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AquaCraft SuperVee 27R Brushless RTR Boat Review

There's still some summer left! This Ready To Run boat and the Tactic 2.4GHz radio that comes with it is perfect for the rest of the warm weather.

Splash

Introduction


Weight empty:53 ounces
Weight RTR:84 ounces
Hull Length:27 inches
Width:8 inches
Height:6.5 inches
Servo:Tatic SX 100 standard servo
Transmitter:Tactic TTX-240 2.4GHz pistol grip 2-channel transmitter
Receiver:Tactic TR-324 2.4 GHz 3-channel receiver
Battery:Two 6-cell NiMH packs required
Motor:6-pole 36-56 1800 kV Brushless motor
ESC:45 Amp brushless ESC
Manufacturer:AquaCraft
Available From:Fine Hobby Stores Everywhere
Price:$329.97

The SuperVee 27R is FAST and FUN! It operates best with a little fine tuning and proper throttle management for the conditions so it can present a nice challenge to operate it at its maximum speed. Friends who helped me with this review were all smiles while operating the boat and strangers who haven't seen one before are blown away by its speed and ask: "Where can I get one and how much does it cost?" Since I find it hard to describe this "FUN" let's jump down to the AquaCraft video of the SuperVee 27R that shows some of the fun and first captured my interest. (Jump down to the video below after the first two pictures below.)

I reviewed and still operate the original AquaCraft SuperVee 27 brushless powered boat. That review can be found at:http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=570403. The most obvious change in the new SuperVee 27R from the old 27 is that it now has a new Tactic 2.4GHz Spread Spectrum radio with Secure Link technology which prevents the receiver from recognizing any transmitter signal except the one it is bound to. Since I still enjoy my original boat I was interested to see if there were any other improvements in the 27R so I was very happy to get a chance to review the SuperVee 27R. Besides the change in radios there has been a change in the motor and the water cooling jackets for both the motor and the ESC. The stern hardware has gone from blue to black and there is now a port side turn fin to match the right side turn fin. Another obvious change with the change of radio systems is that there is no antenna tube sticking up on the 27R. Looking at the statistics I was surprised by one change: The hull length, width and height are the same for both boats. The original boat's RTR weight was given at 4.5 pounds the new 27R's weight is actually more using the new 5,000 mAh battery packs.

The SuperVee 27R is sold in four colors: orange, white, red and yellow. My review boat came in yellow with blue trim decals that I installed. The hull came in painted fiberglass the motor and speed controller were water cooled. The turn fins, rudder and trim tabs on the boat were designed and made by GrimRacer with the first two made of anodized aluminum and the trim tabs made of stainless steel. The boat arrived ready to operate but while the battery packs charged I did a little maintenance as described below.

Downloads

Kit Contents

The Kit included

  • The assembled RTR SuperVee 27R
  • The Tactic 2.4GHz Spread Spectrum Transmitter with Secure Link Technology
  • Wooden boat stand
  • Instruction manual

Reviewer Supplied

  • 4 AA Alkaline batteries for the transmitter
  • AquaCraft Grim Racer Speed Grease Cable Lube
  • Optional AquaCraft 42 x 55 metal prop
  • NiMH battery charger
  • Assorted tools and wrenches
  • AquaCraft Grim Racer Pro Radio Box Tape
  • WD 40
  • Paper Towels
  • 10 & 12mm open end wrenches
  • 1.5 & 2.0mm hex wrenches
  • Pliers
  • Bearing oil

Additional Items Hobbico Supplied

  • Two 6-cell NiMH 5,000mAh battery packs with female Deans Ultra Plug connectors
  • GrimRacer High-Performance metal Propeller 42 x 55 (part # AQUB9725)

Assembly

No assembly was required. However I did perform some preparation maintenance as discussed below.

The SuperVee 27R arrived fully assembled with the motor, receiver, servo and ESC all factory assembled. I needed to install my 4-AA Alkaline batteries into the Tactic TTX-240 transmitter and charge up the two battery packs for the boat. While the battery packs were charging I applied the supplied decals to the SuperVee 27R to give it the finished look. When the battery packs were charged I installed the Hook and Loop, material found in the hull, to the battery packs as the material was self sticking. I then installed the packs into the hull were the matching Hook and Loop material came already installed.

