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  1. #1

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    1st Float Plane

    I want to get a float plane but not sure what is a good first float plane. Been flying RC for 17yrs and giant scale for 17yrs but water is something new that I have been wanting to try. Here is the list I have been looking at. Any input on which one is best for a first float plane?

    Electric
    Great Planes G44 Widgeon
    Great Planes PBY Catalina
    Flyzone Beaver

    Gas
    Great Planes Giant Stik
    H-9 1/4 scale Cub



  2. #2
    flyinwalenda's Avatar
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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    I'll give you my choice for the best first float plane and it's not on your list. The Sig Kadet /Senior on built-up/glassed floats. It flies and lands scale with no bad habits. For a first seaplane I would select the Seamaster , Mariner or a clone.
    From your list:
    Widgeon: I never flew one but I'd stay away from a Twin Seaplane as a first float/seaplane.
    Catalina ; Nice plane but I don't think it's a good choice as a first float/seaplane.
    Beaver: Never flew that model but have flown a similar sized Beaver Nice flying floatplane with no real bad habits.
    Giant Stik: Can't beat a stik on floats!
    1/4 Scale Cub: Watch the take-offs and landings as those little bad habits are amplified with the floats. Also the handling in the air is exaggerated...just need to be on top of it.
    Actually almost any floatplane will have exaggerated handling because of the floats. Some planes handle it well others not so well.
    From your list I would choose the Beaver or the Stik.

    Brian Ray

  3. #3

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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    I have been flying the little Flyzone Beaver and it is a great little plane ...I think it is a perfect place to start .. It is cheap and flys well...I bought mine without the transmitter because I don't need another transmitter.. I just put one of my own recievers into it and went from there...For $200.00 you get a neat little plane.. I love the lite system...The flaps work great too...It is a bit small ... You get 10 min flights easily .. I am not much on electrics but things like this are good reason to try it out... There is another one you might want to take a look at.. I have it and I just love it .. It is the Little Electric I Con put out by Parkzone , It is an absolute riot to fly , You can get it BNF or PNP .. It is a flying boat , pusher prop type and easy to fly...You just take it to the field or pond fully assembled and away you go...After you get hooked you will probably want too get something bigger.. High wing planes usually make good float planes.. Cubs are nice on floats...A trainer like a LT40 or a Protege make nice float planes.. Almost anything that you have that you like to fly set up properly with the rite sized floats will fly well on floats ..Let us know what you decide and have fun...
    Ken , Biker BC Cub Brother #6 Ultra Sport Brother # 100 Tiger Club # 7 Pulse Brother # 1 Sig Brother # 58 Top Flight Brother # 9

  4. #4

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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    Buy the way I have 3 1/4 scale Cubs and 2 1/3 scale Cubs.. I Have one of my 1/3 scale Cub set up on floats permanently.. The 1/4 scale I move back and forth but I am building a set of floats and one of the 1/4 scale will become a dedicated float plane.. I find the bigger they are the easier they are to fly...The smaller Cubs can be a bit of a challenge to get off the ground but the 1/4 scale and up I find very easy to get in the air...Both on wheels or floats...I found the Hanger 9 floats to be a little on the flimsy side... They look nice and fit okay.. You need to watch for leaks constantly , I beefed mine up before they even went in the water.. I am building a set of my own solid core foam floats and I might use the hard ware from the hanger 9 floats unless somebody wants to buy them...I think they are over priced and although they work well They just don't stand up very well...I bought them for my PA18 because they were supposto bolt rite on and away you go.. I was so impressed with the plane that I thought the floats might be the same...They sure look great but man are they flimsy , like an egg shell almost...I had one float the needed to be replaced and it took four tries before I got one that wasn't damaged in shipping .. So if you are going to get the Hanger 9 1/4 scale Cub it is a great flyer and makes a wonderful float plane but expect to have a bit of work to do if you want to use the Hanger 9 floats.. Hanger 9's new PA18 is even better than their J3 Cub and makes a nicer float plane ..It has flaps ..
    Ken , Biker BC Cub Brother #6 Ultra Sport Brother # 100 Tiger Club # 7 Pulse Brother # 1 Sig Brother # 58 Top Flight Brother # 9

  5. #5

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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    Thanks,

    I like the ideal of getting the small electric ones being set up to go fly. But I will only get to an area to fly off water a couple time a year, so I like the ideal of a larger gas model to fly off grass the other 99% of the time. But I do like the looks of the beaver.

