The Ideal Flying Boat?

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The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby Adventureguy » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:04 am

Let's say you lived in an area with lots of good places to use a small flying boat...

Would building a small flying boat be a worthwhile enterprise?
If so, what would the ideal flying boat be like?

Keep in mind that, even if you dress like Howard Hughes, you don't have his money...so this ideal small flying boat would probably not seat more than four people, nor would it have turbine or jet engines (sorry, SR A1 fans). And, sadly, it cannot defy the laws of physics, as we know them today (sorry, Dr. Who fans).

Would it be a fiberglass Widgeon?
Would it be a 1/8th scale model of the Spruce Goose, except for the engines?
Would it take up the line of the Savoia 55, 66 & 77 in wood and in miniature?
Would it follow the lines of the SR Princess in carbon fiber, but use twin engines?
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby MrWidgeon » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:30 am

The fiberglass Widgeon has already been done.
It's called the Ellison-Mahon Gweduck (Gooeyduck) that seats 6.
If that's too big for you there's the Biemond CB-1 Teal (formerly the Commonwealth Trimmer) that seats 3.
Both can be found in the Post War section up near the top of the main page (on page 5 of the Post War section).
There are a couple new amphibs that have come out of Russia in the last few years, they can found in the same section.
If nothing else grabs you try the Lake series of amphibs, 1 engine, 4 seats, a solid performer.
There's lots of choices out there.
But you'd better have SOME of old Howards money, because they're all going to set you back at least $150,000 and up for a nice airplane.
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby achean » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:03 pm

A really nicely laid out biplane flying boat along the lines of the SM-62 would have to be the thing. How can these lines ever be bettered?

Image

Although, I grant you, it'd be nice if it didn't take 500 horses to drag it into the sky.
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby Adventureguy » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:00 pm

Thanks for the replies. I didn't know about the Gweduc or the Trimmer (I can understand the confusion with the Skimmer now). I agree that the SM-62 is quite good looking, but I am afraid I've read too much about aerodynamics to truly enjoy building even so good-looking a biplane.

A US-ultra-light scale model of one of the classic giants would be at the solid end of my thinking for this particular project. That is possible, affordable, and interesting, if someone else hasn't done it already. I saw on the Radio-Control Flying Boat Models board that Ho229 is building a 1/32th-scale HK-1 (aka H-4) and is planning a 1/10th-scale model of the last (?) version of the Princess. A giant scale model in the single-place class seems one step up from that, such as the Princess in 1/6th scale instead of 1/10th. If its empty weight could be kept under 284 pounds, it might fly in the US ultra-light class, which allowed multi-engine aircraft without penalty. Likewise for a manned scaled model of the Hughes flying boat.

At the far end of my thinking for this particular project would be a 4-place, spartan but seaworthy flying boat using modern materials and incorporating some of the lines of one of the classic boats...but which could be built for under US$100,000, a price that would make it attractive relative to today's cornucopia of much larger non-flying yachts.
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby TASSE » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:24 pm

Why not try one of Volmer Jensens designs. They are only 2 seaters but plans are easy to get.

TASSE.
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby Adventureguy » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:02 pm

Thanks for the posts. This project has been progressing some on paper and I may have a drawing to post soon.

What is that picture? Is that a "SeaRey"?
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby Adventureguy » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:48 am

Design and construction of something new should surpass what is already available to be a worthy effort. As you have pointed out, Gweduck has the fiberglass Widgeon covered, and Lakes and the like are available. There are a few ultralight types claiming water capability. As you also mentioned, there are also several two-place flying boats such as the Volmer Jensen and the SeaRey. Some fit into the USA's Light-Sport classification, which seems a useful spot, in the midst of the original range of ideas, for a flying boat with a proper cabin that one might expect aboard a flying boat, a cabin which would allow comfortably extending one's flying boat adventures:

Speculative Specifications:
649 kilograms (1430 pounds) maximum (gross) weight
15 square meters (160 square feet) approximate wing area
Single four-cylinder engine
Two place
Standing height inside when afloat
Space for comfortable sleeping

The cabin's the thing. Looking at the list of favorite classic flying boats, two approaches to the cabin come to mind:

First is a conventional single hull, perhaps looking a bit like the Hughes or the Princess. A 1/8th scale Hughes would have appropriate wing area with about 12 meters (40 feet) wing span, 8 meters (27 feet) length, and 3 meters (10 feet) height. Although scaling to the graceful lines of one of the giants is tempting, in this case the hull appears to scale to only about 1.2 meters (4 feet) high, requiring a camper's "pop-top" for standing height, and there are those eight engines, rather than one, and the scaled-down propeller clearance above the water. A less nostalgic but more practical approach might start with the SIAI Marchetti Riviera, enlarge the cabin, and convert the tail to an inverted "U" with longer booms to recover the lost stability and trim.

Second is the case of the catamaran, the doubled-digit Savoia Marchetti series, which had seating in the central wing for the crew and in the hull for passengers. For most of us, standing height is a bit less than 2 meters (6 feet 6 inches) and seated height is only about 1 meter (3 feet 3 inches). So a central wing about a meter thick would allow sitting and sleeping, and twin hulls would allow bits of standing room to each side. The requisite single engine could revive the look of the original 55. The central wing, though, would need at least 3 meters (10 feet) chord, I think, and consume too much of the intended wing area while providing too little wingspan. An overabundance of wing area, perhaps 20 square meters or 220 square feet, suggests a flying wing, but a tailless aircraft would be most difficult to trim with a pylon-mounted engine trying to pitch the nose down, so the inverted "U" tail on twin booms appears here, too.
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby BenoitLescot » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:05 am

First is a conventional single hull, perhaps looking a bit like the Hughes or the Princess. A 1/8th scale Hughes would have appropriate wing area with about 12 meters (40 feet) wing span, 8 meters (27 feet) length, and 3 meters (10 feet) height. Although scaling to the graceful lines of one of the giants is tempting, in this case the hull appears to scale to only about 1.2 meters (4 feet) high, requiring a camper's "pop-top" for standing height, and there are those eight engines, rather than one, and the scaled-down propeller clearance above the water.


exactly what I'm doing ;) Crazy yes, has to be !
https://sites.google.com/site/late631replica/
(edited to include link)
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby Adventureguy » Fri May 11, 2012 2:12 am

Designing for the US Light Sport Aircraft rule is proving to be a daunting task. The requirement for a single engine only forces a choice of either poor balance and lots of trim to correct it (pusher engine behind cabin or pylon-mounted engine) or inefficient aerodynamics (tractor engine front and center). Any helpful suggestions in these areas?

It would appear that sticking to this (Light Sport Aircraft) rule, although it seems attractive in regulation costs, also sinks the idea of a manned model of the H-4. Hmmm...
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Re: The Ideal Flying Boat?

Postby Adventureguy » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:13 pm

A sketch of the approach based on the doubled-digit Savoia Marchetti series would be posted, except that "...the board attachment quota has been reached."
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