View Full Version : Why aren't seaplanes used more than they are?

20th Nov 2006, 15:40
Been bugging me for a while. For short business/commuter trips why haven't seaplanes been utilised. For here in Ireland you could easily use waterways at Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford etc. Flying city centre to city centre without having the hassle of the road traffic transit which is currently the case. Prob the same too with a lot of uk cities. I know that capacities would be lower, but even bearing that in mind wouldn't there be a sufficient number of people out there prepared to pay somewhat of a premium for a centre to centre flight? So, smartarses, why aren't they used more :confused:

20th Nov 2006, 15:46
Plloution maybe? Adverse effects on the environment? Wildlife? Weather. Certain times of the year, especially here in Canada, you couldn't use a seaplne on many waterways, as they are frozen.

20th Nov 2006, 15:50
iced-up waters wouldn't be a prob over in these parts. Don't think pollution would be too great an issue either considering what else is on/in the water ... from 2-stroke smokers to dodgy pipe-outlets. Wildlife? ... possibly, but wouldn't have thought it to be too great an issue so close to cities

tony draper
20th Nov 2006, 15:51
Dunno about that Mr aidanf,one visited Victoria island Vancouver and there were more seaplanes(Floatplanes) in the harbour than one could shake a stick at.
Always thought the large passenger carrying Seaplane would be a good answer to people being reluctant to having long runways build through the middle of their villages and such.

Fish Out of Water
20th Nov 2006, 15:55
Retractable gear - already got the tree huggers on our case, don't know whether double the fuel flow would stand up much with them. And jets in water - when they go out in the rain wouldn't hedge me bets being in a river or in the sea :confused:

20th Nov 2006, 15:58
Drapes is right of course but there's a flaw in the plan. I have to dredge out University course notes from 20 or more years ago to try and find exaclty what but I have a vague recollection that there's a hydro/aerodynamic problem that requires a step to be put into the "hull" of a seaplane. That step creates a lot of drag meaning that seaplanes are generally quite lumbering beasts and quite a bit slower than a "proper" aeroplane. I don't remember the exact details now :confused: but just look at any flying boat actually in the air and you'll see that the step is present. To the best of my knowledge, nobody's ever solved that problem so the requirement is still there.

tony draper
20th Nov 2006, 16:09
Why the obsession with speed? Concorde was never a great financial success was it,as long as it gets you from point A to Point B in one piece jobs a goodun.
Didn't the cousin dabble with a sea launched jet fighter at one time,hmmm, as one recals twer not a great success, salt water kept putting the boiler out or summat.

20th Nov 2006, 16:13
They did indeed Herr Drapes, though the Brits created a jet transport sea-thingy:-

20th Nov 2006, 16:15
have to agree with Drapes there on the speed issue. I'm only talking about flights here that would normally take 1hr by something like a turboprop. If the seaplane was to take 20mins longer (prob less!) then the fact that you've gone city centre to city centre will still make the overall journey shorter - n'est pas?

20th Nov 2006, 16:19
WRT the 'step' required on the hull, this version seems to offer a solution:-

The Cousins DID manage a proper 'boat':-

Whilst Ivan has (or HAD) Ekranoplans:--

20th Nov 2006, 16:43
Generally the price of the floats equals the cost of the aircraft for something like a C182 and most private owners in USA cannot find hull insurance

20th Nov 2006, 16:52
As Mr. Draper points out, the area around Vancouver BC is full of them. Here's one in Victoria, BC.


A competitor line there also operates Turbo Single Otters on floats. Excellent aeroplanes. :D

Of course Chalks Ocean Airways ran seaplane service between Miami and the Bahamas until the tragic event last year when one broke a spar.

20th Nov 2006, 16:53
Our Russian chums do have jet powered seaplanes; albeit amphibians in the guise of the rather swish looking Beriev 200. http://www.aviapedia.com/exhibitions/gidroaviasalon-2006-in-gelendzhik-video

Drapes; one has flown into Victoria, care of Harbour air......you feel like a real toff getting off the aircraft in the inner harbour (ah, de havilland!)

