So the amphibious seaplane thing is pretty much dead in the water so to speak ??

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TFF

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Here is a practical problem. Insurance. The stranger it is, the less chance you will get insurance on it. You will have to self insure. Self insuring a $20,000 airplane is not that big a loss. Hurts, but it better not be changing your life stile loosing the money; you are not suppose to be spending rent money on a toy. $200,000 airplane and even a multi millionaire will say bad investment. A friend of a friend just got a Seawind; thumbs up all around. No one will insure him in it. Airline captain maybe, but no 500 hr Cessna Piper driver. Now he has a plane he can't fly because of money risk. A friend putting his VK30 together probably will not have insurance except liability. He is a retired airline captain but has not flown in eight years. Its a 200K project that may or may not be worth something in the end. There was another VK30 at the airport that was a total loss when the engine quit on takeoff; no one hurt but it was self insured because not insurable and a turbine. By by a couple of hundred grand.
 

FritzW

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...Bring back the Libelle! ;-)
They kind of did:

avid_catalina_web1.jpg avid_catalina_web3.jpg

At only $20k for the kit I don't know why there wern't more Avid Catalina's.

General characteristics
Crew: one
Capacity: two passengers
Length: 19.40 ft (5.91 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
Wing area: 150 sq ft (14 m2)
Empty weight: 600 lb (272 kg)
Gross weight: 1,200 lb (544 kg)
Fuel capacity: 17.5 U.S. gallons (66 L; 14.6 imp gal)
Powerplant: 1 × Rotax 582 twin cylinder, liquid-cooled, two stroke aircraft engine, 65 hp (48 kW)
Propellers: 2-bladed wooden

Performance
Maximum speed: 90 mph (145 km/h; 78 kn)
Cruise speed: 75 mph (121 km/h; 65 kn)
Stall speed: 32 mph (51 km/h; 28 kn)
Range: 364 mi (316 nmi; 586 km)
Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3,800 m)
Rate of climb: 1,000 ft/min (5.1 m/s) while operated solo
Wing loading: 8.0 lb/sq ft (39 kg/m2)
 

Topaz

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They kind of did:...

At only $20k for the kit I don't know why there wern't more Avid Catalina's....
And where would they be able to justify the water hull? Excepting areas like the Pacific Northwest or Florida, approved or even allowed areas for an amphibian or seaplane to land on the water are not exactly commonplace.
 

Hot Wings

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And where would they be able to justify the water hull?
Interesting chicken and egg kind of thing:

It was mentioned above about a side by side water 'runway' for water landing. It's much easier to scrape out a trough, line it with bentonite and then fill it with water than it is to build a nice flat runway - especially if the land isn't already pretty flat. Lower maintenance than a grass strip as well. Even around here where it gets down to -20F in the winter it will remain ice free for a surprising number of days in the winter.

No one will build such a water runway without demand and there will be little demand unless there are already a number of aircraft that can land on water.

Being able to land on water, even if it is illegal to do so, should open up a lot more emergency landing places?
 

Topaz

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... Being able to land on water, even if it is illegal to do so, should open up a lot more emergency landing places?
Would it? Enough to justify the drag, weight, and fuel-expenditure penalty the rest of the time? Or would a fraction of that money be better spent learning more about off-airport landings in a landplane than the 3-5 "pull the throttle on you" examples you get in the course of regular flight instruction, to almost never be practiced again?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm totally biased about this because of what I fly. It's not that I dislike amphibians - I'm just as interested as everyone else - but when it comes down to it, unless you happen to live in one of the relatively few areas with lots of open, unregulated bodies of water, there's nothing but "cost" associated with having the hull or floats.

Which, I think, is why these kinds of airplanes don't sell well, in all those places with few open, unregulated bodies of water.
 
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BJC

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And where would they be able to justify the water hull? Excepting areas like the Pacific Northwest or Florida, approved or even allowed areas for an amphibian or seaplane to land on the water are not exactly commonplace.
I will confess that I had the opportunity to loosen restrictions on several privately owned lakes. I elected to retain the “no seaplane operations” restriction to minimize the PITA factor as well as to minimize the risk of becoming a deep pockets liability target. The liability issue has nothing to do with right and wrong; it has everything to do with public image and the cost of mounting a defense of frivolous law suits.


