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Thread: Butts Aerowing-The Only Way To Fly

  1. #211
    Free Spirit Racing Team wboxell's Avatar
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    Jeff, page 15 of this tread has some of my memorys of how windwalker came about. The areas that you pointed out, adding air trap, were because the original design was trying to beat the driver to death! :-) . I remember the RC boat designer guy saying to Tim, "think it'll smooth out if ya drop the hammer and push thru to x mph". Tims response " maybe, maybe not! "

  2. #212
    J-Dub J-Dub's Avatar
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    From the 2nd photo, it looks like a lot of kick-out in the set-up. Any accuracy to that??? And Did they run the boat with the rear fin? And what was the result?
    Waaaaaaaay Cool Boat!

    J-Dub

  3. #213
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    The reason Tim had all that Zak air intake and hoses is because from his initial trials at my Dad's house and later tests elsewhere he found that his own boat was drowning him in water. With the radical design and aerodynamics, mist was being generated that was killing his horsepower. He did not understand what the problem was with his initial tests at my Dad's house. When I took the pictures, I had just come back from a Texas Railroad Commission hearing in Austin, and was still dressed up. They were completing tests, and I had not gone out on the water and gotten to a place where I could get good pictures of him running hard or turning. My Dad had put in an underground sprinkler system in his yard in 1977, so Tim was pitting close to the boat ramp and too far away from the front straight to get good pictures of what the problem might be. I took some, but never analyzed them to see if we could figure anything out. I was out of it by then, and so missed out on the development of the Windwalker.



  4. #214
    Free Spirit Racing Team wboxell's Avatar
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    In 84 when Tim, Joe Rome and I went to Moorehaven FL for the straitaways, Joe had his brand new (very expensive ;-) ) VHS video cam. The motor was laying down a little bit and while reviewing the run in that little bitty view finder on the cam, you could see spray intermittently coming off LF sponsen and going strait into the carbs.

  5. #215
    Team Member smittythewelder's Avatar
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    I did a little searching but couldn't find out what I wanted (possibly J Dub will know). Maybe fifteen-twenty years ago, Ron Jones, Jr., in trying to build an Unlimited that was less likely to blow over, produced a boat that had, essentially, an airfoil lifting surface forward (like the one on the Windwalker) and then a big gap to the rear lifting surface, which was just the usual ground-effects cushion that forms under the bottom of any hydro at speed. Gosh, I wish I could find a picture. Dr, Ken Muscatel owned and drove the boat for a time, but I don't know whether he was the original buyer. It looked like a real advance in hull design. When I asked Muscatel about it at a boat show he said that the boat worked very well in smooth water, nice and loose but with no inclination to take off. But in a race, when it got to bouncing around in the rough stuff, it seemed to lose lift and air-cushion, and stop flying and start pounding. I don't know if they were able to remedy this, nor whether Jones kept working with this design in later boats, which as far as I've seen have a small flying control surface or two up front, but not the stationary forward wing as in the photo of the Windwalker. But I don't follow the U-boats or Limiteds much, so again maybe J Dub has seen something along these lines . . . .

  6. #216
    Team Member Instigator's Avatar
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    Those are my pictures.
    I am Instigator on Scream and Fly.

    All I remember of that boat was Tim telling me he designed it to eliminate lift and prevent blow overs which he said he never wanted to do again.
    Told me he never (at that point) got it to run.

    Way cool pics of the drag boat too.
    I remember hearing about it but those are the first pics Iíve seen.

    BTW, w/the talk of the Kilo runs, when I worked for Tim (I think Ď1980) I remember Tim telling me about OMC talking to him about building them a Kilo boat for their new F-1 V-8 to go after the O/B record.
    It didnít come to fruition but Tim told me, and them, that he thought they could break the outright propeller driven record, not just the O/B record.
    I never doubted him either.

