Cheap RC Boat Turned Weirdly Capable Seaplane

What do you get when you combine a cheap RC boat from Walmart, foam board, a couple powerful motors, and some aluminum cans? Most people would just end up with a pile of garbage, but we’ve already established [Peter Sripol] is fairly far from “most people”. In his hands, this collection of scraps turns into an almost unbelievably nimble seaplane, despite looking like something out of a TailSpin and Mad Max crossover episode.

In his latest YouTube video, [Peter] takes viewers through the process of turning one of these rather lame RC boats into an impressive flying machine. His took inspiration from the Sikorsky S-38, an American amphibious aircraft introduced in 1928. The S-38 looked like a fairly traditional boat bolted to the bottom of a set of huge wings, so it’s little surprise that he patterned this build after it.

The construction of the seaplane is very simple, and boils down to cutting some big wings out of foam board, using some sticks to give it some rigid framing, and putting a tail on it. The biggest problem is that the boat’s hull lacks the “steps” that a seaplane would have, so it’s not an ideal shape to lift out of the water. But with enough thrust and a big enough control surface, it all works out in the end.

Which is in effect the principle by which the whole plane flies. There’s a large elevator cantilevered far astern to help leverage the boat out of the water, but otherwise all other control is provided by differential thrust between the two top mounted motors. The lack of a rudder does make its handling a bit sluggish in the water, but it obviously has no problem once it’s airborne.

If [Peter] and his foam board artistry seem familiar, it’s probably from the not one but two homemade aircraft he built with shockingly similar techniques to this current project.

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Waterproofing An RC Plane

A few years ago, the EasyStar RC plane took the remote control community by storm, launching dozens of clone ready to fly planes that found their way onto many fields, rooftops, and trees. [hammydude] wanted to take his EasyStar with him while also playing around with his jetski, so he did the reasonable thing: he waterproofed his remote control plane.

The EasyStar is made of foam, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to land on a lake. To prevent any damage to the electronics, servos, and pushrods, [hammy] slightly modified the fuselage of his plane and potted the electronics in silicone glue. Now this excellent RC plane is capable of landing on calm water with a slow self-destruction.

[hammy] has flown his EasyStar seaplane in salt water, but that is a terrible environment for the exposed brushless motor. Before packing it in for the day, [hammy] pours a bit of fresh water over the motor and throttles up for a minute or two. This seems to be good enough for the bearings in the motor; in the video after the break, you can see [hammy] submerge his plane in the water and take it for a short test flight. There’s some great in-flight shots taken from the EasyStar – surely an awesome way to enjoy a trip to the shore.

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