BJC
 

ScaleBirdsScott

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In addition to pylon-mounted engine configuration like the Thurston Teal and other designs, the parasol wing with a wing-mounted engine and sponsons like the Dornier Libellule (or auxiliary floats like the bigger Shavrov Sh-2) is also very appealing in a small flying boat or amphibian. I think that latter configuration works better for a very light amphibian in terms of weight and balance issues because it puts the heavy engine forward and the pilot and passenger very close to the center of gravity.

View attachment 74124 View attachment 74125

As a matter of fact, other than having a limited payload because of the rather heavy empty weight, the Dornier Libelle I was pretty much spot on as an LSA for water operations...back in 1921! With a modern engine producing more power with less weight and modern understanding of how to build light but strong all-metal structures, it would be just great. Bring back the Libelle! ;-)

DORNIER LIBELLE
Specifications (Libelle I)

General characteristics
Crew: one
Capacity: two passengers
Length: 7.18 m (23 ft 7 in)
Wingspan: 8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)
Height: 2.27 m (7 ft 5 in)
Wing area: 14 m2 (150 sq ft)
Empty weight: 420 kg (926 lb)
Gross weight: 640 kg (1,411 lb)
Fuel capacity: fuel 42 kg (93 lb)fuel + oil 10 kg (22 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Siemens-Halske Sh 4 5-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engine, 45 kW (60 hp)

Performance
Maximum speed: 120 km/h (75 mph; 65 kn)
Cruise speed: 100 km/h (62 mph; 54 kn)
Range: 300 km (186 mi; 162 nmi)
Service ceiling: 1,600 m (5,200 ft)
Ugh I want one so bad.

Or at least plans. If I knew the airfoils and sizing I could do the rest. Even have the perfect engine for it!
 

Riggerrob

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How minutes to fold wings on an Avid Catalina?
How long (feet) grass runway does it need for takeoff?
How long a lake (feet) does it need for takeoff?
 

BBerson

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I have an Avid Amphibian kit to finish. But I don't have any need for actual water landing. My thinking is just flying low above the water is enough for what I want to do.
And the hull (kind of like antique glider skid) is great for landing in an emergency in a plowed or grass field. I never liked the idea of fixed gear to flip over in an emergency landing.
 

Tiger Tim

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unless you happen to live in one of the relatively few areas with lots of open, unregulated bodies of water, there's nothing but "cost" associated with having the hull or floats.
I happen to live in one of those areas and I see floatplanes mostly for two very things in two very different areas: outdoorsmen and rich folks.

The outdoorsmen charter planes on straight floats to take them way out from civilization to go hunting and fishing. There’s some neat stuff too. Beavers and Otters, Caravans, all manner of Cessnas, Beech 18s and even a couple Norsemen still. The wealthy folks charter Cessna Caravans and Turbo Beavers on amphibs to fly them from a couple airports in Toronto up to their lakeside cottages on the weekends.

Note that with the exception of the Beeches all of those floatplanes are high-wings (made even higher with the plane all the way up on floats). This allows them to use the existing docks that may or may not have been built with airplanes in mind. A Lake amphibian needs an incredibly low dock and I’m not sure something like a Taylor Coot can be docked at all. You’ll never find a seaplane ramp up out of the water around here (or at least they’re pretty rare) so you have to work with the docks that there are.

Note also that most floatplanes are flying in places where the lakes are seasonal. In the winter they often operate on skis or wheels, with the resulting bump in useful load you get when the heavy floats come off. Even the Caravans out of Toronto go back on wheels for the winter so they can help move the mail around Christmas time.

From where I’m sitting, this is why you don’t see a lot of flying boats.
 

Topaz

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I will confess that I had the opportunity to loosen restrictions on several privately owned lakes. I elected to retain the “no seaplane operations” restriction to minimize the PITA factor as well as to minimize the risk of becoming a deep pockets liability target. The liability issue has nothing to do with right and wrong; it has everything to do with public image and the cost of mounting a defense of frivolous law suits.


BJC
Exactly. And I know you're hardly an anomaly in that regard.
 

