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In 1989 Robert R. Eakin received a U.S. Patent for his invention
which is the Airboat Belted Reduction Drive Unit. This drive unit is a
belted transmission that was designed for airboats which will attach an
automobile engine and the propeller. The belted drive unit allows the
engine to achieve its maximum sustainable rpm's while turning the
propeller at its normal rpm to increase thrust and reduce the noise
levels. Century Drive Units Inc. continues today to manufacture the
quality products that airboat users have come to expect and trust.
Airboats can use belted reduction drive units to increase torque. By
using a 2 to 1 ratio belted reduction, the auto engine will rev up to
5,200 RPM's while allowing the propeller to turn at 2,600 RPM's for
more torque and greater power. With this belted reduction drive unit
you will get the maximum torque transfer to turn your propeller. An
engine with a belted reduction drive unit will swing a bigger
propeller, a propeller with more blades, and a greater angle of attack
or (more pitch).
A wider, longer propeller turning lower RPM's will produce the same
if not more thrust as a small propeller at high RPM's and produce far
less noise. The key to a quieter airboat is to keep your tip speed as
close to or under .6 mach.