Startup & Operation Procedure

The Tactic TTX-240 transmitter has FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) to avoid interference. The Secure Link technology prevents the receiver from recognizing any transmitter other than the one to which it is bound. I have tested this radio system before in my review of the AquaCraft Rio EP and it controlled the Rio very nicely. It proved itself again in this review controlling the SuperVee 27R!

The startup procedure is as follows.

  • Turn on the transmitter.
  • Plug the main batteries into the ESC.
  • I heard one beep after doing that.
  • To arm the ESC I squeezed the throttle trigger and heard another beep.
  • I released the throttle trigger and I heard three more beeps.
  • The boat was ready to operate.

Always turn the transmitter on first and shut it off last. Follow the procedure given above to arm the speed controller properly. Keep the boat and transmitter in line of sight with one another. I tested the SuperVee 27R in the water to a much great range than I would normally ever operate the boat in normal operation and had no range problems. (Twice the maximum distance shown in the videos below.) However, it is important to not let solid trees or buildings get between the transmitter and the boat during operation.

I checked the steering and found it turned in the correct directions. A reverse switch was available for both steering and throttle but no change in direction was needed. I next gave a short pull on the throttle trigger and the propeller spun in a counter clockwise direction as desired. The SuperVee 27R was ready to go but I wasn't so I turned her off and did some maintenance.

Lubing the Flex Cable

I never run my boats for the first time or if they have been sitting for awhile without removing and freshly lubing the Flex cable (also known as the Flex Shaft) that transfers the energy from the motor to the prop. This is well explained in the instruction manual with pictures. The Flex cable on my SuperVee 27 had been lubed before it was shipped but properly lubing the cable is a process of standard maintenance for RC boat owners so best to get into the habit of doing it from the start. The wrenches, cable grease and paper towels were used in this process per the manual.

After the first day of boating I normally perform the Flex cable lubing after an outing before putting the boat away. There are other post operation maintenance items to perform and these are well covered in the instruction manual. If water does get inside the hull during operation be sure to use the WD 40 (Water Displacement 40) on the brushless motor as explained in the manual.

Special Features with the SuperVee 27R

Special New Features as Reported by AquaCraft

  • Tactic 2.4GHz radio system
  • New 1800 KV 6-pole motor
  • Stronger hull seam joint
  • New aluminum motor cooling jacket
  • Addition of a port side turn fin
  • Black anodized hardware
  • Updated center of gravity for better handling
  • Transom mounted water cooling pickup
  • Stronger interior mounted motor rails
  • Custom built and installed tow hook
  • New graphics package

Other Features as Reported by AquaCraft

  • Hand-laid fiberglass construction
  • High-gloss painted finish
  • Water-resistant radio box
  • Brass stuffing tube
  • Teflon cable guide
  • .150" flex drive cable
  • Standard 3/16" (.187") prop shaft
  • 40mm Fiber Reinforced Plastic Propeller
  • Aluminum hardware nut plates

Motor Batteries

The instruction manual listed three options for the motor batteries and three different chargers. Two DuraTrax 5,000mAh battery packs with female Deans Ultra Plug connectors were recommended as providing the longest run times and best over-all performance. These were the battery packs I used for this review and they are part number DTXC2151. The Onyx Dual AC/DC charger part number DTXP4240 was recommended as the charger of choice as it can charge both packs at the same time. I used my old reliable NiMH charger and while only able to charge one pack at a time it was able to do the job for me.

The minimum size packs recommended were the Onyx 3,000 NiMH battery packs. A good middle of the road option was given as the Onyx 3800 NiMH packs and both would use female Deans Ultra Plug connectors. I used two different sets of the two packs of 6-cell Onyx 3800mAh NiMH packs in my original SuperVee 27 and they have worked very well for me.

