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Airboat IRL

An Airboat in reality

An airboat is a flat-bottomed vessel propelled in a forward direction by an aircraft-type propeller and powered by either an aircraft or automotive engine. Airboats are a very popular means of transportation in many marshy and/or shallow water areas where a standard inboard or outboard engine with a submerged propeller would be impractical.

Battlefield Hardline[]

The Airboat is a neutral civilian vehicle featured in Battlefield Hardline, exclusively seen on the map Everglades. The vehicle can seat three players, one driver, one gunner manning an M134 Minigun, and a passenger who can access their personal weapons and equipment.

Due to its lack of wheels, the Airboat handles similarly to tanks in previous Battlefield titles, being fastest moving forward and turning the Airboat rotating the whole vehicle. This makes tight turns difficult to perform. As well, the Airboat travels in reverse much slower than when its moving forward. The Airboat also requires a few seconds to accelerate to its top speed. Similar to Battlefield 4's ACV, the Airboat can traverse both land and water, but is slower when traveling on land. On water the Airboat is faster than both the Smuggler's Boat and Inshore Patrol Vessel at its top speed, making it useful as a squad ferry by traveling on the water on edges of the map. It should be noted that its handling during turns is not improved on water.

The passengers are completely exposed to gunfire and the vehicle has a very large profile with health close to a Sedan, meaning passengers can be killed and the vehicle destroyed very quickly. However, the Airboat has firepower comparable to the SUVs with its M134 Minigun, being able to damage all vehicles and being highly effective against infantry. The Airboat is also a very effective anti-aircraft vehicle, doing heavy damage to helicopters and can easily lead them in flight.

While staying in motion can make the vehicle harder to hit, the Airboat is too fast on water for the gunner to stay on target effectively and too slow on land to evade gunfire from multiple directions. As well, the Minigun's firing angle is locked to 180 degrees horizontally in front of the Airboat, making drive-by attacks or defending against pursuers difficult. Because of this, the Airboat's minigun is much more effectively used in a supporting role, placing the vehicle away from the frontline or on the flanks and attacking infantry and vehicles from afar. In Hotwire, the Airboat can be placed on the corners of the map or on the bridge to ambush Hotwired vehicles as they drive by.

The Airboat has tendency to clip into pieces of terrain if driven into something at high speed, and will become stuck as a result. If this happens, players can simply melee the front of the boat repeatedly to push it out of the object.