esgg
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Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:24 am

It would be interesting to see a 747 with floats, but I suspect that I have to wait a looong time to see that.
But my simple question as the title says: Biggest plane with floats?
 
aloges
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:33 am

That would be the Hughes H-4 Hercules, if I'm not mistaken.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Steelhead
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:38 am

I don't think this qualifies as a float-plane. But I have seen pictures of a DC-3 on floats
 
Steelhead
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:40 am

I found the link with pictures:

http://www.dc3history.org/floats.htm
 
Arniepie
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:42 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
That would be the Hughes H-4 Hercules, if I'm not mistaken.

Interestingly I saw this quote about the Hercules;
"Some critics of Howard Hughes' massive Spruce Goose claim that the famous flying boat's first (and only) flight was due entirely to wing in ground effect and that the craft was incapable of sustaining flight above a very low altitude. It is probably true that the Spruce Goose was underpowered in its current configuration."

So if we're to take ground effect planes also as possible candidates.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lun-class_ekranoplan

Which was both longer and much heavier than the spruce goose
[edit post]
 
Gemuser
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:46 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 1):
That would be the Hughes H-4 Hercules, if I'm not mistaken.

Definitely NOT a float plane!
AFAIK the C-47(not DC3) float plane was the largest aircraft ever put on floats.
See: http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/...image&handle=steamlaunch&number=32


Gemuser
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aloges
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:48 am

I've found another plane that I had vaguely remembered along with the Spruce Goose: the Martin Mars. What makes this type interesting is that it has survived in active service to this day, so it should be quite an experience watching one of these planes.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
aloges
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:51 am

Quoting gemuser (Reply 5):
Definitely NOT a float plane!

I don't think there's a need for yelling - the OP might be interested in flying boats just as much, since he didn't specify "only land aircraft converted to marine use". Wouldn't it be nice if we could simply exchange information on interesting aircraft without fighting over which of them better fits a definition?
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Burkhard
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:08 am

What about the Dornier X - it actually had some very successful long range flights.
 
vv701
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:21 am

The Saunders Roe Princess was not a float plane. It was a flying boat. However it did have retractable wing-tip floats. It is therefore in the mix to be considered to be the "biggest plane with floats".

This four and three quarter minute video tells the life story of the three 10-engined turbo-prop Princesses:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV1eUeo27tc
 
Arniepie
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:25 am

another big conventionalairplane converted to floatplane possiblilty, but never came to realization
http://www.g2mil.com/c130seaplane.htm

Quote:
Lockheed-Martin developed a "floatplane" conversion kit that allows a C-130 Hercules to operate from water
[edit post]
 
tcasalert
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:28 am

The Beriev BE-200 is a biggy too, albeit not on the scale of the Ekranoplan, but it at least performs as a regular aircraft.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/MChS_Beriev_Be-200_waterbomber.jpg/800px-MChS_Beriev_Be-200_waterbomber.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beriev_Be-200
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BE77
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:29 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 6):
it should be quite an experience watching one of these planes.

Yep, it is  
Many (including me) see them at the Sproat Lake base, and once on a tour we were allowed to walk and climb around inside.
Also one year a a large Forest Industry Convention in Vancouver, they had one doing water drop circuits at CXH for an hour or so on at least two days, so anyone in downtown Vancouver saw it doing it's thing. Even the non-a.nuts in the office I was in thought it was cool.
Fun fact - CXH controllers could look 'down' at a Mars doing water drops as the tower is over 450 feet above sea level.
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
 
esgg
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:34 am

I really didn´t want to start an argument of what is a floatplane or not.   My definition is simply a plane that does NOT flot on its own body! The floating is achieved by floats mounted the same way as an ordinary landing gear.
I.e. the Saunders-Roe Princess does not qualify as an answer to my question.
 
corey07850
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:50 am

 
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SEPilot
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:09 pm

Quoting corey07850 (Reply 14):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ6zTZuq5zw

