Airboat are also known as a , swamp boat, bayou boat, plane boat and fanboat. They are generally flat bottomed and propelled by aircraft type propellers and car engines. Alexander Graham Bell is credited for designing some of the first fan boats 1905 in Nova Scotia. The very first airboat was known as the The Ugly Duckling and was crafted as a way of testing different engines and propeller configurations.
Today’s airboats are made from aluminum and fiberglass and may reach speeds in excess of 50 MPH. Used for hunting, fishing, transportation, salvage jobs and tourism they are one of the most versatile means of transport over the marsh and the Everglades.
The first general use of airboats began in 1915 by British troops. Used in various war campaigns in Europe and Asia it took until 1930 before they became used by civilians. They became very useful on wetlands and marshes because there are no operating parts below the waterline. This allows navigation marshes, canals, rivers, lakes; ice, mud and very shallow areas.
Most airboats do not have brakes and traveling in reverse is not possible with few special exceptions. Operation depends on the skill of the driver and generally turning is used by a combination of a joystick and rudders. Drivers are usually seated higher in order to increase visibility.