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


Old 08-05-2004, 12:25 PM
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Hello all,
I have never built a flying boat & wanted to inquire about some general info concerning the build of a 1/2A boat
I am flying a SIG LIL Rascal with .074 Norvel & it is well powered & was thinking about putting together a high wing flying boat with the motor attached atop the wing. What are the ideal locations/proportions for a good flying boat?
The LiL Rascals dimensions are what I'm using as a guide
Is there a rule of thumb for the step in the hull as far as size/distance?
Typically are the wings removable?
What are the hulls typically made from? (formed plastic/covered balsa/mono-coat?)
Any advise will help
Old 08-05-2004, 04:36 PM
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Hi. I just got into float flying recently but I have since built numerous floats and am now building my second flying boat (check out "My PBM project" under seaplanes). My first one was an electric powered 22 in wingspan seaplane that didn't have enough power to get off the water and has since been shelved until I can afford a micro brushless/lipo setup. So here's what I know so far. I'm also guessing this is going to be around a 33 in. wingspan. The step should probably be, for a 1/2A seaplane, approximately 1/4 -1/2 in. behind the CG. The step should be about 1/4 to 3/8 tall. The hull should have 53% of the waterlength in front of the step and 47% behind. The hull width should probably be around 5 inches wide at the step for a 1.5# pound plane. The wing should have a positive incidence of 2 degrees and the motor, if mounted above the wing, should have approximately 4-5 degrees of up thrust. Using the Lil Rascal as a guide is probably a really good idea. The wings are usually removable for ease of transportation but I don't see a 33" wingspan as being too much of a hastle if you were to build it one piece. If you build the wing removable, make sure to use foam wing saddle tape to help keep the water out. All of my floats have been covered in monokote and it works really well as long as you don't beach it. Just make sure all of the seams face rearward to help prevent the water pealing it off and use some sort of sealant (epoxy, balsarite, laquer, etc.) around the step because this is where they all seem to leak, no matter how good of a job you do on the monokote. I would also recomend making the bottom of the hull V'ed to help with rough water handling and steering. I recently flew a Seamaster with a flat bottomed hull and I wasn't to impressed with the water handling, especially in mild chop, although the flight performance more than made up for it. Hopefully there are more people that can either correct me and my advice, since I'm pretty new to this myself, or add to it. Good luck with the project and be sure to post pictures.
Old 08-07-2004, 07:07 AM
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No need to re-invent the wheel. The Sig/Herr Aquastar is designed for the Norvel. With the addition of chines, it will take off easily from water. Without them, it won't. The chines are detailed in a supplemental instruction included with the kit.
Old 08-07-2004, 02:02 PM
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No, don't reinvent it. Just learn why it rolls and how to build one.


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