20th Nov 2006, 17:04
[QUOTE=G-CPTN;2976613] the Brits created a jet transport sea-thingy /QUOTE]

If I have not misunderstood your text, G-C, your Brit aircraft as illustrated was not, with respect, a transport but a Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 fighter of the late forties/early fifties, mothballed in 1951. Late in the war jets were already in operation; none had operated from a carrier; carriers were not anyway readily available in quantity; and many theatres of war (e.g, the Pacific) were not suited (isolated mountainous islands) to building long runways. Thus the lads got to thinking along the lines of Why Not?

The SaRo SR.A/1 did suffer weight and performance problems, and they tried different engines. Then it got into competition witrh the Vampire, the Meteor and others. The Americans had carriers by the dozen. Navies began to operate jets from carriers. Korea came and went. The need for (literally) seaborne jet fighters also went.

Your Convair XF2Y-1 Sea Dart as illustrated did achieve Mach 1, the only seaplane every to do so, but it too went, permanently, on 4 November, 1954, taking the test-pilot Charles E Richbourg with it. There are many data in all the usual sources.

Whatever their problems, operation of jets as such from water seems not to have been impossible, at least in a military context.

Float planes abound in Canada. They have been used for decades in the bush with great versatility, and many "external stores", including a canoe strapped to a float or its struts for use at destination.

20th Nov 2006, 17:34
UL - if I had the bobs I'd love to give it a go ... sadly the noggin is far too good at coming up with ideas which the wallet cannot match. However, that being true, I still believe that it's viable (my own business b/round is high-end marketing). If yez all wanna join me, then let's get PPRUNEAIR off the ground (or water, or course, in this instance) :ok:

20th Nov 2006, 17:44
This's what you need.:ok:


20th Nov 2006, 18:01
I've thought a lot about this, and have come to the conclusion that it's all down to the Port Authorities not allowing aircraft to land in their patch of water.
Presumably one would need a designated stretch of water, one which boat traffic was excluded from, and this would probably be impossible in most cities.
I have been to the Maldives and seen a huge seaplane operation there, but as that's a bunch of under-populated islands one presumes that there isn't a lot of boat traffic to worry about?
There are places closer to home in Europe that you would imagine would benefit from such a service, but whenever I've made enquiries the answer is always the same: "someone tried that once; didn't last very long!"
I'm afraid, AidenF, that this is another one of those great ideas that probably falls into the "I wish I could come up with an ORIGINAL idea!" category.
I've "invented" a couple of things that have led to a premature "Eureka" moment, only to find that someone else has already done it!
Still, one never gives up, does one?:ugh:

tony draper
20th Nov 2006, 18:34
Why not? ships are about as common as rocking horse poo in our rivers now,
Anyway one is giving some thought to a floating runway,find a nice straight stretch of river,inflate it run it out and bobs yer thingy.
Oh yes and steam catapults,much neglected means of shortening take off runs in the field of civvi aviation,we invented the buggah yer know.

20th Nov 2006, 18:42
I await Mr. Pigboat's reply to this thread. I do believe he is the Pprune expert in all matters concerning float/seaplane/amphibian type aircraft.

tony draper
20th Nov 2006, 19:00
Hmmm, one would have thunk Mr P was more familiar with yer submarine with a handle like that.

20th Nov 2006, 20:04
In Mr. Pigboat's case the term "pigboat" is a nickname for the PBY Catalina as well I do believe.

(Well, that's what someone told me anyway.:uhoh: )

tony draper
20th Nov 2006, 20:31
Thank you Mr Pilot one did not know that, I think that name applied to submarines stems from the early days of yer submerging boats when the chaps from the wardroom were forced to pig it with the hairy arsed commoners from the focsul head and forgo pink gins and such.

20th Nov 2006, 20:34
You CAN have both:-

General Dynamics cancelled project. I wonder why?

20th Nov 2006, 21:01
Just hauled my 1946 Piper J3 floatplane out of the lake this afternoon for its annual transition from straight floats to skis until April. With less weight and cold (-40C) dense air, I could get 1200'/min climb rate out of it last Winter.....