Hot Wings

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there's nothing but "cost" associated with having the hull or floats.
That is what I have thought, and how I'm still leaning but, maybe I/we am/are just being biased - like some pilots are toward flying wings?
 

davidb

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I will confess that I had the opportunity to loosen restrictions on several privately owned lakes. I elected to retain the “no seaplane operations” restriction to minimize the PITA factor as well as to minimize the risk of becoming a deep pockets liability target. The liability issue has nothing to do with right and wrong; it has everything to do with public image and the cost of mounting a defense of frivolous law suits.


BJC
I’m not getting something. How does no seaplane operations affect liability and whose liability? I can see reasons why some entity would not want motorized vehicles on a lake but if motorboats and jet skis are permitted, what is the justification for prohibiting seaplanes?
 

blane.c

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I’m not getting something. How does no seaplane operations affect liability and whose liability? I can see reasons why some entity would not want motorized vehicles on a lake but if motorboats and jet skis are permitted, what is the justification for prohibiting seaplanes?
Ignorance, mostly perpetuated by the press.
 

BJC

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I will confess that I had the opportunity to loosen restrictions on several privately owned lakes. I elected to retain the “no seaplane operations” restriction to minimize the PITA factor as well as to minimize the risk of becoming a deep pockets liability target. The liability issue has nothing to do with right and wrong; it has everything to do with public image and the cost of mounting a defense of frivolous law suits.


BJC
I’m not getting something. How does no seaplane operations affect liability and whose liability? I can see reasons why some entity would not want motorized vehicles on a lake but if motorboats and jet skis are permitted, what is the justification for prohibiting seaplanes?
Do you understand how liability law suits work? Anyone who can find a lawyer willing to take a contingency fee case can file a law suit. It has nothing to do with the target having done something wrong. It has to do with the target perceived to have lots of insurance and or lots of assets. In my post, the potential target was (is) a Fortune 200 corportion. Once the law suit has been filed, there will be news coverage, and even if it is fairly and accurately reported, large public corporations try to avoid it. And the case will need to be defended in court, which is a PITA for everyone involved, and a big distraction from one’s primary business. And then the jury may ignore the law (Are you familiar with the concept of jury nullification? Then there are juries in injury or loss of life cases that act on sympathy rther than legal liability.) and make an award, and the cycle repeats through the appeal.

All it takes to start the mess is an airplane running aground and getting damaged. Boaters are enough of a pain; pilots are a special class of pain. Imagine the mess when a boat hits an airplane, or vice versa, and someone gets killed.

The PITA factor could be as simple an event as having a resident near the lake complaining about an airplane flying too low over their house.


Ignorance, mostly perpetuated by the press.
As noted above, even accurate reporting of the facts often leades to adverse publicity.


BJC
 

Topaz

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That is what I have thought, and how I'm still leaning but, maybe I/we am/are just being biased - like some pilots are toward flying wings?
The drag of the hull, the weight of the extra material to prevent penetration by floating debris during high-speed operation on water, the weight and drag of the sponsons or tip floats, retractable gear, the extra maintenance of a structure you're dunking in water on a regular basis...

None of those seem like "bias" to me. YMMV, of course.
 

blane.c

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With the perception that the size of the average pilot is increasing, and therefore increasing the cabin size is prudent, incorporating the increased cabin size to accommodate a portion of the hull could amortize the weight and drag of a flying boat.

I like the S-38 best.S-38.png

It would be cool to design a floatplane that incorporated the floats into twin-booms reminiscent of the S-38 but smaller and put the occupants some in each float.
 

cluttonfred

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Ugh I want one so bad. Or at least plans. If I knew the airfoils and sizing I could do the rest. Even have the perfect engine for it!
Shavrov Sh-2 plans can be found...but they are in Russian. Knowing that the Volmer Sportsman and Anderson Kingfisher both used what were basically Cub or Champ wings, I don't think the airfoil is very critical. Piper J-3 Cub specs with 80-100 hp ought to be a pretty good conceptual start, you want the big wing area to get up off the water fast. Personally, I'd try to channel the spirit of those designs rather than build an exact replica, though the Shavrov has always appealed to me. See also:

http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20458
http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23240
http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23551
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,18079.0.html
 
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