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Monday, January 08, 2007

The wide world of seaplanes







Bill Zang takes his Universal Hovercraft airborne outside the Seaplane Base opening.
It was on the internet that I found more interesting pictures of seaplanes. Of special interest was the picture of an arttist's conception of what a C-130 would look like with floats attached.
Seventy percent of our world is covered by water. That means that aircraft that can only take off and land on land can only use a limited number of runways. Therefore, it only makes sense to design an aircraft to be able to use any available lake or river to use as a runway. The best compromise is to design the aircraft as an amphibian. That way, an aircraft is not only limited to land or water. Amphibians can use both land or water to take off and land, the best of both worlds.
Despite their large land mass, the former countries of the Soviet Union seem to me to show the most interest in developing large jet-powered amphibious flying boats. In addition, there are some airlines that only fly floatplanes. They also seem to be popular with bush pilots for their ability to use water as runways.


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