SeaBee in Ukraine

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Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2014
That Sea Bee has numerous after-market modifications: extended wings, dropped wing tips, extended spray rails and a Lycoming engine. The narrator also mentions the Chevrolet Corvette engines installed in some Sea Bees. I have seen Sea Bees with all the 4 possible engines: original Franklin, Lycoming conversion, Continental Tiara conversion, P&WC PT6A turboprop conversion and Chevy Corvette conversion. Pilots who have flown with all the different engines confirm that that 300 hp. Corvette engine has the needed power, but only burns 2/3 the fuel of any of the other conversions.


Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2009
Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA

What is N numbered plane doing in the Ukraine? This sounds like a sales promotion video. Nothing against that but this is only one plane. Watching the video makes me wonder, why is no one not copying the design today?

Yes the Sea Bee RC-3 is a great airplane and a good boat but there are only 260 left flying if I got that right. Still they are available if you have the time or the money.

In WA there is a standard B that has been neglected for the past 10 or 20 years waiting for someone to rescue it and we had a Twin Bee sitting in need of much maintenance for the last year that just moved. I wonder if it flew out or is still captured on the airport somewhere. Another similar story of a Canadian B in the US for the last 3 years trying to get it airworthy enough to return to Canada.

As far as this video goes the flying sequences off the water are, I think, historical footage, mostly in the US. The two land operations in the Ukraine show directional control issues. The ground loop segment clearly shows the tail wheel has swiveled. The Sea Bee has a tail wheel lock. Either that malfunctioned or it was not engaged. The pilot was lucky that no damage was done. To the pilots credit he did have good technique in that he holds full back pressure throughout the ground loop. If the tail wheel were locked that would have saved the plane. The video of the other landing shows poor directional control. I appears to me that this aircraft has a tail wheel locking issue.

I liked the video and especially the English sub titles. Previous owners only had one cell phone and email, lived out in the sticks where they had to fly to the grocery store. It sounded like they determined it was time to get rid of the old tin Lizzy and he likely got a bargain.

The plane does have some work to be done and may have other issues that are unknown. Did he take it out of the country because it can be flown under Ukraine aero law more easily than under US regulations or is he looking for a rich Ukraine or East Euro Union customer.
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