As with the original SuperVee 27 the ESC is not designed to be used with LiPos. The NiMHs add weight that is needed as ballast for the hull. For this application I have found the heavier and less expensive NiMHs to be a very good power source for the SuperVees. On the 27R the position of the battery packs has been moved slightly forward in the hull. The new 5,000 packs read half a volt higher on my charger than do the 3800 packs at full charge. It would seem they should supply juice at a higher initial rate and for a longer period of time.

FYI: The NiMH packs worked fine from the start but they improved in power supplied after being used a few times so I run them and charge them 3-5 times before racing with them. That way I get my best performance from the battery packs when I race.

Motor and ESC Specifications

AquaCraft 36-56-1800kV
AquaCraft 36-56-1800kV
Motor specsMarine Brushless Motor
Type: Brushless Inrunner
Motor Weight 212g
Diameter: 36mm
Length: 56mm
Shaft length: 15mm
Overall Length: 71mm
Shaft Size: 5mm
Connectors: 4mmBullet
Input Voltage: 7-18.5v
Max. Constant Current: 50A
Max. Surge Current: 80A/five seconds
No Load Current: 5.0A
Maximum Burst Current: 65A
Watts: 925Max
KV: 1,800 rpm/V


 AquaCraft 45A ESC
AquaCraft 45A ESC
Type: Marine Brushless Water Cooled ESC
Battery Connectors: Male Deans Ultra Plugs (2)
Motor Connectors: 4mm Bullet connectors (3)
Input Voltage: 12-14 cells NiMH (8-20V w/out BEC)
Output Current: 45A continuous
Max Surge: 60A surge
Max Output Power: 900 watts
On-resistance: 0.003 ohms
Operating Frequency: 8kHz
BEC: 5.2V/2A
Thermal Cutoff: 110C
Timing Angle: 10 degrees
Weight: .6 ounce
Length: 80mm
Width: 38mm
Height: 17mm
Wire Gauge: 14g
WARNING: This ESC is not designed to be used with LiPo batteries

Completion

The boat could have been run right out of the box after just charging the batteries but I do not regret doing the lubing of the Flex cable and checking out the boat completely before my first run. Charging the battery packs when they were pretty depleted takes quite a bit of time so a second set of battery packs is a good idea. The 5,000 mAh packs took an hour to charge at 6 Amps and an hour and twenty minutes to charge at 4 Amps. The 3,800 packs took about 45 minutes to charge at 6 amps and an hour to charge at 4 Amps. The 5,000 mAh packs when fully charged powered the boat visibly faster than the 3,800 mAh packs did with fully charged packs. If you can afford the 5,000 mAh packs they do supply more power and speed initially when fully charged.

AquaCraft Warnings Concerning Operating the SuperVee 27R

Warnings

  • Never attempt to swim after a stalled RC boat!
  • Never operate your RC boat while standing in the water.
  • Never operate your RC boat in the presence of swimmers.
  • Always use a personal flotation device if boarding and operating a retrieval craft. Rubber blow up rafts are not recommended.
  • RC boat running hardware is very sharp. Be very careful when working on and around the metal parts.
  • While the motor is running pay close attention to the propeller. Do not come in contact with the propeller at any time the engine is running or serious injury will result.
  • AquaCraft products are to be used by ages 14 and over.

Where to Operate the SuperVee 27R

Running at full throttle the SuperVee performs best with wide sweeping turns. To turn more sharply requires some throttle operation to get a sharper turn. A nice large clean body of water is the most fun for operating the SuperVee 27R. They recommend the water should to be at least 12 inches deep and should be free of obstructions and the cleaner/clearer the water the better. When the boat is operating at speed water is forced in to a contained cooling system in the boat at the back of the hull. This water flows around the ESC in a water jacket and around the motor in its water jacket. The water exits from the left side of the boat. At speed this stream shoots out about 6-8 inches and is clearly visible. If while operating this stream of water stops running bring the boat into shore and find out what is blocking the cooling system. If the boat suddenly slows down and the batteries are still relatively charged bring the boat in and check for seaweed or other flotsam that may have caught on the boat. Besides adversely effecting performance these can cause the motor and/or ESC to overheat. AquaCraft recommends against operating in a stream or river as the boat may flow away from you if there is a problem. I recommend against operating in brackish or salt water as that can damage the boats parts.

