Aquacraft’s Cajun Commander definitely fits the “something different” category, whether you’re a car guy or a boat guy. It’s an airboat, so there’s no prop or rudder in the water. Instead, an airplane-style prop provides thrust, and its airflow washes over a pair of steerable rudders to change course. The hull’s bottom is flat, so it can glide over snow and dry grass easily. If the transition from land to water in gentle enough, you can slide right from the shore into the drink.
The Cajun Commander (CC for short) is impressively sized at just over 27 inches long, and its ABS hull feels ruggedly built. The seat supports are plastic, but all the other tube work you see is steel, and well designed to protect your fingers from the prop. You can still get in there if you try (especially if you reach between the rudders), but the prop is well shielded against accidental contact. And, the steel wire work looks authentic for a genuine swamp-ready airboat.
You’ll need to supply six AA batteries and a 3S LiPo battery with Deans-compatible connector, but the CC is otherwise RTR and includes a Tactic TTX300 transmitter. I had the boat in the water as quickly as I could charge a pair of batteries, and hit the neighborhood pond to try it out. I’ve never driven an airboat before, and was impressed by how quickly the CC accelerates and gets on plane. Response to steering inputs increases with thrust, and the boat is easy to drive. I expected the hull to slide while cornering, but it leans in and digs with authority until you push past its limits. After spinning out a few times with too much rudder, I dialed out some of the steering throw to stay in the “safe zone” and use more of the wheel travel. One thing that took getting used to was the lack of brakes. The CC will glide along a fair distance after you shut off the throttle, and there’s no reverse thrust to slow you down, so make sure you leave plenty of room to slow and stop. There’s also no steering control unless the prop is blasting air over the rudders, so keep that in mind if you find yourself coasting toward an obstacle.
Run time on a 3200mAh pack was 11-15 minutes depending how much I stood on the gas, and the CC is a real attention-getter. I didn’t do much grass-running (I have cars and trucks for that), but the CC will scoot right along. I’ll have to wait a long time for snow, but I’m counting on a lot of fun when the white stuff comes back. On the water, the CC feels and looks fast. Actual speed is probably about 25mph, but it seems much faster than an RC car does at 25mph. You won’t wish for more speed, and the power system seems well matched to the hull’s capabilities.
In all, a fun boat and an interesting addition to the RC fleet. I only wish it had a driver figure; as the Cajun Commander zipped around the pond with empty seats, I kept thinking someone must have fallen off!
Official Aquacraft videos, give ’em a click.
Item no. AQUB5722
Length: 27.5″ (699mm)
Beam: 14.5″ (368mm)
Height: 12.5″ (318mm)
RTR Weight: 5.3lbs (2430g)
Kv Rating: 1800Kv
Operating Current: 3.8A (without loading, 8V/DC)
Input: 3S LiPo
Max Current: 55A/15S
Shaft Diameter: 4mm
Motor Resistance: 37 milliamps
Dimensions: 1.37 x 1.41″ (35 x 36mm)
Weight: 3.8oz (107g)
Bullet Connectors: 4mm diameter
Amps: 50 amp continuous
Max Amps: 65 A 10 sec
Voltage Range: 9 – 12.6V
BEC: 5V, 2A
Motor Connectors: Three 4mm bullet
Battery Connector: Star connector
Stutter Voltage: 9.7V
Wire Gauge: 14
Max Output Power: 500W
On-Resistance: 0.0015 ohms
Operating Frequency: 8kHz PWM, 16MHz MCU