughing and thought it was revenge as she tried to run me down with a RC car a few months back. I hope it doesn't become a thing where we try to outdo each other at trying to get each other with an RC model!!!!! jokiing of course


On a fully charge 3s lipo 2400 it will run 11minutes of alot of full throttle.
Its not fast, but it sure is fun and it loves the waves, well as long as they not too big, it will go over if you catch it wrong!

One thing i would say is that if you overcook the turn, it flops back into the water and it seems to be generally very steady, so little risk of flipping over unless a wave etc of course catches it at same time.

The prop cutout, was a vein attempt to keep the original nitro engine low, but it does create a large puddle and reduction of power for the prop. So i am going to design and print another lighter hull, but for fun, this airboat ticks all the boxes for fun

For those about to cut in and say oh no, its printed from PLA!
Well this PLA is a very good qaulity PLA, it was left outside in the sun all day, it even found itself sat in the boot of my car another day in the sun, the sun was hot for Scotland and was 30C, at no point has the PLA melted or deformed
The motor heat also doesn't affect the PLA, so it seems the material is plenty fit for purpose.

I have done another nitro to brushless conversion, but it is on one of my old 40 size RC trainer planes. Using the same motor and esc, but we have designed a different mount, so some videos of that will be posted in relevant section at some time

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