Water Size Desired

  • 12" deep and clean
  • Reef Racer 2 operates well in a normal swimming pool
  • Rio EP works well in a space the size of a baseball infield or larger
  • SuperVee 27R works well in a space of about half a baseball field or larger.

Boating

Basics

A good safety precaution is to bring some sort of boat recovery system with you so that the boat can be retrieved without swimming for it if there is a problem. (In the past I have been known to depend on the help of strangers.) I have used a tennis ball with fishing line through it to toss over the boat, snag it and pull the boat to shore. When I have been properly prepared I can't recall ever needing to use my recovery system. As nice as this boat is it isn't worth the risk of swimming for it to recover it.

Starting Off

There is a trim dial for the steering that allows the operator to adjust the size of turn to some extent that can be made by the SuperVee27R when turning the steering wheel. The SuperVee is designed for speed and for larger sweeping turns to keep up that speed. I recommend starting by driving around the water and making turns to get a feel for the boats turning radius and to see how that can be effected by reducing or increasing throttle with turn input at the same time. I keep in mind that there is no reverse so I try and take care I don't get the boat trapped in a little inlet. I also look for tell tale signs of seaweed or other obstructions in the water. Leaves, floating tree seeds, seed pods and other such items can be a problem and should be avoided as much as possible. When comfortable with how the SuperVee27R handles run it faster and faster and make nice wide turns. When the boat starts to slow down bring it in a recharge the batteries or if you have a second set put them in and keep boating.

Operating Tips and thoughts on the SuperVee27R

For best performance and highest speed it is critical to perform the standard maintenance discussed in this review and the instruction manual. The fastest speed is not always found at full throttle. The fastest speed is obtained by keeping the boat planed and in smooth contact with the water at the highest throttle setting possible. When the water is calm that is often at full throttle when I have my boat trimmed as I like it. However, the water is seldom completely calm and smooth. In the first video below there is a combination of skippering by my friend Ed and myself. Going from right to left it was often possible to go full throttle and get maximum speed. Going from left to right less than full throttle often gave the top speed as the boat remained in contact with the water and didn't bounce nearly as much. (Look for some differences in the left to right runs shown on the video.) Additionally, real boat wakes can spell disaster if operating on a lake with them even if they are as far away as you see in some of the clips in the first video. They have a throttle trigger on the transmitter not a throttle on/off switch. It is vital to racing success to learn how to best operate the throttle for the conditions and the direction the boat is running. Similarly there adjustments that can be dialed into the steering and it is important to practice and learn what method of steering gets you the best results. On a big oval or circle course turning may not require much thought other than making sure to stay outside of the buoys. On a course with some tighter turns, turning technique may well decide who wins and who looses.

Differences I noted in operating the 27R vs my original SuperVee 27. The new 5,000 mAh battery packs make both boats faster than using the 3,800 mAh packs when fully charged. I found the new motor appeared to give a bit more speed but I will report later (in the comments section following the article) when I get both under the radar gun with the same battery packs. I found the lack of the radio antenna sticking up out of the boat to be a great improvement in appearance and a bit in water security as well. The new water jackets for the speed controller and especially the brushless motor worked flawlessly. I have had no leaks from the water cooling system. (I had no leaks with the water cooling system with my original SuperVee 27 but others reported some problems. The new water jacket for the motor looks to be very nice and mine has worked perfect thus far.) The biggest difference I have noticed is that for me I am better able to get and keep the 27R on plane with minor throttle adjustment for changing wave conditions and directions. I think the change in the battery position between the old and the new boats is probably the biggest reason for this improvement.

Some Possible Modifications That Are Easy To Do

If the SuperVee 27R is just going to be operated for fun and not raced in any formal competitions any modifications desired can be made. However, many formal competitions have rules to try and keep the boats similar so that races are decided more by skippering skill then the largest motor or battery packs. That said the 5,000 packs fully charged made my SuperVee27R run faster than the 3,800 packs did as discussed above. While I don't top off my battery packs between runs when boating for fun I recommend having the packs fully charged if possible for each heat if there is time and if the rules allow.

