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

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Jimstix

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The biggest problem with displacement hull water-based airplanes (let’s just call them flying boats, amphibious or not) is that there is just not much need for them. Endless miles of asphalt runways abound so landing on the water (while very cool indeed) is not needed by most of us. Alaska and Canada are exceptions to this rule.
The next big problem is weight. Landing on water puts huge loads on the hull plating and internal structures within the hull, not to mention the wings, floats, and powerplant installation. All of those loads add structural weight. If you want to amphibious, you need retractable landing gear, so please add more weight
Next are power and drag. I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard of an overpowered flying boat. The thrust needed to get a flying boat out-of and off-of the water is huge. The hull form, power plant installation, and wing floats add gobs of drag not seen in most landplanes.
Last but not least is the fact that you are intentionally landing your airplane in water, fresh or salt. The water has a tendency to go from the outside of the airplane to the inside so you can sink. If you only take on a little water you cause corrosion, causing maintenance, causing increased costs. Jim
 

davidb

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Do you understand...

BJC
I’m still missing something. Perhaps it is the lifting of a ban already in place that increases the liability risk? Perhaps the shoreline is a continuous ring of homes and the lake is small meaning seaplane operations wouldn’t be prudent anyway? Otherwise, I don’t see why the owners of a private lake see jet skis as a lesser liability threat than seaplanes.
 

davidb

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The biggest problem with displacement hull water-based airplanes (let’s just call them flying boats, amphibious or not) is that there is just not much need for them. Endless miles of asphalt runways abound so landing on the water (while very cool indeed) is not needed by most of us.
Agreed. The era of flying boats ended when improvements of infrastructure made them not needed. They now only have use where water fun is a priority or where infrastructure doesn’t yet exist.
 

FritzW

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Anyone heard anything new about Dmitry and his SH-2?

P.S. I didn't know the wings folded. ...pretty neat

009.jpg
 

spaschke

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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
Please go to https://www.seaplanepilotsassociation.org/ and learn the facts before making/ upholding a restrictive policy like that. Boating incidents are common, Seaplane incidents are very rare. Boaters are mostly untrained and unregulated, Seaplanes pilote are trained and regulated. Where are the lawsuits likely to come from? Boating.
 

TFF

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I think for a private owned body of water, the liability insurance goes up if allowing aircraft operations. That in its self will shut down most chances. No cost increase, it probably would not matter. Insurance companies will not let that be, though. Location Location Location. It matters where you stand in the US to where you are going to be allowed to do these operations. The further East you go, the less likely it will be operations will be OK. Especially North East. Main reason is population. East of the Mississippi is a real difference than West. I would say Dallas/ Fort Worth is the only spot that could be on either side. There a lot of lakes East, lots are big enough for water ops, but only if no boats are around. It may be fun but its not common enough for boaters to know what to do. It does not matter where the lawsuit comes from; its out of pocket money waisted because no one will win in reality except lawyers.
Once a month a transportation inspector flies in to the area in his Lake to do an inspection. Just so happens there is a short monorail that needs inspecting on the Mississippi. He gets to land in the Mississippi, work and go home. If traffic or needs fuel, he comes to the airport which is only a couple of miles away. Lucky guy. I have two friends with float plane ratings. Except for Alaska, there is no real way to profit from a seaplane. It is almost like a glider where there is no true commercial trickle down to keep infrastructure alive for the enthusiast. Because it is pure hobby, it really needs a big stake for people to take notice of the need, which it does not have. The way it is now, not being noticed is probably best.
 

Vigilant1

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Boating incidents are common, Seaplane incidents are very rare. Boaters are mostly untrained and unregulated, Seaplanes pilote are trained and regulated. Where are the lawsuits likely to come from? Boating.
When a boat and a seaplane bump, and the boater ( or boater's family and slip-and-fall lawyer) sue the pilot or the owner of the lake, will the Seaplane Pilots Association provide a lawyer at their cost to provide a defense against a frivolous suit? Pay the claim if the suit goes the wrong way? It is a shame things have to be this way, but . . .
 

