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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, 15:40
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Why aren't seaplanes used more than they are?

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
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 15:46
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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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 15:50
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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
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 15:51
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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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 15:55
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fish

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
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 15:58
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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 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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 16:09
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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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 16:13
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They did indeed Herr Drapes, though the Brits created a jet transport sea-thingy:-

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Old 20th Nov 2006, 16:15
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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?
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 16:19
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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:--
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 16:43
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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
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 16:52
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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.

Of course Chalks Ocean Airways ran seaplane service between Miami and the Bahamas until the tragic event last year when one broke a spar.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 16:53
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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!)
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 17:04
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[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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 17:34
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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)
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 17:44
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This's what you need.

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Old 20th Nov 2006, 18:01
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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?
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 18:34
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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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 18:42
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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.
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Old 20th Nov 2006, 19:00
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Hmmm, one would have thunk Mr P was more familiar with yer submarine with a handle like that.
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