Seaplanes Aircraft that typically take off and land on water...radio control seaplane discussions are in here.

Seaplane debate

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Old 08-08-2012, 04:56 PM
  #1
billybobjoepants
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Default Seaplane debate

Hello, all. I'm in the market for a midsize (this means about 36"-50" to me) single-engined waterplane kit. I considered adding floats to my 50" cub, but I'm looking for something really unique, and it's time I built another plane anyway. I've narrowed down my search to 3 planes I've found, all of which are pretty similar, but none of them has a whole lot of documentation out there. They all have some positive remarks online, and youtube videos galore, but this will be the first comparison (that I've found anyway.) If anyone has had experience with any of these kits, shout out and let me know how you like em'!
They are (da-da-dumm...)
The alien aircraft dragon seaplane (it's worth mentioning that this plane and the aqua star were both designed by Tom Herr, but for different companies.)
And, last but not least, the house of balsa float plane .10.
All of them are thin-hulled seaplanes with tip floats and the engine mounted in a pod above the fuse. The Herr and house of balsa planes are designed for gas, but I hear that they can be converted for electric, and the dragon is electric by design- I'll build either way, but I think that for a seaplane gas would be a prudent choice. Going to the lake means I don't want to have to fly for 15 minutes and leave (with a battery that needs to be recharged) and if the engine gets wet there's no ESC to fry. I'm leaning heavily toward the Herr aqua star, because it obviously has byfar the best looks, and is supposedly very spirited with a cheap .049, whereas the house of balsa flier needs a .10. There are rumored ROW problems, but the chine rails Herr now recommends are supposed to fix this.
Other than these thoughts, I don't know yet- I would actually really like to see some really harsh arguing about them, because only in a debate will we see people really pointing out their pros and cons. If you have any other ideas of waterplanes that might fit my bill, please don't hesitate to point them out here- but I want a good old-fashioned balsa kit, not some pinko ARF.

Alright, let's begin!
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:28 PM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

Pfffttt they all look the same to me... nothing to debate.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:39 PM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

BBJP
I have built the HOB float plane. It is a very nice kit. The laser cut parts fit together perfectly. I put an OS FP.10 on it with an 8x3 prop; the prop was way to big for the engine, so it just barley got of the water and would just barley fly. However that was not the fault of the plane; rather my choice of props. I have not had a chance to fly it with another prop 7x5 so I really can't comment on how it flies.

Oscar
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:03 AM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

Have A SIG Sealane, grown up version of a Aquastar(so I'm told) ROW as designed is a real PITA. Chines help, but still not satisfied, intend to build up hull to look more like the Ace Seamaster for added bouyancy this winter. HOB Chea-pass same problems, built per plans with an OS .10 LA, hull sits way too low in the water have not ROW with it yet.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:18 PM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

I guess there is a debate,, something that size I'd go EP for sure,, those little glow engines are a pita

here's something different in that size I put together a few months ago http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11011705/tm.htm
I just upped the power with a bigger motor,, haven't tried it yet
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:23 PM
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billybobjoepants
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

Quote:
ORIGINAL: evan-RCU

Pfffttt they all look the same to me... nothing to debate.
If they looked much different, the decision would be easy, and thus no post would be needed.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: SBOT

I have built the HOB float plane. It is a very nice kit.
Thanks for the info! I've found it sort of hard to find comment on this slightly obcure kit.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Lamoilleriver

Have A SIG Sealane, grown up version of a Aquastar(so I'm told) ROW as designed is a real PITA. Chines help, but still not satisfied, intend to build up hull to look more like the Ace Seamaster for added bouyancy this winter. HOB Chea-pass same problems, built per plans with an OS .10 LA, hull sits way too low in the water have not ROW with it yet.
Hadn't seen the SIG plane before, and I was liking it- until I saw the price. 60 more dollars for just 20 more wingspan inches versus the aquastar! Hope they can justify that with a great kit. Not likely buying it either way, though- it's a little larger than I'm looking for, and supposed ROW problems are no good.As for the HOB plane, I've only heard good comments so far- maybe you used exceptionally heavy wood, like normal play instead of balsa? Or maybe with the flat hull, it's designed to sit really low. Maybe the good comments have just been caused by the overall lack of input.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: scale only 4 me

I guess there is a debate,, something that size I'd go EP for sure,, those little glow engines are a pita
I've determined at this point that no matter what kit I build, I'll set it up electric with a receiver battery and no BEC. That way I'll almost always have enough power to taxi back to shore. I've heard from a lot of people by now that .049 engines cannot be trusted in a seaplane, and I know when to take advice.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: scale only 4 me

here's something different in that size I put together a few months ago http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_11011705/tm.htm
I just upped the power with a bigger motor,, haven't tried it yet
Floatplanes are definitely cool, and I have to commend the choice of homebuilt WWI-era floats as the perfect accent for a stick style plane!
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:07 AM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

What you need is a plane that will draw some attention. A tiny little electric or a glow powered toy won't cut it. Something you can be proud of because you built it yourself and it has some BALLS! How about a 125% North Star with some serious power.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:30 AM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

You forget that some of us worry about "money."
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:37 PM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

Just about anything can be put on floats, does not have to be a flying hull type design. Great Planes has some .20 size floats that you can use on just about anything, just throwing out ideas. Many folks make their own floats with blue/pink foam insulation and plywood formers/braces and covered in fiberglass.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:44 PM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

how about a Polaris from ModelAero.  Several at our club.  fly off water, grass or snow.  Great flyer.  Electric.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:04 PM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

I have to say: I have flown a Polaris several times and it is a sweetheart.  Today I was playing with it and working on landing technique.  It's fun to kill power, glide in, level about a foot above the water, and add about 1/4 throttle while gently raising the nose.   It assumes about a 20 degree aoa  and settles in for a splashless gentle landing.  
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:06 AM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate


Quote:
ORIGINAL: billybobjoepants

You forget that some of us worry about ''money.''

Yeah, a $3,500 turbine sitting lost at the bottom of a lake is way out of my "disposable" income.

Not to mention the fact that the guy might just like to build and fly as ends to enjoyment rather than "drawing attention".

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Old 09-08-2012, 05:38 AM
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Default RE: Seaplane debate

I started flying seaplanes about 10 years ago, and have tried a lot of different designs. The one in the pic is my favorite. It's a Laddie Mikulasko Arrow. The plans are available at rcmplans.com and a lazer cut kit at http://lazer-works.com/rcm.html.

It is very fast and aerobatic with an OS 46AX. I'm planning on swapping that out with a Sport Jett 40 some day to get a stronger vertical and more speed.

This one always draws a crowd at the lake. Most people think it's a jet until I bring in it close.

There are some issues with the design as printed, so if you're interested in it, PM me before starting. (Biggest is the need for 5 degrees downthrust on the engine mount)

As far as the various designs with the engine on a pylon above the wing, I developed a real distaste for them. Unless they have a lot of upthrust in the engine pod, they are buggers to get on plane, and the upthrust makes them handle weird in the air. The Herr Aqua Star is the worst, and I wouldn't even consider it as a project.
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