  6. #6
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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    Ican recommend the GPG-44 Widgeon. Aftera hairy maiden Imade three changes that gave it a better disposition. Add a hair of up to both ailerons (1/16" above flush on the upper surface) to give a bit of washout. Program in 40%differential aileron. And addAPCprops. The 9 x 4.7gives nice torque. For speed Iswap out for APC9 x 6E props. It's a head turner in the air and a great seaplane. Rugged; but it has a high wing loading and has to be flown in or it will stall. And twins sound great even with the electric motors.

    It's also a good effort to mix in differential throttlefor watersteering. That works great.

    A friend has the Flyzone Beaver and that's a nice floatplane. The black "paint"seems to ruboff fairly quickly. Almost no cabin access (just a hatchbetween thewing bases)soit would be hard to switch out components. It also requires the flaps be mechanically connected if you take the wing off, so it's apparantly designed to be transported assembled.

    You can't loose with a Giant Stik. Stiks on floats are the tigers at float flys.

    Ihave a Saratoga 40 on Hanger 9 floats and it is a sweetheart and my favorite float plane. Of course they discontinued the ARF. A Pulse on floats would be close (low wing instead of mid wing).
    Charlie P. (NY) "Gravity is weak but persistant".

    AMA 747089/IMAA 30723

  7. #7
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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    Ditto on the larger Cubs flying better with floats ; those smaller ones can be a handful. Even then I think a larger Cub would make a good second float plane but not a first. Ditto on the H9 floats also. They are WAY over priced for the quality inside. I've seen 4 sets on 25% cubs in two years split in half just from a less than stellar landing. They look like a bums shoe where the sole seperated from the body all the way back to the heel !
    Brian Ray

  8. #8

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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    I have the Great Planes fabric coverd on floats. What a grrrreat flier and looker !!! I put a 91 magnum 4 stroke in it.

  9. #9
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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    You don't have this on your list, and it is a bit smaller than the planes you do have listed, but the Flyzone Tidewater is an excellent flyer and lands like it is on rails on water. I don't speak from years of experience like others here, but the Tidewater made me a fan of seaplanes.I also have the Flyzone Beaver but have only flown it from grass using the wheels, however, it is a very good flyer also. The floats are on it now, after my experience with the Tidewater, I am looking forward to trying the Beaver off of water. Jim

  10. #10
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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    I have a standard answer for anybody wanting to start float flying: Take your favorite sport plane and add floats.  You'll be flying a familiar plane and your learning curve will be MANY slope-points ahead of where it would be if you start with a new plane/new environment.  Most any RC sport plane has adequate control surfaces to handle well with floats.  AND (unlikely) if you find that floaty flying is not your bag, then all you are out is the dinero for a set of floats and not a whole new airplane. 

    Dittos on the Sig Kadet Senior as being the GREATEST floatplane.  I have one tricked out with a flat, bolt-on wing, Ailerons and flaps, and the significant features modified to look like a CUB.  Mine has PlaneFun flots (42") and a HeadsUp Sport 60 Electric, on 4S 4200 battery pack running thru a 100A ESC.  Vertical Performance! YeeHah!  Smaller Kadet models work well, too. 

    My other standard advice is to use foam-core floats.  They are lighter, which affects the airplane's handling less.  They are more durable because they can't leak and sink.  They can leak-but they are repairable.  Plane Fun Floats, and Seaplane Supply are my top choices. 

    Jim Casey/Seaplane Nerd
    http://www.smilesandwags.com/Floats.html

  11. #11

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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    I agree with Jim Casey. Add floats to your favorite sport model. I like the Stick type airplane. Forgiving, not CG fussy, rugged. great airfoil for fartin around
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  12. #12
    ronwc's Avatar
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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    I have flown at least 10 different float planes over the years including many Seamasters, Sealane, Icon, Seawind, CG J-3's, Northstar, Drake, Laker and many others I can't remember. In the last year I have been flying more electrics with the Icon and Seawind, both pretty good planes. But overall, if I could only have one, I would pick the Seamaster, just the best all around design IMHO. The perfect Seamaster would be an electric conversion, which I'm working on, see below. I'm thinking a Power 32 with 4 cells.
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    Ron - AMA 1025 - Largo, FL

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not

    completely sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

  13. #13

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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    don"t forget about a seawind rtf great plane have a flyzone beaver to like it . Gas get a super cub from hanger 9 see thay are out of stock put a 35 dle in mine

  14. #14

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    RE: 1st Float Plane

    so did you fly it yet or are you still waiting for christmas


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