Seaplane flying is sensational, no other word for it. Why? Can only think it is because as land mammals, we do not belong on water or in the air, so a double whammy against nature!

20th Nov 2006, 21:07
Seaplanes are expensive to operate compared to landplanes, necessarily so I suppose because of the limited market. They operate in a highly corrosive environment when flown off salt water, and as someone said you can only pound them so long before they require very expensive rebuilds.

Drapes, you can have a little bit of both submarine and airyplane with the pigboat. :p :p http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Maire/2531L.jpg

Edited to add:
The gentleman flying that PBY is Chuck Ellsworth, a fellow prooner. The pic was taken in Senegal.

20th Nov 2006, 21:15
Gotta agree with er340790 - having just got myself an endorsement on floats (Beaver Amphib), there is nothing like it!
Some of the best fun I've had flying - and only one or two particularly nervous moments as those cliffs get closer and closer during the accleration to get on the step!

I don't know if floatplane/flying boat flying in north west Europe has a lot going for it though - my mental image is more geared towards Koh Samui, Phi Phi Island or Phuket as the place to be!

20th Nov 2006, 21:36
I wonder who owns the type certificate for the Martin Mars?
Swap in some turboprops? What a way to travel.
Oh c'mon, we should able to raise enough here to build a couple.:)

20th Nov 2006, 21:55
I guess it would be these guys?
Flying Tankers Inc. (http://www.martinmars.com/aircraft.htm)

20th Nov 2006, 22:28
I guess it would be these guys?
http://www.martinmars.com/aircraft.htm (Flying Tankers Inc.)

Don't think so. They operate a couple. I've seen them.
Sometimes type certificates become public domain after a period of inactivity or the original company fails.

20th Nov 2006, 22:39
good news for a new business venture:

For Immediate Release: November 10, 2006
TIMBERWEST SEEKS BUYERS FOR MARTIN MARS WATER BOMBERS (http://www.timberwest.com/PDF/FTI_Media_Release_11.10.06.pdf)
Vancouver (BC) -- TimberWest Forest Corp. today announced that it is selling its two Martin Mars water bombers.
Some interest has already been expressed by the private sector to operate the aircraft, which, in addition to forest fire-fighting capabilities, have solid tourism and marketing potential for the right buyer.
The tendering process for the sale of the Martin Mars aircraft closes on December 31, 2006.

20th Nov 2006, 23:19
Large numbers of floatplanes are operated out of both Vancouver and Victoria and there is no actual segregatio between aircraft and boats. Both landing areas are in very high boat traffic patces of water. Was dropping off a child one Saturday from the boat. "Daddy, there's a seaplane" Yes Sterling there's lotsof them around here." "No, there is a seaplane," What? Oh sh*t." Single Otter about 40 yards astern and catching up fast!

For the right distance the numbers must work out very well. Vancouver Victoria has several other transport connections, Car Ferry, Airport to airport flights and it has also had fast passenger ferry centre to centr and an attempt at highspeedcar ferries. The local floatplanes companies have grown steadily for years.

Yes, the salt water environmment is unhelpful, but it can be coped with. The chalk accident was not a result of normal fatigue or corrosion.

I suspect in Britain the main problem would be the shear bureaucratic and political intertia and nimyism, however if the Viking attempt to get manufacturing of the twin Otter restarted succeeds it might look a lot more attractive.

On an aircraft note, the main problem with design, as I understood it, was not so much the fact of the step itself as the depth of hull required to keep the props out of the water and therefore the cross section. Blackburn initiated a design during the war with a retractable hull float that flew just like any other bomber. Unfortunately the prototype crashed and the government dropped the project even though it looked more promising than any other maritime solution. I think it was the Blackburn B20. It is on the internet at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn_B-20. It also looks like a really good answer to the aerodynamic problem for an SEP amphibian. Traditionally they are slow and unwieldy but for a small weight penalty this would do it while retaining the engine forward configuration.

I have an amphibian and the results of the compromises are very apparent in its performance. 100hp, cruise is, realistically, 70 knots!

Edited to add URL.

