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Has anyone scratch built a Seawind?

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whiteknight

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Thank you. Could someone please be more specific concerning what would be required and how fesiable it would be. Has anyone on this forum built a Seawind from plans only, or from Scratch?
 

orion

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No, there is no record of anyone building a Seawind or anything similar from scratch. Plans are not available and given the typical kit supplier, probably do not even exist in sufficient detail to allow you to build each part from raw materials. If you wanted to go this route you could start from pictures but that would give you only the generic shape - in actuality however you would have to design and engineer every aspect of the airplane. But that might not be a bad thing since that would allow you to correct numerous shortcomings of the design.
 

whiteknight

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No, there is no record of anyone building a Seawind or anything similar from scratch. Plans are not available and given the typical kit supplier, probably do not even exist in sufficient detail to allow you to build each part from raw materials. If you wanted to go this route you could start from pictures but that would give you only the generic shape - in actuality however you would have to design and engineer every aspect of the airplane. But that might not be a bad thing since that would allow you to correct numerous shortcomings of the design.
Thank you. Please do share, what are the numerous short comings that you allude to? If you were the one who designed the Seawind, what would you have done differently?

Sincerely and Respectfully Submitted,

Jason
 

orion

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The biggest shortcoming of the original design is a relatively poorly designed hull with insufficient freeboard, even with only one person on board. The Maverick Twin-Jet actually used a Seawind fuselage (less hull) - I was asked to design a new hull for the Twin-Jet to make an amphibious version - the two were nowhere near in dimension and displacement.

It also looks like the hull trim angle might be a tad bit too high, which would cause the hull to have a relatively high drag on takeoff. This is a feature of the hull and cannot be aerodynamically trimmed due to the substantially higher load distribution set up by the water.

The aircraft is also very sensitive regarding its landing attitude - if you do not get it in just right you have to go around or you will set up a detrimental porpoising motion. But this one is a tough design point since part of it is dynamic and somewhat driven by the high mounted engine.

I no longer have all the details (gave them back to customer years ago) but overall the original Seawind was a good effort but in my opinion, poorly executed. But that's just my 2 cents though.
 

whiteknight

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Thank you Orion. Is the Seawind the only one of its type, or are there other perhaps superior home built designs of similar concept? I developed quite a fondness for the design as a kid after reading an article about it in Popular Mechanics Magazine. At the time, I thought that it would be my dream machine. I do like the idea of having a composite aircraft that I can land where I want to, that will go close to two hundred miles per hour for over a thousand miles.
 

Himat

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The biggest shortcoming of the original design is a relatively poorly designed hull with insufficient freeboard, even with only one person on board. The Maverick Twin-Jet actually used a Seawind fuselage (less hull) - I was asked to design a new hull for the Twin-Jet to make an amphibious version - the two were nowhere near in dimension and displacement.

It also looks like the hull trim angle might be a tad bit too high, which would cause the hull to have a relatively high drag on takeoff. This is a feature of the hull and cannot be aerodynamically trimmed due to the substantially higher load distribution set up by the water.

The aircraft is also very sensitive regarding its landing attitude - if you do not get it in just right you have to go around or you will set up a detrimental porpoising motion. But this one is a tough design point since part of it is dynamic and somewhat driven by the high mounted engine.

I no longer have all the details (gave them back to customer years ago) but overall the original Seawind was a good effort but in my opinion, poorly executed. But that's just my 2 cents though.
There was two RC scale models of the Seawind out, both for .60 to .90 glow engines. The models was both close to one sixt the size of the full size. How close to scale these was I don't know and the scale model and full size handling might differ significant. Anyway, there was a lot of postings on the subject of the models handling. Quite a few of the posters on the RC forums expressed that the handling at take of and landing was not the best. If I remember, the model tended to skip on both take of and landing.
 

djschwartz

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To answer the original question, the Seawind, like all current composite kits, is built from shells made in female molds. In order to build one from scratch you would need not only all the design details, but you would also need to duplicate all the molds. Changing over to a mold less construction method as Rutan used for the Eze's would be a complete redesign. Many significant design changes would be required to accommodate that method. For all practical purposes it would be a scratch design effort.

