Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a questi

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Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a questi

Postby seawings » Fri Oct 29, 2021 8:27 am

Hello Everyone,

Here's a question running through my head; does anyone have any information on (1) How many and what type of Flying Boat(s), Amphib's or Seaplanes are operated within the UK for entirely leisure usage by their owner(s), (2) and the same question for Europe...?

Also, (3) if you were to learn of an operation within both the locations of any of the above types, what would you want to fly-in given the chance to pay for a ride..? And that leads to the question, (4) what would you be prepared to pay for the flight...?
Just me having a rare moment of dreaming......!
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Bryan Ribbans
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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby DavidLegg » Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:59 pm

I see no-one has come back on this so I'll give a thought or two. The only large flying boat, or indeed large seaplane, flying in the UK is the Catalina (ex-RCAF Canso A) G-PBYA owned by Catalina Aircraft Ltd and operated on its behalf by Plane Sailing Air Displays Ltd. It is not operated purely for pleasure as, whilst it is a pleasure to fly in it, it has to be financed and so its bread and butter income comes from airshows (in normal times!), occasional film work and charters of the aircraft and crew. It currently operates on an unrestricted Standard Category Certificate of Airworthiness but that means that we cannot fly fare-paying passengers. It does not stop us flying passengers but it is not economic to do that without reward.
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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby seawings » Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:46 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for the input; yes,fully understand all that you have said.

I was thinking more towards a person/persons who wanted to start a concern that would fly 'boats, smaller than a Cat' for leisure flights and what the costs would be, what the outlay would be, and what interest there would be from enthusiasts. etc.

I know it sounds weird, but their is a reason.

What about something as small as a Republic RC-3 Seabee or a Lake type, Grumman Widgeon or Goose maybe...?
Best Regards,

Bryan Ribbans
Owner of:

The Flying Boat Forum
SEAWINGS - The Website

"I put the sweat of my life into this project, and if it's a failure, I'll leave the country and never come back".
Howard Hughes, re: the HK-1 Hughes Flying Boat, aka the 'Spruce Goose,' 1946.
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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby flyernzl » Sat Nov 06, 2021 10:48 pm

Currently in NZ there are two Lake amphibians registered to private owners.
Also a couple of home-builds - Taylor Coot, Searey and so on. Maybe a few microlights that also utilise floats.

From what I have seen over the years the operating costs of GA aircraft (Cessna, Piper, Beaver etc,) on water are such that there needs to be a substantial commercial income to make that sort of project fly. I suspect that the Lakes are actually operated on a business basis so that the ongoing costs are at least tax-deductible.

With the current Covid-induced 'hits' on tourism even the commercial floatplane operators are struggling, and at least one is actually in hibernation.
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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby MrWidgeon » Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:10 pm

I know there are a few smaller seaplanes, but no Widgeons, possibly a Teal or maybe Lake or two and one Goose in Ireland that's out of license at the moment.
The UK isn't very seaplane friendly, with I understand restrictions on most bodies of fresh water that can handle them, leaving mostly salt water ops.
My info isn't very fresh and David my have more up to date gen, but from what I can gather that's the best I have.
A check of the UK register may provide a better source for local aircraft.

Bill
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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby Aeromarino » Wed Nov 10, 2021 2:31 pm

I'm not an expert on seaplane aviation in Germany, but I guess the legal requirements for water fiying are quite restrictive here, even if you can say that the situation has improved a bit in the last few years. At first glance you might think that Iren Dornier with his flying boats Do-24 and Do-S-Ray 007 is the only remaining active flying boat pilot in Germany.

But if you take a closer look, the situation is a bit different. There is the „Deutscher Wasserflieger-Verband. This is an association of private pilots who promote seaplane aviation in Germany and internationally, as it says on their website. The association even operates its own two seat SeaRay flying boat D-EDWV. And apparently there is still the private operation of seaplanes, including flying boats within the association.

https://www.deutscher-wasserflieger-verband.de/english/

Furthermore there is Flywhale. Behind this is apparently the company Uniplanes GmbH from Frankfurt as the operator of the flying boat with the identification D-MFLW.

https://flywhale.de

And there is also the small aircraft manufacturer Frank-Air, which is the operator of an airfield on Lake Sedlitz in Saxony.

http://www.frank-air.de/wasserlandeplatz.htm

This is what I found through a first quick search. But I think there is more private seaplane activity in Germany.

And yes, I would indeed pay for a flight which I still dream of too, but its hard to say what would be a realisitc amount.

Axel
Last edited by Aeromarino on Wed Nov 10, 2021 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby DavidLegg » Wed Nov 10, 2021 6:02 pm

MrWidgeon wrote:I know there are a few smaller seaplanes, but no Widgeons, possibly a Teal or maybe Lake or two and one Goose in Ireland that's out of license at the moment.
The UK isn't very seaplane friendly, with I understand restrictions on most bodies of fresh water that can handle them, leaving mostly salt water ops.
My info isn't very fresh and David my have more up to date gen, but from what I can gather that's the best I have.
A check of the UK register may provide a better source for local aircraft.

Bill


Hi Bill - re the UK position. So, we have been operating Catalinas since 1985. With the first one we used to use it on salt water from time to time so in the UK we landed on the outer Thames twice, on one occasion taxying up to Tower Bridge. We also landed on the water at Pembroke Dock, again salt. Regarding fresh water, we landed on Fritton Lake in Suffolk a couple of times, once on Bewl Water on the East Susses/Kent border and did an extended stay on Windermere. In addition we landed on loughs in N Ireland. The last time we landed it on salt water was the ill-fated occasion on Southampton Water when it was damaged beyond repair.

The position with our current aircraft is that we do not land it on salt water. These days, landing on fresh water in the UK is not easy as most decent bodies of water are reservoirs and there are restrictions on those that preclude us. Windermere is not possible these days. There have been floatplane operations on Loch Lomond and we did land there once to pick up some passengers. We have used Lough Erne in Northern Ireland and Loch Ness in Scotland but our main place to train has been Biscarrosse in SW France.

I am not really au fait with landing places for small floatplanes but to be honest there are not too many in the UK anyway.
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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby AlexNortonesq » Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:16 pm

Feeling a little discriminated against because you choose to exclude Canada from your question, but I will take the high road and ignore that. (You know I am only looking for an opening sentence, and am teasing....)

The Canadian Warbird Heritage Museum in Hamilton ON operates a Consolidated Canso that was manufactured in 1944, by Canadian Vickers in Montreal and served with the RCAF until 1961. It is now painted in the colours and markings of RCAF No. 162 Squadron and is dedicated to Flt. Lt. David Hornell, VC, who was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

In order to fly in the Canso, as with any of the Musuem's aircraft, you must first be a member of the Museum (1 year adult membership $125 (CDN). Then pay the fare. For a seat in the Canso for a 60 minute flight, the cost is $650 (Canadian) for which you will receive a tax receipt against your Canadian income taxes of $390. (Prices current as of today)
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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby dogsbody » Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:19 pm

Hmmm! Maybe I might have to renew my membership.



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Re: Fancy a flight in a flying boat/Seaplane...? Here's a qu

Postby MrWidgeon » Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:45 pm

Hi David, that's kind of what I thought. Maybe one or two single engine seaplane operators in the north is about all I can remember.
Again, checking the register for seaplanes (Cessna 206s ?) would be the best bet. If you can find one, they pretty much know who the rest are, it's a small group.

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