20th Nov 2006, 23:26
Around 10 years ago I took a tourist seaplane around Manhatten Island (30 min flight right around NY for about the same price as helicopter to statue of liberty. Owner had a few years before started the helicopter flights, but then moved to Grand Canyon and when he came back previous partners ahdn't wanted him back. He was still operating on temporary licence when I went (in fact due to slight mixup I ended up on a flight with him (as well as 2 pilots) and 2 local politicians investigating whether to grant him permanent licence. He didn't get it partly because they wanted to keep the facilities (South St Sea Port) available for use by charters from JFK, so presumably at that time you could get a flight JFK-East River

21st Nov 2006, 01:04
Weather is a problem also. I'm sure a GPS NPA could be knocked up for a particular bit of river but I don't believe there are any. Spotting obstacles and other surface traffic could be difficult in clag. Even if you do a precautionary search Luigi & his mates in a tinny could be anchored in front of you when you land.

Rose Bay (http://www.airwaysmuseum.com/Rose%20Bay%20pre%20war%201.htm)in Sydney had an illuminated landing area way back, expect it was very expensive to install & maintain, & the only way you get lights.

I expect routinely landing with the gear up would have a mental toll also...

21st Nov 2006, 02:09
Actually, seaplane flying other than the harbour-to-harbour stuff is darn hard work. Ask anyone who's spent some time in the bush. It's not unusual to fly 130 - 150 hours a month in northern latitudes in the summer.

The Otter, on the standard 7170 floats is easy to fly but a real handful to taxi out of wind. When it's blowing at anything over 15 kts or so you have to sail the aircraft backward rather than taxi it around normally. Another fault with the Otter is the original stoneboat version is underpowered. 650 horses doesn't haul around 8000 pounds too well. On a hot day you'll get out of the water, but you're lucky to climb at a couple hundred feet per minute.

For those who haven't seen the movie 'Always' here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtgKvu4mjX0) a great little clip from the beginning of the film. :p

The Saunders Roe Princess (http://images.google.ca/images?hl=en&q=Saunders-Roe+Princess+flying+boat&btnG=Search+Images) was a British design for a large flying boat that came to naught. It was still a beautiful aircraft, for all that.

Loose rivets
21st Nov 2006, 06:29
Anyway one is giving some thought to a floating runway,find a nice straight stretch of river,

And if the tide is set to run at exactly the opposite speed to the boat, will it be able to take off. :}

21st Nov 2006, 14:11
Nice clip, Pigboat. This one has probably been posted before, but there was also a rather embarrassing display of seaplane skipper skills in the movie "Endless Summer II." Yes, of course, there's a fecking youtube link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iswUVeIAKSk).

From what I understand, the Goose or Mallard or whatever it is was was OK and flew out of there. :=

21st Nov 2006, 16:08
And if the tide is set to run at exactly the opposite speed to the boat, will it be able to take off. :}

Not if the floats are set to rotate at a given speed!;)

21st Nov 2006, 16:17
During a recent visit to the IWM at Duxford, I was treated to an interior tour of the Avro York. The guide claimed that the design of the fuselage was created to allow for wheels-up landings on beaches. Whether this allowed for an approach 'on water' I don't know (I didn't ask).

For those unfamiliar with the York, it was a 'wide-bodied' version of the Lancaster created during WWII (although most were built post-war).
In 1942 with Lancaster production well underwayr work commenced in the experimental department at Chadderton on a transport aircraft to be named the Avro York. In less than six months the prototype was completed with the type going on to be used in many theatres of war as well as serving as VIP transports for Winston Churchill, Lord Mountbatten, Field Marshal Smuts and other war leaders.
a special version, Avro York LV633 "Ascalon" was made for the personal transport of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Britain's first 'Air Force One'?

22nd Nov 2006, 23:36
Our Russian chums do have jet powered seaplanes; albeit amphibians in the guise of the rather swish looking Beriev 200. http://www.aviapedia.com/exhibitions/gidroaviasalon-2006-in-gelendzhik-video

Drapes; one has flown into Victoria, care of Harbour air......you feel like a real toff getting off the aircraft in the inner harbour (ah, de havilland!)

