# Searay or Osprey?

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#### Timstertimster

##### Well-Known Member
Just like the title says.

Which one you think is better? Why?

I know. It's not an apples to apples comparison. But I'd love to hear from folks who have seen these or built them, or considered them.

For me, the Osprey looks accessible. A kit can be bought for under $10k, but I'd worry that after also buying all the rivets, glue, etc etc etc, it's probably a lot more. Searay kit is$40k, but it's also a very experienced manufacturer, I would trust their design is really mature.

I love the Searay design, and judging from various videos, it seems to handle almost like an acrobatic plane.

Anyhow... I'm curious. What do you think?

#### dcstrng

##### Well-Known Member
Better for what. ? To borrow your phraseology, what part of the Apple should one compare to what portion of the orange...

I'm partial to the Ospery... always have been... looks kewl...

#### spaschke

##### Well-Known Member
It looks like the searay is less work, but it isn't as fast and probably less customizeable.

#### bmcj

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
I know very little about the Osprey and even less about the SeaRay, but I understand the Osprey is very small inside the cockpit (to the point that it is a 2-seater only if one of occupants is a child). The SeaRay, though not as fast and sexy looking, appears to have a larger cockpit and probably more lifting capacity.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
Osprey is a build project that will take several years; SeaRay is an assembly project that will take a few years. But there is a Lake Buck on barnstormers for 55K. You will be close to that money in the end if you build; just allocated slower.

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
Seawind kit on barnstormers for 35K

#### bmcj

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Seawind kit on barnstormers for 35K
Read some of the accident reports before considering the Seawind.

#### jmt1991

##### Well-Known Member
Here's a link to someone's build of a SeaRey: tabaircraft.com
I haven't made it through the entire logbook yet, but it will give you an inside view of what you'll be dealing with if you choose to buy one.
If you want to start at the beginning, click on 'ALL' at the top of the log listings and begin there.

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#### Victor Bravo

##### Well-Known Member
The SeaRay is an outgrowth of the older aluminum tube ultralight design philosophy. Much more advanced than an ultralight for sure, but it is stlll a point along that continuum.

The Osprey is a point along the old-school wooden homebuilt design continuum. I believe it is an utterly traditional design in that long-established method.

So for me, it would boil down to what type of materials, hardware, and construction philosophy you are more drawn to.

Well... that and the fact that one costs three times more than the other

If you're serious about it, I'd also at least look into the concept of making an (aerodynamic) Osprey clone out of moldless foam/composite construction, and widening the cabin out to 44 inches. The cost of really good quality aircraft wood is getting pretty high, and the cost of pulltruded carbon strips is pretty low per unit of strength.

Although the engineers here will probably issue an arrest warrant for me, if you used the layup schedule and material thicknesses from a Long-EZ for the flying surfaces and MOST of the fuselage, you would likely be 3/4 of the way there. The only large deviations would be that you need new engineering in the bottom half of the hull for water loads, you need new engineering for landing gear mounts and pivots, you need new engineering for the wingtip float water loads, and you need to have new engineering tying the stock Osprey welded engine pylon into the center section of the wing.

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#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
I've read a couple of builder's reports on the SeaRay and it has good reports on the water handling & landing side.

No personal experience so take my advice with some salt.

#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
The SeaRay is an outgrowth of the older aluminum tube ultralight design philosophy. Much more advanced than an ultralight for sure, but it is stlll a point along that continuum.

The Osprey is a point along the old-school wooden homebuilt design continuum. I believe it is an utterly traditional design in that long-established method.

So for me, it would boil down to what type of materials, hardware, and construction philosophy you are more drawn to.

Well... that and the fact that one costs three times more than the other

If you're serious about it, I'd also at least look into the concept of making an (aerodynamic) Osprey clone out of moldless foam/composite construction, and widening the cabin out to 44 inches. The cost of really good quality aircraft wood is getting pretty high, and the cost of pulltruded carbon strips is pretty low per unit of strength.

Although the engineers here will probably issue an arrest warrant for me, if you used the layup schedule and material thicknesses from a Long-EZ for the flying surfaces and MOST of the fuselage, you would likely be 3/4 of the way there. The only large deviations would be that you need new engineering in the bottom half of the hull for water loads, you need new engineering for landing gear mounts and pivots, you need new engineering for the wingtip float water loads, and you need to have new engineering tying the stock Osprey welded engine pylon into the center section of the wing.

Your concept reminded me of the Glass Goose:

Quikkit Glass Goose - Aircraft Wiki

BJC

#### Victor Bravo

##### Well-Known Member
I'm aware of the Glass Goose, but I was referring to a scratchbuilt moldless situation where he's starting with flat sheets of foam like a Rutan project. The Osprey is all flat wrapped wood, so I figured maybe he can do a slab sided flat-wrap plastic version of the basic Osprey design.

The higher span of the monoplane, and the span being lower to the water, will give it a little better takeoff performance off water.

The SeaHawker had some issues, which are now documented and known... but issues nonetheless.

##### Well-Known Member
Although the engineers here will probably issue an arrest warrant for me
Done. If you don't show up at my doorstep with a bottle of good Scotch within the year, you'll feel the very unpleasant consequences of such statements
if you used the layup schedule and material thicknesses from a Long-EZ for the flying surfaces and MOST of the fuselage, you would likely be 3/4 of the way there. The only large deviations would be that you need new engineering in the bottom half of the hull for water loads, you need new engineering for landing gear mounts and pivots, you need new engineering for the wingtip float water loads, and you need to have new engineering tying the stock Osprey welded engine pylon into the center section of the wing.
That's Russian roulette with 5 cartridges in if not a good attempt at suicide.