This brings back memories-in 1999, when I was running the VSF FBO, one of the friends I made had several Albatrosses, and he was flying one to the Greenville fly-in, and invited me to come along. I flew my 182, as he wanted to get some air-to-air videos of the Albatross. It wasn't a particularly good weekend weather-wise, but we did get some good air-to-air videos on the first day. On the second day we were pretty much socked in most of the day (the Albatross was at the airport, not on the water) but towards the end of the day the weather lifted enough for us to go down for some water landings. I got to ride on the Albatross this time; we buzzed the seaplane base and went out to land on the open water (the regular landing area was too confined for the Albatross.) We were just landing when several of us saw what looked to be an overturned boat with two people clinging to it dead ahead. That is exactly what it turned out to be, and we rescued them. They were both hypothermic, and probably would not have lasted had not someone come along, and there weren't very many other boats out that day. This incident got a half-page writeup in Flying magazine; it was nice that the Albatross got to again fulfill its original purpose.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
vv701
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:59 pm

Quoting esgg (Reply 13):
the Saunders-Roe Princess does not qualify as an answer to my question.

So did you ask the wrong question?

You said::

Quoting esgg (Thread starter):
But my simple question as the title says: Biggest plane with floats?

My simple and possible answer was the Saunders Roe Princess.

Note that the Princess was certainly big.

Note that the Princess flew at the Farnborough Air Show and on many other occasions, so it was certainly a plane.

Also note in the video that the Princess was very clearly fitted with two retractable floats, one on the end of each wing.

So exactly how does the Princess not "qualify" to be considered as the "Biggest plane with floats"?
 
esgg
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:29 pm

There may be a slight misunderstanding here, or, a difference between swedish and english vocabulary.
From my swedish point of wiev a flotplane does not flot on its body, it uses floats.

A seaplane floats on its body and may use floats on the vingtips to keep balance in the water. But it is
no floatplane, it is a seaplane (or a flying boat).

I hope this clarifies.
 
aloges
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:37 pm

Quoting esgg (Reply 13):
My definition is simply a plane that does NOT flot on its own body! The floating is achieved by floats mounted the same way as an ordinary landing gear.

Thanks! That clarifies it.

Size-wise, this Italian attempt comes close to the DC-3:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CANT_Z.509
but it was much lighter than the Douglas aircraft. So perhaps the DC-3 is actually your answer, every larger seaplane that I could find was a flying boat.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
flipdewaf
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:47 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 16):

I think this one is bigger


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Photo © Gil Yu



  

Fred
Image
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 19):
I think this one is bigger

It might have a little difficulty taking off, however. 
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
RubberJungle
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:47 pm

Can't recall whether the Ju 52 might have topped the DC-3 in terms of wing-span...

http://www.lordadmiral.com/WWII/0035-GermanPlane0003.JPG
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:46 pm

I think what the original poster meant was not a plane that built for the purpose of being a float plane - ie Amphibian

The Bereiv B-200, the Spruce Goose, the Grumman Albatross, Goose, Duck, Widgeon, the big flying boats of the 40s/50s etc were amphibians - built as a purpose to operate on land or water.

What the poster means is a plane that was built as purpose to operate from land only, but someone popped on some floats on the bottom - like the various high wing Cessnas, DHC-6, Beech 18, DC-3, various LSAs etc.
 
Steelhead
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:29 pm

Looks like the JU-52/3m beats the DC-3/C-47 in relation to wingspan by a few cm, but on the other side the DC-3/C-47 is the overall heavier plane.
 
