Flying boats worthy of preservation

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Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby WhyMe » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:26 pm

I've got a hypothetical question for you, guys.

Let's say there's a way of preserving/restoring existing flying boats (and seaplanes) to the flying (if at all possible) or at least "museum-grade" condition before they are completely gone from the scene.
Do you know of aircraft out there that in your opinion would desperately need something like this? What would be your argument for preservation of those aircraft versus other ones?

Naturally, and I think most of you would agree, all flying boats and seaplanes (and land-based aircraft for that matter) worth being preserved. Maybe we can name top 10 (or more?) that are your personal highest priority?
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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby OGJ » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:21 pm

OK, I guess I'll start the ball rolling.

Although I've never seen one, only pictures, I think a "Fleetwings Sea Bird" should be on the list as only 1 prototype and 5 production models were ever made back in the mid 1930's, which makes it a rather rare aircraft. The Sea Bird was unusual because of its construction from spot-welded stainless steel. Info on it can be found in the links below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleetwings_Sea_Bird

https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive ... 02873.html

http://www.airwar.ru/image/idop/flyboat/seabird/

One for sale:
https://www.platinumfighters.com/fleetwingsseabird
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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby dogsbody » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:14 pm

Nice! Thanks for posting OGJ.


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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby WhyMe » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:10 pm

Yay, we've got the first candidate!

That's exactly what I was talking about: an interesting and historically significant flying boat. And already for sale too.

Thank you, OGJ!
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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby OGJ » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:05 pm

First off, I'm no expert on the Fleetwings F-4 or F-5 Seabird Amphibian but from my understanding the prototype or first one built was a Model F-4, with a serial number of F-401. It was a 4-place aircraft with a 225hp. Jacobs L-5 engine.

The F-5 Seabird, which went into production, was a 5-place aircraft with a 285hp. Jacobs L-5 engine but they only produced 5 aircraft. (Serial numbers from F-501 to F-505) Fleetwings initially planned to manufacture 50 production units, but at a price approaching $25,000 during the Depression, there proved to be no sustainable market.

Checking on the FAA REGISTRY I found the following:

Serial Number: F-401 - FAA REGISTRY - N16793
Yellowstone Aviation Inc.
℅ Greg Herrick
PO Box 6291, Jackson, Wyoming
83002-6291

First registered as NX-16793, NC-16793, then to a Canadian mining company as CF-BGZ and then back to NC-16793 in 1940.

Serial Number: F-501 - FAA REGISTRY - N16918 - Canceled April 27, 1948
Howard J. Cooper
405 W Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
49007

Serial Number: F-502 - FAA REGISTRY - N19191 - Current
Frederick W. Patterson 111
94 Sarcedo Way
American Canyon, California
94503-1448

Serial Number: F-503 - FAA REGISTRY - N19192
Frederick W. Patterson 111
94 Sarcedo Way
American Canyon, California
94503-1448

Serial Number: F-504 - No records found at registry or the internet.

Serial Number: F-505 - FAA REGISTRY - N19194 - Canceled October 27, 1949 - listed as destroyed.
J. W. Dowdle
Air Terminal Building Lindberg Field
San Diego, California
92101

Here are a few more links about the Seabird.

https://adventurersclub.org/archives/AC ... 201987.pdf (page 14)

http://members.eaavintage.org/wp-conten ... c-1976.pdf (page 4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDVPR86sU1s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_KNbIjc4tU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTdG8zYSXr0
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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby MrWidgeon » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:03 am

Except for F-401 there are no complete Seabirds left, the last airworthy F-5 (F-502) was lost in a hangar fire in the early to mid 1990s, the other 4 F-5s all crashed.
There are parts of about 3 F-5s, F-501, F-503 (the most complete) and a few bits of F-504 that are all part of a future restoration, but this project has changed hands several times and last I heard was no further along that it had been at the start.
F-504 went to the CAA as NC5 and was sent to Alaska where it crashed in 1940, it remained a nuisance so the remains were bulldozed the following year, some small parts have been recovered for use in the stalled restoration project.

As for F-505, my Dad flew it for a company in New Orleans prior to WW 2, so I have an interest in the airplanes.
F-505 was taking off from Catalina Island when the last of several rear engine support strut bolts failed and the engine pivoted forward and down. The prop amputated the feet of both people in the front seats.
Quick action by a nearby Dr. saved their lives, but the airplane sank. It was recovered, but the damage from the incident and recovery was so extensive it was hauled back out to deep water and dumped.
I understand searches for it have been undertaken without success.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't hold out much hope for the restoration of F-503, as Channing Clark who restored F-401 found out the skins on the airplane are as thin as a razor blade and about as sharp, its difficult to find Stainless Steel that thin and workable and the spot welding process is even harder.
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby OGJ » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:40 pm

Thank you MrWidgeon for the update in the Sea Bird info and I don't mean to hi-jack WhyMe's post here, as it seems I'm getting a little odd topic but will bow out after this post and let someone else continue on.

I thought I would let all know why I decided on this aircraft, when there are a multitude of aircraft to choose from. First off, it fit the question asked by WhyMe and until recently I had never heard, seen or known of a Fleetwings Seabird (sometimes printed as Sea Bird). When I was 3 years old, in 1949 (yikes, how time flies) we moved to the Dog Creek Airport, west of Williams Lake, B.C., Canada. We left in the fall of 1951 and the airport closed down in 1960, as it was moved to Williams Lake. The person in charge at Dog Creek was an amateur photographer who took many pictures of both airports. Some how I got connected up with his son and had a friend send me a disc of some of the pictures. In it was two pictures listed as Williams Lake Airport #1 & #2, I'll try and post them, if they come through they will be below, hopefully.

In searching info about these aircraft I found a Channing Clark bought F-401 in mid ? 1960's, restored it and was flying it sometime around 1969/1970. I'm guessing here but I've seen a photo on the internet that states Channing Clark & Sea Bird F-401, taken in June/July 1970 at Prince George Airport which is around 150 air miles north of Williams Lake Airport, so I'm assuming the pics I have are from the same timeframe as the Prince George pics.

As MrWidgeon states: "I hope I'm wrong, but I don't hold out much hope for the restoration of F-503, as Channing Clark who restored F-401 found out the skins on the airplane are as thin as a razor blade and about as sharp, its difficult to find Stainless Steel that thin and workable and the spot welding process is even harder."

That is one more reason to add this aircraft to WhyMe's list.
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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby dogsbody » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:59 pm

OGJ, your pictures do not show. The forum's photo-posting does not work, unfortunately. You will have to use an off-site image hosting site, like Flickr or Imgur, VillagePhoto, or whatever you like. If you do not use one of these, you could send the pictures to me via PM or email, and then I can post them for you.



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with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"
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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby MrWidgeon » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:41 pm

OGJ, F-401 was based in the St. James Lake area of Canada for about a year and a half as CF-BGZ, those photos may have been taken when it was on that registry.
I hope you can figure out how to post them, I'm curious too.

Bill
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Re: Flying boats worthy of preservation

Postby OGJ » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:42 pm

MrWidgeon wrote:OGJ, F-401 was based in the St. James Lake area of Canada for about a year and a half as CF-BGZ, those photos may have been taken when it was on that registry.
I hope you can figure out how to post them, I'm curious too.

Bill


I don't think those pics are from that time as CF-BGZ as Channing Clark finished the rebuild around 1968/69 and these pics are from around that time-frame if you look at them as it appears to be Channing Clark in the photos. I sent them off to Chris and I'm sure he will get them on but I will have one Widgeon pic for you that you might like and if everything works out ok, I'll send it to Chris and hopefully he will post it also.

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