The Difference between RC Airboats and RC Boats
RC airboats are a great choice for RC enthusiasts who have access to a relatively large water body. But that does not mean that RC airboats do not run on land, as the most common variety, the flat-bottomed airboat, is capable of moving over land as well. Despite this, most RC airboats are mainly used over water, for activities such as racing, sport running and even as design and building projects.
Before you can go out to purchase your first RC airboat, you will need to understand the key difference between RC airboats and RC Boats. A RC airboat consists of numerous parts, such as a hull, radio controls, rudder, engine and of course the propeller, much like a RC boat, but unlike a RC boat, RC airboats contain air propellers, which are placed above the water, instead of under the water, like in a RC boat.
A RC airboat contains a lot of parts from RC Aircraft, though it is much less complicated and expensive. Even though the engines are the same, they are easier to maintain, particularly due to the absence of the expensive water-cooling systems. Most RC airboats only require a RC 2-3 Channel Radio, and are available in gasoline, nitro and electric powered versions. Depending on your level of expertise with each type, you can choose from a wide range of styles.
Gasoline powered airboats are ideal for beginners, particularly the 2-stroke gasoline engines. They do not require the use of field starting gear, which can get quite expensive. Other options include blower and chainsaw engines, all of which are less complicated and cheaper than electric and nitro engines. The next variety, the electric airboat, is better suited for intermediate users, who have some experience handling RC machines. Providing high speeds, these boats are great for racing purposes.
Finally, nitro RC airboats are your final variety. It is important to note that you need to work your way up to these, as nitro RC airboats are much more complicated and require some experience to handle. Run on a mixture of alcohol, nitro methane and wax, these engines come with a special water cooling feature, which surrounds the cylinder head. But with nitro airboats, this water cooling feature is not required as the engines are placed above the boat.
You can purchase RC airboats in readymade form, or purchase building kits. You also have the option of creating RC airboats from scratch. Choosing the building materials will not be a problem with these machines, as you can choose from Styrofoam, birch, plywood, balsa and fiber-glass. A certain amount of familiarity with RC airboats is required before you can build one from scratch. Also, fiber-glass molds and plywood are better handled by experienced builders as they can get a little complicated.
Join online forums to clarify any doubts you may have about your RC airboat, or email experts for answers. In addition, joining local RC airboat clubs is a great way to not just learn more about them, but also to participate in racing events or other activities involving RC airboats.