The instruction manual discusses several changes allowed by one organization that improves the speed and or handling of the SuperVee 27R. The simplest thing to do is to switch from the plastic propeller that comes with the boat to the AquaCraft 42 x 55 metal prop, or other metal propeller that you might prefer. Changing the propeller changes the performance of the boat. For example the AquaCraft 42 x 55 propeller can be helpful when running a long course with gradual turns. The standard plastic propeller seems to handle quick turns and reaccelerating better. By changing the propeller you can tune the boat for the course. (No radar gun readings available at the time of this review to confirm the actual changes in speed with changing the propeller.) By sharpening the trailing edge of the propeller drag can be reduced further and speed slightly increased but only if the sharpening of the trailing edge is done correctly and kept smooth. Sharpening of the leading edge of the rudder is also a trick to help get a little more speed by reducing drag. I haven't had time to do that on the 27R yet but will do it later this summer.

As I discussed in my review of the original SuperVee 27 roughing up the back bottom of the hull with some 320 grit can help make air bubbles and make the boat a bit faster in the water. It is only necessary to do the last five inches of the hull on the bottom only. Just a little work with the 320 grit sandpaper is all that is necessary. You really don't want to take off hull just rough it up ever so lightly for the bubbles to be created.

Adjust the trimming plates to where they are working best for the conditions. Use pliers to do this as shown in the instruction manual.

Is This For a Beginner?

YES! A Beginner CAN safely operate and enjoy this boat. AquaCraft recommends this boat for those age 14 and older. I don't recommend young children be allowed to operate it without hands on supervision present at all times. There are better choices for children. That said: there is nothing complicated or difficult about operating this boat but since it can go over 40 miles per hour right out of the box and can cause serious damage if it collides with anything at that speed. The operator should be mature enough to appreciate that and operate the SuperVee safely.

Boating Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

While I still love my original SuperVee 27 I have to admit they they have made some very nice improvements with the new 27R. It is nice to see them improve upon a great boat rather than abandon it and come out with something new for the sake of being new. I discussed most of the changes in the body of this review but I have two more changes to cover here. They have added a tow hook to the bow of the 27R where there wasn't any before. This hook comes in very handy if the boat gets stuck in a batch of seaweed and the propeller becomes fouled. A tennis ball with fishing line stuck through it can be tossed over the boat and the line can be pulled forward so that it catches on the tow hook and the boat can be safely pulled to the shore. I have it on good authority that the tow hook works great in this rescue roll!

The new 2.4GHz radio works very well and I operated the SuperVee27R further away from myself than I ever would in normal operation to test the range and I had no radio glitches. The removal of the eyesore antenna is a nice improvement in the boat's appearance and there are no more conflicts with people arriving at the waterway and finding out they are on the same 75 MHz frequency. The removal of possible frequency conflicts is a big deal for some of us.

I am favorably impressed with the improved version of the SuperVee 27R. They have truly taken a very good boat and made it better. A person with no boating experience can have a great time with a very fast boat right out of the box. Those of us who know how to make a few simple modifications can still beat them (most of the time) if we race. Just make sure your pond or lake is big enough for you to really enjoy the SuperVee 27R

Pluses

  • The Tactic 2.4GHz radio works well and eliminates frequency conflicts.
  • Their repositioning of the battery packs made the new SuperVee 27R easier for me to keep on plane in changing wave conditions.
  • The new decal scheme looks nice.
  • The water cooling system worked well and appears it will holdup without leaks.
  • The SuperVee 27R had very good speed right out of the box.
  • Some easy modifications improves the speed enough to make a difference when racing others.

Minuses

  • It takes at least an hour to charge the 5,000 mAh battery packs when they are drained.

I want to thank Ed Holt and Dick Andersen for helping me with the taking of video and still pictures for this review and our editor Angela for her fine assistance as well.

TECH NOTICE:

You may notice the following once you begin examining your SuperVee 27R and preparing for its first launch.

