Friday, November 19, 2010

BlackBird G2 .21 Outrigger Hydroplane

Now introducing - the new BlackBird G2 .21-sized outrigger hydroplane R/C boat kit! Developed and made by Chris Wood in Iowa USA and you can now pre-order your own! The first production boats are planned to be ready in March 2011.

Quote from Chris Wood:

"This the 2:nd generation BlackBird outrigger hydroplane boat called BlackBird G2. I have been working on this boat over the coarse of 2010 and after 5-6 revisions I have finally settle on this design.

The G2 itself is the same length as the old boat, but the sponsons are new with a wider spread and spacing. The motor placement has also been moved and the rear sponsons have been changed over to a ski design.

The new boat kit will come just like the old version with all the same high quality hardware.
  • Complete strut and rudder assembly made out of 7075 aluminum
  • The drive line will be glued in just like the old kit but now with a stuffing tube also installed (the tube that goes into the strut)
  • The ski is glued in place
  • The 4 holes that hold the transom hardware will be drilled and all that needs to be done is gluing in the inserts

Also included:
  • Wood's shaft oiler
  • Carbon fiber radio box lids & bait box lids
  • Delrin motor mounts
  • The 7075 aluminum tubes will be glued into the sponsons as well as the turn fin inserts
  • The turnfin is sanded, sharpened and ready to bolt on
  • As well as delrin boom tube blocks and a fiberglass cowl

Drive line items not included:
  • Flexshaft
  • Flex/engine collet
  • Drive dog
  • Prop nut
This is THE MOST complete boat kit on the market today!

  • Tub length: 29 1/2" (749 mm)
  • Tub width: 3 1/4" (82.5 mm)
  • Total width outside/outside sponsons: 22" (559 mm)
  • RTR weight of prototype: 3 lbs 9 oz (1.615 kg)
  • Price: $750 (shipped to your door - in the US) - additional international shipping cost not included
  • Extra set of front sponsons: $125
  • Extra set of sponson tubes: $10
Any questions regarding the boat you can contact me through e-mail or send me an PM through


Chris Wood,


Note: the pics show the prototype boat - some small changes may be introduced in the production boat.

Video link of the run-off at the Indymasters race in Hobart 2010

Chris Wood's comment on the YouTube video:

"Well I got to do some testing Sunday. The lake was full of stuff and at the end of this video i hit something and kicked the rudder up. I was trying for 80mph but the air was junk. Ended up getting 77 out of it. I was getting the needle set and that is when i hit something. Oh well, not to bad for the conditions. I was testing a new turn fin that didn't work so well as you hear me in the video. Other than that this is the exact boat that ran in Hobart and will be the boat I am selling in the future - the new BlackBird G2."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

BlackBird .21 outrigger in Germany

I got some pictures from my German friend Christoph Schneider taken when they recently went to the local pond testing Frank Werner's newly bought BlackBird .21 outrigger hydroplane. The boat used to be Chris Wood's own race boat and was recently shipped over from the US to Germany (Chris is the one that builds and sells the BlackBird boats).

After a day of testing they where very happy with the performance!

Ps, drop by tomorrow Friday for the introduction of the 2:nd Generation BlackBird .21 outrigger!

Frank has installed an CMB engine - I do believe Chris used to have an Novarossi engine in it when he raced it in the US.

Hmm, plastic prop? ;) (that was just for the very first run)

And yes, green is Frank's favorite color! But I get a feeling he likes fluo-orange now also... ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

And now something Swedish :)

And now something for my Swedish viewers...! This video clip is from a classic half-hour TV show from the 90's that was called NileCity 105.6. The show was about a made-up radio station that was called that (NileCity 105.6). The guys behind it is/was a group called "Killinggänget" - that could be translated to "The Killing Gang" but not really... They where funny as hell though!

This sketch is kalled "Novemberkåsan" and "Sudden" comes into the studio with a report from the classic Swedish enduro motor bike race - his style - and he has some props with him... That race is run every November (really - not made up) and its classically run in very muddy, wet, cold and snowy conditions - typical November weather here in Sweden. You get the similarity's if you look at the YouTube clip. :)

Wikipedia info (in English)

Novemberkåsan 2010

Have a nice weekend! /Niklas

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Outrigger Set-Up board and AoA charts

Here's an easy winter project for anyone that wants to be able to check their outrigger set-up without the need to buy any expensive digital AoA device. You can measure the sponsons & strut AoA quite easy when it stands on the set-up board. Do note, the actual AoA reading will be slightly less when you do like me vs. if you turn it up-side-down and use an digital AoA device that you lay on the bottom of the sponson ride pads. That is due to the fact that when it stands on its own "feets" and with the normal weight of the RTR boat the sponson tubes gives/flexes a little... But that is the way it will do when running it also, right?

AoA info.

Nov 10: Updated at the bottom with AoA jig info and link.