    Only wish I wasnít 19 and only thinking of skirts when I worked for him.
    I remember him laughing at me one time (on the way to Wayneís to test a new lay down boat) and him asking if their wasnít a pill I could take for my ailment 😂

    Wish there was. Iíd have way more money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lytle View Post
    If you look at the 2nd pic, you'll see all the cool stuff Tim way trying to improve the hull:
    -Aluminum airtraps, note they have been trimmed between the front and rear sponsons.
    -Rear turning fin bracket.......We all know if he had continued designing and racing his boats, he too would have come up with either the multiple fin setups we see today on the heavier capsule boats, or the canted angled fins all hydros use today.... it was just a matter of time.
    -Under the Champion sticker on the sponson is a black (metal?) plate that has been bolted or screwed to extend the sponson edge aft. (Don't be confused by the thing that looks like it's attached to the plate--It's the front stand--Look at the wat the rear stand is built and you'll see)
    -You'll also see another black plate on the bottom of the boat in front of the aluminum airtrap.....hmmmmm?
    -The quest for the last mile per hour.......plexi cowling for his left throttle hand.
    -Zak type air induction box.
    -Lifting rails (Yeah RIGHT!) on the underside of the rear sponsons.
    AMAZING!!
    Attachment 56064
    Attachment 56063

  7. #217
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    You're not alone in that regard Gary. Unfortunately, the only ones who might come out ahead would be pill makers and lawyers, and it still wouldn't make any difference.

    I wish that I hadn't retired at that time. We did a lot of testing of different Butts' designs. Sometimes Tim would overshoot what we wanted like "Honcho". It never had enough lift, but it turned out it was perfect for Marshall's 8 cylinder Konig that Dan Kirts ended up with. Tim always changed things up, but never too radical. He came down to drive my D hydro one winter to see what the power was all about before be built his first CDF hydro "Hookin' Bull". I would have loved to get in the couple of radical boats he built just to see what they were all about. Tim didn't like to drive over 100 mph. I would have loved to have done some testing for him while he stood on the bank watching how the boat ran. We did that a number of times and took pictures. I was glad to have been part of the development of Tim's boats. He was a genius.



  8. #218
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    I found this picture a couple of days ago, taken by my Dad I think. It was 1970 at Lakeland, Tennessee. Marshall Grant put this race on and called up a lot of his friends to come. We came from everywhereand it was like a divisional race.

    This particular heat of B hydro is a historical one. On the inside is Tim Butts with his first or second "short pickle" picklefork hydro. The photo was taken right after the start and I guess Jerry Waldman on the outside and me just inside of him had hit the start just about right and at speed. Tim had jumped the gun, but it must have been very very close. I think the orange and white hydro in front is Jimmie Nichols from Kansas. He was definitely over. Fred Hauenstein wasn't there and Jimmie is the only one I can think of right now that had an orange boat. Doesn't quite look like him in the cockpit though. Maybe someone else might know who it is.

    We were running Ray Nydahl's CD ignition then with the Champion polar gap plugs. Supposed to put out 50,000 volts at the plug or something like that. We lost a whole year of racing trying to make it work. The slightest bit of moisture would kill the engine, or make it cut out. I either got some spray from Jimmie or Tim in the turn and my Konig started cutting out. When I was clear from the turn, the motor came back strong and ran like a spotted a$$ ape as my Dad would say. Going into the next turn, the same thing would happen. I would catch up to some guys that passed me, then lose ground again. I may have been getting water from my own boat somehow.

    Anyway, Tim Butts ended up winning the heat but was disqualified for jumping the gun. They must have gotten him on film because it looked like the only big jumper was Jimmie Nichols. Tim won very convincinly with his B looper, and that got a lot of people's attention. It was what got him in the spotlight, and he got inquiries about building boats for other drivers. His next boats were all the standard size forks. Dickie Scoponich, Johnny Dortch and John Yale were some of his first customers, all A and B boats.

    We had just bought a D hydro for me and one for Clayton Elmer, a C hydro for me and a "tunnel" B hydro that was delivered by Nick Marchetti at Lakeland, Tennessee so we weren't in need of a boat at that time. We had pitted next to Tim Butts and his friend Marty Martinez at DePue the previous year and this was a continuation of a developing friendship. My Dad and Tim talked a long time. When it turned out that the B hydro/tunnel was a dangerous and and flighty wooden kite my Dad wanted Tim to build us a new B hydro. Tim didn't want to. He wanted to build a CDF hydro It wasn't until the following year though that Tim came down to Texas to drive one of our C's or D's to get an idea of what to do with building a CDF hydro.

    This picture is a shot of the beginning of Tim Butts' boat building career and his revolutionary Aerowing design.
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