If you look at the 5th picture in the list, SOMEONE is doing SOMETHING wrong :sad:

Either, the plane in the background is inverted or the one carrying the guy wot took the picture is upside down.


26th Nov 2006, 12:29
Looks Ok to me; the photographing aircraft being a Be200 as is the subject....ask yourself where the engines are.

Anyway; have just discovered through wikipedia and elsewhere the somewhat improbable Beriev offering, the 2500 "Neptune"; 2500 tonnes mtow. Supposedly an amphibian ekranoplan (Wing in ground effect), though with a normal flight capability. Straight out of Thunderbirds. One wonders if it will ever get built.

27th Nov 2006, 04:55
The Times: 'Island hop' seaplane service takes off from the heart of Glasgow (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,170-2473321,00.html)

The romantic silhouette of the seaplane is to return to the River Clyde after an absence of 60 years, conjuring up a more stylish age of travel. From the spring, daily flights will take off from the River Clyde, close to the old Govan shipyards in the heart of the city and landmarks such as the Glasgow Science Centre, to remote West Coast peninsulas and islands, cutting journey times from hours to minutes.

The city-centre seaplane service will be the first of its kind in Europe and one of only a few worldwide to use an urban waterway as a runway. The venture will be run by Loch Lomond Seaplanes, which has operated from the loch for three years and counts the actress Patsy Kensit, golfer Darren Clarke and Steve Redgrave, the Olympic rowing champion, among its customers........

27th Nov 2006, 05:06
The new service marks a return of seaplanes to the Clyde where, during the Second World War, almost 300 Short Sunderland flying boats were built in a factory at Dumbarton Rock. They were used mainly by the RAF. The last left the factory slipway in 1945.
Tenuous association I'd say.

27th Nov 2006, 13:56
I have a strong recollection from 1958 or so of seeing a Sunderland take off from the Clyde near Helensburgh or Rhu.

22nd Apr 2007, 15:55
tony draper,Anyway one is giving some thought to a floating runway,find a nice straight stretch of river,inflate it run it out and bobs yer thingy.Somebody's been there, done that.
See "The Secret War" by G. Pawley about the DMWD (Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development), and look for the "Swiss Roll" floating roadway invented by R.M. Hamilton.
Vaguely remember they did build a floating runway as well and had a Stringbag land and take off on it.

23rd Apr 2007, 02:40
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

23rd Apr 2007, 02:46
LaRonge, Saskatchewan

23rd Apr 2007, 02:51
Bella Bella, British Columbia

23rd Apr 2007, 02:52
Victoria, BC

Them floating twotters are sure popular oop in Canadia! :ok:

23rd Apr 2007, 03:15
Found Brothers, The Rockies

23rd Apr 2007, 03:19
Goose, west coast B.C.

23rd Apr 2007, 03:32
Norsemans, Red Lake, Ontario

23rd Apr 2007, 05:42
Some, if not most, of them pics are of what I would classify as ‘float planes’ NOT real seaplanes!!
One has always thought that real seaplanes must have been a romantic way to travel. Some epic flights include Pan Am’s efforts with the China Clippers flying across the Pacific in the 30s.
One would have thought that there would be a market in luxury tourism for a small fleet of ‘boats’; the airborne equivalent of The Orient Express if you like. How about the Saro Princess back in production:
I think I read recently that the 2 Martin Mars in Canada now have a new secure home. Well done that man!
Then the grandson of Mr Dornier, Iren Dornier, recently had his Do 24 restored in the Philippines and has completed some excellent flights in it.

23rd Apr 2007, 10:45
Martin Mars - safe - for now.


That Dornier looks to be re-engined.

23rd Apr 2007, 12:32

Looking for something like this? (http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1101411/M/)

(This is what that Sandringham is at now) (http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0864402/M/)

23rd Apr 2007, 12:48
That Dornier looks to be re-engined.

More than that:

The last DO 24 was the Do 24-TT (later known as the Do ATT), the result of Dornier's desire to test the high seas capability of an amphibious, economical aircraft.

