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I recently acquired an air screw driven hydroplane fitted with an A.M 15 diesel engine. The boat appeared to have either been from the Mercury Kit which was produced from the early 1960s till late 1970s or may have been built from the plans.
What was unusual is that it had been fitted with R.C for rudder only operation and when I put a receiver in to try it, the system worked well. I also ran the engine and it appears to have been as new and after examination of the boat this appeared to have not been used either.
In the 1960s I had built a couple of airscrew boats and they were free running powered by engines taken from my control line model aircraft after they had been pranged.
Intentions are to eventually get the hydroplane on the water with brushless electric power due to the "No I.C" rules on my local boating lakes, something I never had to worry about as a 15 year old .
Don't do it! Use a river or a public lake. We HAVE to middle finger the arseoles who would have us using electrics as a matter of course. Rivers and canals can be used with ease as the real thing is already dirtying up the water, which, of course, the wild life are well used to. As an air boat would never be used that much anyway, keep it for when you travel to a river. Keep the electrickery for the Jobswuffs. AM 15 is a great little motor. I used to have one. Alweays started easily. Trouble is these days the fuel ain't exactly cheap, but then, neither is a brushless motor, Li-Pos, special charger, watt meter, battery condition meter, special wires and connectors, and of course special ESC which will almost certainly burn out like they all seem to eventually. Failing that put it on the shelf and await interested questions!
I like your comments about air boats not being used much anyway. This is very true. Even if the boat was powered by an electric motor there would always be some miserable sod who would complain about the rotating airscrew.