This Sikorsky S-39 was built by Bob Grossman and
flown by John Krupp at the Midwest Regional Float
Fly. RCM Plans were enlarged by 18% to get it to a
90-inch wingspan. Jay Smith photo.
Why fly from water? It provides an opportunity to expand the experience of our hobby, and you can learn new
skills specific to water flying. Most importantly,
it’s just plain fun!
The following is an attempt to provide a
foundation for successful flying from water. For
those of you who haven’t tried float-flying or
have had an unsuccessful attempt, the following
tips from my 25 years of float-flying should help.
Floatplane vs. Seaplane
Floatplanes are typical-configuration airplanes,
equipped with pontoons. Seaplanes have boat-shaped fuselages that provide flotation. I will
primarily discuss floatplanes.
Most land-based models can easily be
converted to floatplanes. Does your model have
spritely performance off of grass? If so, it is a good
candidate. If your model struggles to get off of
grass, it probably will not handle the extra weight
and drag of floats.
by Darrell Watts
39 Model Aviation APRIL 2014