Production began in 1979 and was completed in 1983, the Do ATT was fitted with an advanced technology wing cut from a single piece of aluminum spar to simplify production efforts with improved PT6A-45Bs. It took to the skies on April 25, 1983 and was later retired to the Deutsch Museum in Germany.

Iren Dornier, grandson of Claude Dornier, then removed the aircraft from the museum and brought it to the Philippines in 2003. It was retrofitted and restored in good working condition. It also underwent a series of rigorous test flights both on land and water and has received its airworthiness from the Philippine Aviation Authority (ATO).

23rd Apr 2007, 12:53
Even added undercarriage:- http://www.air-and-space.com/20051010%20SBA/DSC_3612%20Do-24ATT%20RP-C2403%20right%20front%20take-off%20m.jpg

23rd Apr 2007, 16:27
The Goose and this Beech-18 still provide regular scheduled air service along B.C.'s rugged coast.

23rd Apr 2007, 16:36
Talking Sandringhams, VH-BRC is still at Southampton.
Sandringham in Southampton (http://www.spitfireonline.co.uk/popup/exhibit9.html)
An acquaintance went for a visit very recently, so don't be misled by the 1983 date in the write-up.

23rd Apr 2007, 17:25
Hot off the 'freebie' newspaper press:


Seems that Seaplanes are coming to London?

23rd Apr 2007, 17:35
Seaplane flights could prove cheaper than land flights *because you would not have to pay airport tax and handling fees.”Can't see that lasting. Who'll bet that Ken Livingstone will establish a 'charge' that seaplanes will have to pay? And the Government won't let 'airport tax' be avoided. Handling fees will also be needed for whoever 'handles' the 'ground' activities.

As an aside :E whatever happened to the helicopter? Wasn't that meant to enable passengers direct access to city centres? :confused:

23rd Apr 2007, 18:35
The Do 28 flew into the middle of Frankfurt last october/november and landed on the Main river.

Quite an impressive sight to see it weaving its way along the river and over the bridges to get it in. :ok:

It looked like he had a bit of a hiccup when he took off again an hour or so later, but got off ok in the end....oh to have been a fly on the cockpit wall for that one;)

There's probly a u-tube vid of it somewhere. I've got some digi pics of it somewhere, I'll dig 'em out tomorrow if they're on a CD.

23rd Apr 2007, 18:48
Damn, there goes my great money-spinning idea.

I can cancel that trip to Victoria.....

:{ :{ :{ :{

24th Apr 2007, 05:38
Should anyone be interested, there is more on the Do 28 project here including some good photos and videos:


24th Apr 2007, 09:07
Check them out, they run schedules around the islands, have flown with them, www.airsealines.com.

24th Apr 2007, 13:10
Why not use the wings, empennage, powerplants etc. of the DHC-6 - but build a new flying boat hull for a fuselage?

(You heard it here first, folks...) :8

24th Apr 2007, 14:35
Why not use the wings, empennage, powerplants etc. of the DHC-6 - but build a new flying boat hull for a fuselage?
If the market picks up, maybe somebody will take you up on that idea.....

24th Apr 2007, 16:55
Anybody know whether there is a 'revival' in the floatplane market, or have the Canucks and North-Americans been users throughout? I appreciate that such aircraft are rarely seen around the UK, but, apart from the Highlands and Islands the terrain doesn't really justify them (and even the Islands manage beach landing strips).

24th Apr 2007, 19:31

As far as I'm aware there's only one beach strip now - Barra (still there despite the cockle gatherers literally raking away the runway hardness - how shortsighted is that!)

24th Apr 2007, 20:39
Don't know if the market for seaplanes/floatplanes is actually picking up. They have been used very extensively in Canada without pause. Amazingly there are literally hundreds, maybe thousands operating in all parts of Canada. Just in BC there are floatplanes coming and going all the time in Vancouver and Victoria and even in places like Nanaimo you might see thirty or forty movements on a reasonably busy day.
If there is a decent conference or a special event we might see as many as thirty movements in a day just on the lake outside our door, A mixture of C180s, Beavers, Otters and Twotters and the occasional Caravan. We also get a few more exotic visitors, not to mention the odd private Seawind or Albatross and a Lake or two etc.