My set-up board is a 19 mm MDF board that I have cut to 1050x630mm size. You need to check what size is best for your boat(s). Mine is for 21 and 45 sized riggers. Holes are cut-out for the turn fin and rudder.

These are the AoA tools you need. The green tool is the one you use when checking the front sponson AoA. I made mine out of a fiber glass sheet that was 3.2 mm thick - perfect. But you can make your own tool gauge out of any flat material that is somewhat rigid like aluminum, carbon etc. The thickness must be either 3.0 or 3.2 mm though - columns for booth thicknesses is included in the chart. Make at least one long edge of the tool gauge straight and at 90 deg. Thats the edge you will push against the running surface of your front sponsons. Its easier if you make booth edges equally straight and true then you dont need to make sure you have the right edge.

This is the main chart measure for checking the front sponson AoA. Print it out at 1:1/100% size and cut the three different "parts" out with a pair of scissors. The little one on the bottom is a base measure "chart" that you use when checking low degree AoA's as in strut and rear sponsons etc...

When you have printed it out on a laser printed double check the base line measurements that is in the charts so they actually are at 20/30/40/50/60/70 mm from the base line. If not you have not printed it out correctly and the AoA's will not be correct.

After cutting them out its best to cover them with some plastic laminate so they will last a while.

Do note, dont use the gif picture here above - thats not in scale!

Click HERE to download the pdf file that you will print out. Or check to the right in the download list -> where its linked also (Sponson AoA Measure PDF).

Now stand the rigger on the set-up board with a laminated (or not) chart including the small one for the strut (so its level and on the right height on all corners). Align the trailing edge of your front sponson ride pads to the base line of the chart - see the above picture.

Do note, for these AoA charts to work - the bottom of your sponsons must be perfectly straight and true for at least the last 70 mm toward the TE. If the ride pads are convex or concave you cant measure the AoA like this, in fact if that is the case its difficult to measure the AoA at all...

Then you use your newly made tool gauge that is either 3.0 or 3.2 mm thick and lay it on the chart in front of the sponson to be measured. Then push it carefully back until it touches the bottom of the sponson. Make sure the gauge tool is aligned and parallel to the lines in the chart. Read the AoA to either the left or right column depending on if your tool is 3.0 or 3.2 mm thick. In this case the AoA is 3.59 degrees as my tool gauge is 3.2 mm thick.

Also note the fact that the sponson AoA charts are made to be read on booth left and right hand side of the chart. The lines are separated in 1 mm segments so the text would have been unreadable if made to be read on one side only so to speak. If you check the charts carefully you will know what I mean... :)

With a set-up board its also easy to check the turnfin angle. First I make a line with a permanent market at the first bend. That bend I want to have perfectly horizontal = not angle up or down.

Set your rigger on your new set-up board and use a steel ruler and the permanent marker again and draw a second line that now is perfectly on the water edge level.

Now you easily can see if your turn fin is pulling down or lifting. As a base set-up the two lines should to be parallel. Make adjustments and wipe off the top line with denatured alcohol and re-do the last step until you're satisfied with its angle.

In April 2009 I published this AoA chart that you can use to measure AoA angles of a rigger also. The chart is made the other way around so to speak if you compare it to the chart where you use a set-height measuring tool gauge (as with the front sponsons). Here you actually measure the height at a given length away from a base line. Thats perfect for smaller AoA angles as in the strut and rear sponsons...

Click HERE for download of this AoA chart.

Place your rigger on the set-up board and align the small chart with the strut rear edge at the base line. As this is a .21 rigger I will be measuring at the 40 mm mark.

Use a set of feeler gauge blades and slide them under the strut from the front until they stop at the 40 mm mark. In this case it was 1.00+0.15 mm that was needed.

If you take your printed out AoA chart you can see that 1.15 mm would be just between the 1.10 and 1.20 mm heights = 1.64 degrees of negative AoA on this strut...

That wasnt that hard was it? :)

You can of course use the same chart to measure the AoA of the rear sponsons also.

In July I published an article about sponson tape and how to make a rear sponson mounting jig. Thats the jig you see in the picture here above. The AoA PDF chart is used in this case also to calculate how thick the spacer blocks should be to give an preferred AoA of the jig. Click HERE for that article and more info.

Good luck measuring and have a nice weekend!


Friday, November 5, 2010

F1H2O GP of Abu Dhabi in December!

Our flight to the F1 GP of Abu Dhabi December 3-4 is now booked - this will be an a w e s o m e trip. We have also got pit-passes - sweet! :)

I havent been at a F1 Powerboat race since the 80's I think when one of the GP's where in Stockholm @ Riddarfjärden. Back then the boats where made out of wood and the engines where V8's... :)

1 hour video coverage from the latest GP in Qatar

Abu Dhabi @ Wikipedia

U.I.M. F1H2O website

F1 GP of Abu Dhabi

Photo Gallery from 2009 - Saturday

Photo Gallery from 2009 - Sunday

From last years GP, the two Swedish drivers crashed each other!