Riggerrob

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Seaplanes are a popular way to commute between major cities on the West Coast. Harbour Air uses Otters to connect downtown Vancouver with downtown Victoria and downtown Nanaimo. Harbour Air delivers passengers to the busiest part of downtown Vancouver a mere two blocks from the central Skytrain Station: Waterfront. I suspect that they also have a scheduled route to Seattle. Harbour Air mostly flies turbine Otters, both single-engines and Twins. A few other small airlines dock their Caravans, Beavers and Otters beside Harbour Air.
All these floatplanes are popular ways to connect villages with floating logging camps and isolated mines.
Kenmoore flies similar routes out of Seattle. Many small towns - up the coast - have no road or railroad access to the outside world.
 

davidb

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When a boat and a seaplane bump, and the boater ( or boater's family and slip-and-fall lawyer) sue the pilot or the owner of the lake, will the Seaplane Pilots Association provide a lawyer at their cost to provide a defense against a frivolous suit? Pay the claim if the suit goes the wrong way? It is a shame things have to be this way, but . . .
So what happens when a boat bumps a boat? A seaplane on the water is a boat. Seaplane pilots are trained to avoid any potential conflicts with boats. A seaplane in the air is an airplane. As such, it can legally fly all over any private lake as long as it doesn’t get closer than 500 feet to persons, vessels or structure. I get the frivolous lawsuit issue but I’m not seeing why seaplanes are a higher risk for those suits.

edit add: SPA membership doesn’t have any insurance coverage or legal aid tied to it.
 

Topaz

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I’m still missing something. Perhaps it is the lifting of a ban already in place that increases the liability risk? Perhaps the shoreline is a continuous ring of homes and the lake is small meaning seaplane operations wouldn’t be prudent anyway? Otherwise, I don’t see why the owners of a private lake see jet skis as a lesser liability threat than seaplanes.
They have jet skis, and their spouses and kids are riding them, or in the boats they have otherwise. Airplanes operating from the same patch of water are seen as terrifically dangerous to what they're already doing with boats and jet-skis. Plus the airplane noise goes over their houses. Watercraft stay out on the lake.

It's a very strong case of NIMBY. If they all owned seaplanes, it'd probably be a very different story. "Liability" is just a reason to use with the government and lawyers to make it stick.

Seaplanes are a popular way to commute between major cities on the West Coast....
Interesting. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to extend much further south than San Francisco and, despite what the news in San Francisco and the rest of the country would have one believe, most of the state of California is south of San Francisco.
 

Jerry Lytle

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So what happens when a boat bumps a boat? A seaplane on the water is a boat. Seaplane pilots are trained to avoid any potential conflicts with boats. A seaplane in the air is an airplane. As such, it can legally fly all over any private lake as long as it doesn’t get closer than 500 feet to persons, vessels or structure. I get the frivolous lawsuit issue but I’m not seeing why seaplanes are a higher risk for those suits.

edit add: SPA membership doesn’t have any insurance coverage or legal aid tied to it.
The 500 ft rule does not apply when aproaching a landing or climb out after take-off.
 

spaschke

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When a boat and a seaplane bump, and the boater ( or boater's family and slip-and-fall lawyer) sue the pilot or the owner of the lake, will the Seaplane Pilots Association provide a lawyer at their cost to provide a defense against a frivolous suit? Pay the claim if the suit goes the wrong way? It is a shame things have to be this way, but . . .
yes but that is not my point. seaplane - boat incidents are extremely rare. I have only heard of one. boat-boat or just single boat incidents are common. I've saved a boater's life when he fell out of his boat all alone far from shore, was drunk, and couldn't get back in his boat(because he couldn't catch it).

My point is:
Lawsuits due to seaplanes don't exist or almost don't exist. If the owner of a lake is going to get sued due to a vehicle, it will be a boat. Making a restrictive policy without knowing the facts is a bad thing.

studies done:
https://www.seaplanepilotsassociation.org/resources/downloadable-seaplane-resources/

I don't know if there were any other concerns in this case but none were mentioned.
 

spaschke

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They have jet skis, and their spouses and kids are riding them, or in the boats they have otherwise. Airplanes operating from the same patch of water are seen as terrifically dangerous to what they're already doing with boats and jet-skis. Plus the airplane noise goes over their houses. Watercraft stay out on the lake.

It's a very strong case of NIMBY. If they all owned seaplanes, it'd probably be a very different story. "Liability" is just a reason to use with the government and lawyers to make it stick.