Inside the boat, you might find a small, loose 2" block of foam. This foam is intended as flotation and should be attached to the inside of the cowl. Simply use epoxy or household cement (such as Shoe Goo) to reattach the foam to the cowl.

After plugging your batteries into the ESC, you may hear a constant, steady beeping. If so, please rotate your throttle trim knob to the 2 o'clock position to start the arming process.

Reviewer's Note:

I experienced both of these conditions. The Shoe Goo worked great on the block of foam and I experienced the beeping problem after initially submitting this review and figured it out for myself.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Jul 27, 2010 at 02:29 PM..

Discussion

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Old Aug 03, 2010, 05:13 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,530 Posts
I have won two races!

Well I have won two 100 yard drag races with my new SuperVee 27R. I have defeated a full size Bayliner inboard/outboard about 18' long. (Not sure of the exact size.) It was over at the start as I was on step much quicker then he was. I have also defeated an R/C float plane that was a homemade SlowStick on floats. Mike H
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Old Aug 05, 2010, 04:03 PM
Never say DIE...
Grimracer's Avatar
Urbana IL
Joined Feb 2006
239 Posts
Very nice review.. dead on and to the point.

Great job..

I think most of you new or seasoned will find the SV-R one of your favorite boats keep tucked under your arm..

Happy boating

Grimracer
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 06:48 AM
Sergey
Russia, Near to SOCHI
Joined Apr 2010
179 Posts
nice review, want to see a video
Sergey
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 09:22 AM
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wparsons's Avatar
Canada, ON, Whitby
Joined Aug 2008
8,919 Posts
There's three video links the first post...
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,530 Posts
Hi Sergey:
Glad you liked the review. There are two "Download" WMV videos of the SuperVee27 that were shot as part of my review under the photo gallery section of th article. There is also a video near the beginning that captured my attention about the boat from Aquacraft. I added it to make it easy for people to find it. mike Heer
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Old Aug 21, 2010, 10:32 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,530 Posts
I toasted two more full size boats in drag races today and then had a wave wash over my boat from the second loser. Thankfully, I had tape on the hatch cover and it kept out the water. Just showing off the boat to a neighbor's friend while the batteries for my sailplanes were charging. Gotta enjoy summer while it is here. Mike H
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Old Sep 06, 2010, 10:35 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,530 Posts
Had a nice outing with the boat today. It survived the sun and water better then I did as I look like a boiled lobster. Got the most air ever from a couple of waves today!
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Old Sep 07, 2010, 05:11 PM
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Joined May 2006
61 Posts
what's the biggest difference in the change to the new 36-56-1800kv?

the old part number is AQUG7000

and the new one is AQUG7002
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Old Sep 07, 2010, 06:14 PM
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osprey21's Avatar
Palma Sola,Fla.
Joined Oct 2006
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I'm happy with mine.

http://manatee-rc.com/Vids/08-10/SV-27.wmv
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Old Sep 07, 2010, 06:23 PM
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osprey21's Avatar
Palma Sola,Fla.
Joined Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagedtaco View Post
what's the biggest difference in the change to the new 36-56-1800kv?

the old part number is AQUG7000

and the new one is AQUG7002
The new motor has lighter cogging.
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Old Dec 02, 2010, 12:14 PM
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byoung's Avatar
O'Fallon, MO USA
Joined Dec 1999
1,416 Posts
Run Times?

What are your run times like for the 3800mAh and 5000mAh packs? I know this has a lot to do with throttle management, but what do you normally see?

Do you have any top speed estimate?

Thanks,
Brad
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Old Dec 02, 2010, 02:30 PM
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Joined Dec 2010
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I run 2 2s 5000mah 30C lipos and can get 8 minutes of runtime but usually run for 5 or 6 and bring it in. On 5000mah Duratrax batts I get about 6 minutes. In terms of speed I gps mine with 4s lipo, 40x52/3 prop at 35mph. There is more in there with that prop and with a x642 or 42x55 I would think 40 is easily attainable with lipo's.

Here is a vid of my Rio Ep brushless and my Supervee 27R. The supervee comes in at 49 sec mark.

Rio Brushless & Supervee 27R (2 min 1 sec)



Rob
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