For conventional designs, basic skills and good design practices makes analysis and design of the structure not that hard for anybody with basic skills in mechanical engineering.

#### Riggerrob

##### Well-Known Member
If you are trying to re-design the Osprey wing in composites, remember that the wing must be able to support as many positive Gs as negative Gs. That is a tidbit I picked up from reading one of Thruston's books. The additional strength is needed to handle water loads from the tip floats.

#### Riggerrob

##### Well-Known Member
I'm aware of the Glass Goose, but I was referring to a scratchbuilt moldless situation where he's starting with flat sheets of foam like a Rutan project. The Osprey is all flat wrapped wood, so I figured maybe he can do a slab sided flat-wrap plastic version of the basic Osprey design. The higher span of the monoplane, and the span being lower to the water, will give it a little better takeoff performance off water. ..................................................................................................................................................
Mono-plane means a lower parts-count. However, putting the wing too close to the water-line increases ground-effect, but also increases the risk of a wave damaging the wing. A second disadvantage of low-winged seaplanes is all the dents from whacking docks, boats, etc. Consider that the 98% of the floatplanes still in production (Cessna 206, Caravan, deHavilland Twin Otter, Quest Kodiak, etc.) are high-wings. Ergo, most of the sketches of my pet flying boat include a parasol wing to minimise the number of dented dock workers.

##### Well-Known Member
You really need to consider what aircraft you end up with rather than just the build time and complexity.

It's only my opinion but I have quite a number of hours in a friend's Osprey 2 and we both decided it was the second worst aircraft we'd ever flown. And it was a constant source of hassle to keep it airworthy.

My friend didn't build it, he bought it from the builder. The builder was an experienced homebuilder, it was his third project IIRC. It won an award at 'our Oshkosh' for the quality of the build.

In the couple of years that we had it the nosegear jammed halfway open causing a very dangerous incident where the aircraft submarined to about 20ft depth on landing and, fortunately, came back up to the surface in reverse ... the main gear locked solid, the main gear collapsed, the main gear rusted out and sheared off. The maingear had large springs to assist with the dead-weight of the retraction and the springs broke, or maybe it was the cable connected to the spring.

The engine mounting steel structure suffered rust problems and cracks. Admittedly all of the rust problems were probably due to poor coatings but it's mad to mix inaccessible Chromoly structures and a saltwater environment. From the structural problems experienced with the Osprey I vowed never to have an amphib unless it was composite.

That's just the structural side of it, and there were other problems too, rusty bolts, jammed bellcranks, wood rot ...

Operationally though, it was similar. Water handling in general was a bit iffy, the water rudder had a tendency to flutter so was generally unusable except below 5kts, between 5kts and 20kts the directional control was difficult, or sometimes non-existent, except straight into wind so all water taxying had to be done at high power and faster than harbour authorities would approve.

In anything over 6in/150mm of chop on the water the canopy had to be closed because, being forward opening and with so little freeboard, the cockpit and occupants would be swamped otherwise. The plane could easily sink itself at anchor if a small swell developed. Once the canopy was closed you couldn't see a thing while taxying until you got fast enough to rise up on the step.

In the air it was a total dog. The difference between stall speed and cruise speed wasn't much at all and the stall was vicious with a rapid wing-drop, and you could easily lose 1500ft in a simple stall recovery. The prospect of stalling on short final was very concerning especially when a fair wind gradient was present so approaches had to be flown fast which restricted the runways that could be safely used.

Water landings were sometimes exciting, to say the least. After the early episode with the nosewheel another incident happened where a nosewheel door stayed open due to the pilot flying slightly unbalanced (they were closed by springs, not pushrods) and the water pressure blew the rubber boot out of the back of the nosewheel compartment and flooded the cockpit. So mirrors were installed in various locations on the wings where the pilot could check the gear and doors before landing.

If you didn't fly the thing right onto the water at speed instead of holding off a bit, it tended to touch the water and bounce back up to 10ft or so but having lost flying speed of course, that got even more exciting as you applied full power and had to hold the stick back and just wait for the thump(s) back onto the water.

A very experienced water ops pilot flew it a few times to try and help with developing special techniques which might make it more user-friendly. He gave up after about 20 landings and declared it unfit for service.

Not long afterwards a senior instructor who had decades of water ops experience was teaching his daughter in it. They got too slow on a water landing, bounced, dropped a wing and cartwheeled. It broke up and went straight to the bottom with them still strapped in. They escaped fortunately, but then, IIRC, threatened to sue anyone who might listen ...

Apart from that the Osprey is a little beauty!

#### bmcj

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
The SeaRay is an outgrowth of the older aluminum tube ultralight design philosophy. Much more advanced than an ultralight for sure, but it is stlll a point along that continuum.

The Osprey is a point along the old-school wooden homebuilt design continuum. I believe it is an utterly traditional design in that long-established method.

So for me, it would boil down to what type of materials, hardware, and construction philosophy you are more drawn to.
Very true.

Although the engineers here will probably issue an arrest warrant for me...
Do you have a good lawyer?

#### Himat

##### Well-Known Member
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Apart from that the Osprey is a little beauty!
:gig:
Look nice, but that's about it?