Interesting. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to extend much further south than San Francisco and, despite what the news in San Francisco and the rest of the country would have one believe, most of the state of California is south of San Francisco.
SOME of the watercraft noise stays on the lake. Not the jetboats with the v8s with the straight exhaust pipes, they are every bit as loud as the airplanes and can be heard for miles. In Minnesota, where I grew up on a lake, there are seaplanes on most lakes large enough.
You're right, It is a different story there. The seaplanes don't land near boats. I thought that was part of the first lesson. You don't hear complaints about the seaplanes, not even the water bombers with the big Rolls Royce radials that come over to scoop up water. People do complain about the loud jetboats though.
 

davidb

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The 500 ft rule does not apply when aproaching a landing or climb out after take-off.
Can’t use that defense if the lake prohibits takeoffs and landings and it is poor form anyway. Seaplane pilots have a vested interest in not annoying people.

The NIMBY issue is real. I didn’t know “liability issues” was code for NIMBY.
 

davidb

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.... The seaplanes don't land near boats....

I conclude you have never been on Seattle's Lake Union on a nice summer day. How near is near? :)
It depends. Ski boats and jet skis are hard to predict. Fishing boats and party barges are fairly predictable. It is not just the vessel but the wake that poses a hazard. Sometimes one half mile is too close. Sometimes one hundred feet is safe. It also depends on the phase of operation. Touching is safe if you’re just floating and it is intentional. So you may have seen some close operating but next time observe closely. You won’t see a seaplane land or takeoff in a beehive of jet skis with wakes crisscrossing all around.
 

nerobro

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On the first point, the rounded hull shape is a displacement hull. As it gains speed the hull develops a strong downward lift, a suction if you will. Watch any sailboat as it gains speed, the bow gets sucked down which greatly builds drag till it reaches what is called "hull speed" Canoes and Kayaks are greatly affected by these forces.
Ocean going vessels, be these freighters, tankers or whatever have added the bulb on the bow which to the non understanding would seem to create drag. But what that bulb does is greatly reduce the downforce which limits the hull speed.
That's not how it works. Displacement hulls have the stern sink as you increase speed. Sailboats are displacement hulls, but they've gone far out of their way to minimize those effects. As a hull moves in the water, it generates a wave. As the wavelength of that wave starts to get near the length of the boat, the boat starts having to "climb" that wave. If your hull design doesn't allow the boat to climb on top of that wave (usually with lots of lifting surface in the rear of the hull, and a sharp separation to allow the water to depart the hull..) you're just going to dig a progressively deeper hole in the water.

One of the largest factors in resistance of a boat in the water is that bow wave. Bulbus bows are designed to make a wave "just out of sync" with the main hull wave, and the interaction of those waves cause a much, much smaller bow wave. This reduces drag overall, in spite of the greater wetted area.

The suction effect "is a thing" too. And happens with stepped hulls as well. Seaplanes can have trouble getting unstuck, without some small wave action. Amusingly, high speed boats do that thing intentionally, with aeration slots built into the hulls to introduce air under the boat.

Hydrofoils could lift a displacement hull out of the water, at a speed low enough that hull speed effects are likely to not be a big issue. With the not so good side effect of needing deeper water to land the plane in. Seaplanes and flying boats can land in anything much more than wet grass. A hydrofoil based landing will need a couple of feet of water to land in.
 

Himat

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That's not how it works. Displacement hulls have the stern sink as you increase speed. Sailboats are displacement hulls, but they've gone far out of their way to minimize those effects. As a hull moves in the water, it generates a wave. As the wavelength of that wave starts to get near the length of the boat, the boat starts having to "climb" that wave. If your hull design doesn't allow the boat to climb on top of that wave (usually with lots of lifting surface in the rear of the hull, and a sharp separation to allow the water to depart the hull..) you're just going to dig a progressively deeper hole in the water.
Less the hull is designed to not change trim and rather run «trough» the bow wave. That is one design strategy for fast ferry hulls. Slender hulls with a sharp separation at the rear and a forward hull that don’t get lifted by the bow wave.

I did look at the numbers once, a slender hull on a STOL seaplane could be designed as such a “displacement” hull. The take of speed would then be lower than the “planning” speed of hull. It look like the Centaur seaplane/Gull UAV is designed along these lines.
http://www.warrioraero.com/centaur/capabilities.htm
 
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