Basically there is a attrition rate even for a well managed fleet and up to now replacements have come from people who scoured the world for old hulls and then renovated them. They have to be running out about now and there is really nothing to replace the Twotter so it looks as though the design is going to get revived.

Coming from the UK we had no idea. Basically the business relies on tourism and for local business on the fact that it is convenient where towns have a waterfront but the trail out to the airport by road is tedious (even if there is one.) VIctoria/Vancouver, for instance. By the time you park etc it is 1/2 hr at each end to the airport. Got to pay for parking. Then there are the line ups for ticketing, security, boarding etc and the long walk to the remotest end of the terminal. Then you need transport at the other end, taxi or rent a car etc.

The ferry is just as bad or worse and the ride is 1 hr 35 mins as well.

The alternative is walk down to the dock (3 to 5 mins.) Allow yourself 5 to 10 mins for security, ticket, 45 ft to plane etc. 15 to 20 mins flying. Get out in Victoria and you are right in the city centre and 200 yards from the legislature.

It is all a function of distance and convenience. Difficult to compete with a 1 hr road trip because of the cost. (Old floatplanes are very expensive to run.)

24th Apr 2007, 21:00
Never have been to Canada but if I remember my geography lessons, isn't Canada advantaged with a very large number of suitable smaller and bigger lakes inland?

I can't really imagine it here in France. Certainly not enough suitable lakes, just the odd stretch of river. There is the odd floatplane around, but mostly along the coast.

25th Apr 2007, 04:52
Lakes and thick forest every where. Many smaller villages and camps only serviced by logging roads, (gravel.) Some trips by floatplane only 15 to 20% as long as driving.

A lot of helicopters used here too. Between Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton, total full time population maybe 35 to 45,000, we have 15 helicopters operating as well as a couple of small private ones, and that does not include those used for logging which come and go.

25th Apr 2007, 14:57
What is the greatest seaplane in service - Martin Mars or Latecoere 631?

25th Apr 2007, 15:14
depends on how you qualify things, but the Beriev A-40 is often listed as largest (ink (http://www.beriev.com/eng/A-40_e/A-40_e.html))

25th Apr 2007, 15:15
I am embarrassed to admit that, until just now, I had never heard of the Latecoere 631. But there again, until I visited the Museum on Lake Constance, I hadn't heard of the Dornier X.
We were only told about British achievements such as the SARO Princess:- http://www.uh.edu/engines/saroprincess.jpg

25th Apr 2007, 15:16
The 'step' is certainly the main problem with intercontinental aircraft.

Once you've pushed them up against the aircraft the pax are going to get wet once they're past the 5th step down and the walk underwater to the ramp is going to get more than a few of them aggravated.

25th Apr 2007, 16:18
I am embarrassed to admit that, until just now, I had never heard of the Latecoere 631. But there again, until I visited the Museum on Lake Constance, I hadn't heard of the Dornier X.
We were only told about British achievements such as the SARO Princess.I'm amazed.
Especially, if you start thinking of how many stories there are. And often far more successful than the Princess...

Does anybody know if anybody has taken the trouble of doing a nice complete website about seaplanes, flying boats, float-planes, etc. ... in short anything flying that also got its feet or bottom wet?

Oh, and G-CPTN, what about the Supermarine Schneider Trophy floatplanes? That WAS a British achievement, and it led to the Spitfire.....

Oh, and the Sunderland, and the old Empress flying boats. :ok:

25th Apr 2007, 16:27
Yes, I knew about the Schneider Trophy 'planes and the Empress/Sunderland flying boats, but immediately post-war in Britain 'we did not talk about' German achievements (I was working for a German Engineering Company when I visited the Bodensee Museum and learned about the Do-X).

26th Apr 2007, 01:50
Speaking of the Schneider Cup -
I visited the Italian AF museum at Vigna Di Valle (http://aeroweb.lucia.it/en/museums/vigna.htm)on Lake Bracciano - 1 hr. N. of Rome.

Quite interesting up to the point when I turned a corner and saw one of the Schneider racers. :ok: :)

Took a few more steps and THERE WERE TWO MORE OF THEM! :D