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Why aren't seaplanes used more than they are?

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Why aren't seaplanes used more than they are?

Old 20th Nov 2006, 20:04
  #21 (permalink)  

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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. )
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 20:31
  #22 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 20:34
  #23 (permalink)  
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You CAN have both:-

General Dynamics cancelled project. I wonder why?
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 21:01
  #24 (permalink)  
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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!
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 21:07
  #25 (permalink)  
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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.

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

Last edited by pigboat; 20th Nov 2006 at 21:27.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 21:15
  #26 (permalink)  
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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!
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 21:36
  #27 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 21:55
  #28 (permalink)  
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I guess it would be these guys?
Flying Tankers Inc.

Last edited by FishHead; 20th Nov 2006 at 22:40. Reason: Fixed URL
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 22:28
  #29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FishHead View Post
I guess it would be these guys?
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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 22:39
  #30 (permalink)  
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good news for a new business venture:

For Immediate Release: November 10, 2006
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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 23:19
  #31 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 23:26
  #32 (permalink)  
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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
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Old 21st Nov 2006, 01:04
  #33 (permalink)  
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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 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...
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Old 21st Nov 2006, 02:09
  #34 (permalink)  
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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 a great little clip from the beginning of the film.

The Saunders Roe Princess was a British design for a large flying boat that came to naught. It was still a beautiful aircraft, for all that.
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Old 21st Nov 2006, 06:29
  #35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tony draper View Post
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.
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Old 21st Nov 2006, 14:11
  #36 (permalink)  

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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.

From what I understand, the Goose or Mallard or whatever it is was was OK and flew out of there.
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Old 21st Nov 2006, 16:08
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
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!
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Old 21st Nov 2006, 16:17
  #38 (permalink)  
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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'?
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Old 22nd Nov 2006, 23:36
  #39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Loki View Post
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...lendzhik-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

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

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Old 26th Nov 2006, 12:29
  #40 (permalink)  
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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.
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