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What Is A Hydroplane?

What is a hydroplane

A Hydroplane

Do you know what is a hydroplane and what is it used for? Basically as the name “hydro+plane” itself suggests, the word is a combination of hydro and plane, or water and plane.

To put it in the simplest of terms, a hydroplane is a motor boat which runs very fast, rather it literally flies on the surface of water like a plane.

We are enclosing a picture of a hydroplane so that you get a good understanding of what is being talked about.

These boats are also called thunder boats and dinoboats. This is because these boats use engines from the aviation industry. These engines make a loud sound and as a result the hydroplanes are named as mentioned above. In the 1920 the first hydroplanes were built. These were mostly built by amateurs. These were initially built with timber. This was how the concept of hydroplanes started to develop. The hull design of the hydroplanes has remained more or less the same since 1950. The other parts of the boat have more or less remained the same. The basic concept that the hydroplanes use is that the boat should touch water as less as possible.

The hydroplanes are used in water races. This is because it can reach as speed as high as seventy eight MPH. This is a speed that is not possible in any other water transport. Due to its high use in water sports and in water races many companies are now investing in building hydroplanes. You can also see the live broadcast of these races in any sports channel. Many youngsters are showing growing interest in the hydroplanes. Many world records have been made in hydroplane races. In the year 2005 there was a new revolution in the way the world looked at hydroplanes. An Australian named Ken warby built a hydroplane in his backyard. He travelled to the Blowering Dam and broke all past records with an average speed of three hundred and eighteen MPH. His record is still untouched.

It may seem simple to look at but riding a hydroplane requires very high skills. You must learn how to ride a hydroplane well before you attempt a race. Balancing the hydroplane is not very easy. This is mainly because the body of the craft is very light and the speed at which it travels is unimaginable. This is exactly why there are many accidents that can happen in a hydroplane. The accidents can be very serious too. The art of riding a hydroplane is called planing.

Confusion With Hydroplaning

The term hydroplaning is often used in ships and boats. This is the verb form of hydroplane. This is a term that is used to describe a situation when a boat loses steering or braking control. Why we mentioned this is so that you don’t get confused when you hear this word. Although similar to sound and spell they mean very different.

Building Costs of Hydroplane

The hydroplanes are very expensive to build. The material that is used to make them is the same as used in planes. They are not used much commercially as a result they are not built on very large scale. These reasons sum up to make the hydroplanes more expensive than many other water boats. However, with the increasing interest in this craft situation is changing. Many people across the world want to have a feel of a ride in a hydroplane. It might not be very far in the future when these hydroplanes will become a sensation.

As demand increases, the manufacturers will try to find ways to reduce the cost of building a hydroplane. This is the case with most products and mass production tends to lower costs due to economies of scale.

Working Of Hydroplanes

We know that normally boats and ships use the principle of buoyancy to stay afloat and the different types of propellers are used to give a push forward to make them move. In case of hydroplanes the reaction to the water pushed backwards is in such a manner that a major part of the hull lifts out of the water and only a bare minimum area is actually touching or immersed in the water. This gives reduced friction and coupled with a powerful engine, a great speed too.

This is a brief idea about what is a hydroplane. I hope you now have a better idea about a hydroplane and how it operates. We cannot say that if in future these hydroplanes will be used to transport people. However, we can only hope that we get to see some more of these amazing hydroplanes in the future. We can also hope that with new technology these hydroplanes will be improvised and made more user-friendly. As of now what we can say is that lets just wait and watch for the future to unfold.

(Image Courtesy: Wikimedia)

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