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Thread: What's a hydroplane?

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  1. What's a hydroplane? 
    #1
    What's a hydroplane exactly ad how does it differ from a catmaran? Does it tunnel the air so it rides on a cuchion of air but doesn't a catamaran do that?? Cheers
     

  2.  
    #2
    Join Date
    08-08-2002
    Location
    Kalamazoo, Mi.
    Posts
    3,195
    Technically a hydroplane is any boat than runs on more than one wetted surface so yes, a tunnel boat or catamaran is considered a hydroplane. This is why at some races you'll see Cats running against outriggers or scale unlimited style boats if there is not a class for them or if they need to place a Cat in a class where there wasn't enough entries to fill the class.
     

  3.  
    #3
    Join Date
    12-23-2003
    Location
    Marysville WA
    Posts
    1,464
    Very true, you could put a hydro, a cat and a tunnel all into the three point catagory, so it basically comes down to hull design. When you compare the hulls, the scale hydro is actually a wing with balancing pads and air traps on either side, the tunnel is the front half of a scale hydro with an outboard at the rear, an outrigger is a pair of water skis with an engine pod in between, while the cat is a deep vee with a narrow tunnel in the middle. IMO, the only real difference between the scale hydro, the tunnel and the cat is that the hydro and tunnel have to have the air pressure under the boat to really get up and run, while the cat uses it's tunnel more to reduce the wetted area of the hull. When you compare the aerodynamic effect of the three hulls, the lift provided by the tunnel of a cat is almost a nonfactor when compaired to the hydro and tunnel hulls, which is why at any race with R/C or full sized boats, the hydro and tunnel hulls will flip, while the cat rarely will, if ever. This, however, does not take into account driver skill and experience or boat set up.
     

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