Dave
 

whiteknight

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To answer the original question, the Seawind, like all current composite kits, is built from shells made in female molds. In order to build one from scratch you would need not only all the design details, but you would also need to duplicate all the molds. Changing over to a mold less construction method as Rutan used for the Eze's would be a complete redesign. Many significant design changes would be required to accommodate that method. For all practical purposes it would be a scratch design effort.

Dave
That is sad
 

Himat

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- in actuality however you would have to design and engineer every aspect of the airplane. But that might not be a bad thing since that would allow you to correct numerous shortcomings of the design.
If you look at it from that perspective it's maybe not that sad that no plans are available. Ok, there will be no Seawind like airplane for those that want to build from plan's and not designing it themself. On the other hand there are at least two team's that try to develop a similar configured LSA. But again, they do not aim at making plans, but kit's or complete aircraft's.
 

AVI

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That is sad
Not so sad if it really is your dream airplane. It's possible to build one from scratch, but it would require a huge amount of work and dedication over a period,
realistically, of ten to twenty years, especially if you're starting from scratch with absolutely no knowledge whatsoever. There is no fast build option here! :)

The first thing to do is to research the aircraft - dig up everything possible - photos, manuals, articles. It's amazing what's available out there!
Find somebody who has one or a kit of one and take zillions of close-up photos and lots of accurate measurements. You'll be surprised at
the amount of information you'll be able to accumulate over the course of a few years.

Meanwhile, start reading. Start educating yourself about composites and aircraft design. There's enough reference material listed on these pages
to keep you busy for years. And start socking money away .....
 

SVSUSteve

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Yes, thank you. I am aware that it is a kit. I want to do my own thing and build it from scratch (from the ground up). How do I go about that? How will I approach that successfully?
Yeah, you can't do it from scratch as others have pointed out.

do like the idea of having a composite aircraft that I can land where I want to, that will go close to two hundred miles per hour for over a thousand miles.
Let's pick a design that's got better handling characteristics especially if the engine decides to puke. Just ask those folks who drilled one into a Publix grocery store not too long ago how they handle in that situation. As Orion said, it was a good idea but it leaves much to be desired in actual practice.

That is sad
What makes you say that? Designing is half (or more, especially when talking about composite builds) of the fun of homebuilt aircraft.

And a great opportunity to overcome the shortcomings and limitations of the original design, too.
No shortage of those with the Seawind. About the only thing that seems "right" about it is the cruising speed and the fact that it is (on paper and very calm water) a seaplane. Beyond that it's a rather ugly aircraft with marginal handling that is far more unforgiving of an inexperienced or inattentive pilot than it probably should be given it's intended purpose.
 

Himat

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About the only thing that seems "right" about it is the cruising speed and the fact that it is (on paper and very calm water) a seaplane. Beyond that it's a rather ugly aircraft with marginal handling that is far more unforgiving of an inexperienced or inattentive pilot than it probably should be given it's intended purpose.

I've only seen pictures and the 1:6 RC model of the Seawind and I do not find it ugly. Like most aeroplanes the Seawind look better from some angles than others and for sure I would have tweaked the looks, but the reason to change it would be the aspects Orion worded.
 

SVSUSteve

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I've only seen pictures and the 1:6 RC model of the Seawind and I do not find it ugly.
Personally, I think it's one of the ugliest true seaplanes out there (that "ekranoplan" thing the Russians built notwithstanding). Maybe I'm just a little too fascinated by the classic seaplane look (Grumman Mallard, Grumman Goose, PBY, etc) but to me I see a Seawind and wonder if they purposefully tried to make it as ungainly as possible and still capable of flight. The fact that the Seawind tends to have all the negative results of an adventurous design and few benefits would tend to argue that whatever person (or team) designed it really phoned it in on this one.

This is something a lot of folks in the homebuilt community seem to overlook: for a design to be successful (especially if you want to sell kits or plans), you have to factor in more than just "Hey! It flies!". Granted there are some truly successful but still aesthetically questionable designs out there (VariEZ/LongEZ; C-119; pretty much any purpose built ag aircraft to name a few).
 

SVSUSteve

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" without a doubt. We all have our preferences based on various experiences, desires, reasoning, etc.
This is very true but I often wonder if some of the more "interesting" designs would not have fared better so far as the marketing goes if not for their outward appearance. Human beings by our very nature tend to be very shallow and pilots especially as a group are more "conservative" (not in the political sense) than your average person for good reasons.
 
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