MD-90
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:49 pm

I think the S.20 Mercury would be a candidate. Its max gross (26,800 lbs) was barely more than the DC-3 but it is a smaller plane by wingspan and length. It certainly would win the category of the longest flight ever by a floatplane: 6045 miles.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v284/Fleetwing1627/MM_Short_Mayo_Composite_scan.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v284/Fleetwing1627/Maia_and_Mercury_August_1938_Our_Generation_1938.jpg
 
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Tugger
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:00 pm

I believe this is the biggest float plane: CANT Z.511
http://www.warbirdphotographs.com/Regia4/CantZ511-7af+.jpg
Unfortunately she had a short production life as she became a victim of WWII. But she did fly and was a big float plane (bigger than the the DC-3).

Length: 93 ft 6 in
Wingspan: 130 ft 9 in
Empty weight: 45,522 lb
Max weight: 75,240 lb
Powerplant: 4 × Piaggio P.XII RC.35 radial engines, 1,120 kW (1,500 hp) each
Max speed: 228 knt, 262 mph
Range: 2,447 nmi, 2,796 mi

A great write up is here: http://warbirdsforum.com/showthread.php?t=2975

Tugg

[Edited 2011-10-17 10:04:46]
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
MD-90
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:38 pm

I love that link, Tugger. Never heard of that plane before.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v284/Fleetwing1627/CantZ511IdroGigante1s.jpg
 
harleydriver
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:47 pm

Quoting steelhead (Reply 2):
I don't think this qualifies as a float-plane. But I have seen pictures of a DC-3 on floats

I used to see this airplane on a fairly regular basis while fishing on Moosehead Lake in Maine which is where I am from. I loved seeing it at Folsoms landing in Greenville and I always hoped I would see it fly and occasionally I did. I got a chance to get in the plane at an airshow at NAS Brunswick in southern Maine in the '90s and watched the airshow from under its wing. I miss that airplane, there was something magical watching it takeoff and land from Moosehead Lake. Simply beautiful!!
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signol
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:00 pm

Quoting esgg (Reply 17):
A seaplane floats on its body and may use floats on the vingtips to keep balance in the water. But it is
no floatplane, it is a seaplane (or a flying boat).

I may be getting the wrong idea, but in British English:
Seaplane = plane that floats on water on floats extended from the fuselage.
Flying boat = plane whose fuselage sits in the water itself.

You're asking "what is the larges seaplane"  
Quoting Arniepie (Reply 4):
ekranoplan

James May made a very interesting documentary about ekranoplans:
http://www.open2.net/jamesmay/come_fly_with_me.html

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
cainanuk
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:03 pm



There you go.... a 747... WITH floats.

Here endeth thread!
Cainan Cornelius
 
akelley728
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:45 pm

Another four-engined float plane, the Blohm & Voss Ha 139:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/BV_Ha_139_Nordwind_c1938.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blohm_%26_Voss_Ha_139
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1938/1938%20-%202280.html

Crew: 4-5
Length: 19.5 m (64 ft 0 in)
Wingspan: 27 m (88 ft 7 in)
Height: 4.4 m (14 ft 7 in)
Wing area: 117.5 m² (1,265 ft²)
Empty weight: 10,340 kg (22,790 lb)
Loaded weight: 17,460 kg (38,500 lb)
Powerplant: 4 × Junkers Jumo 205 diesel, 440 kW (592 hp) each

Performance:
Maximum speed: 307 km/h (191 mph)
Range: 4,990 km (3,100 mi)
Service ceiling: 3,690 m (12,100 ft)
Rate of climb: 170 m/min (550 ft/min)
 
fanofjets
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:26 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 25):
I believe this is the biggest float plane: CANT Z.511

That's a new one for me, as well! Thanks for the post. My initial guess was that DC-3; I have seen many pictures of that bird. I had the Ju-52 for second place, but the last few posts have bested my guesses.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
flightsimer
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:12 pm

Nope, C-130 takes the cake for a design as Lockheed made a conversion kit for them to have two floats under the plane. However I'm not sure any were actually converted as they couldn't find a user for them as they were said to reduce range and payload by 30%.

However, The Fairchild C-123 was outfitted with floats early in the program's history and was tested and flown. Two examples were built, the YC-123E and YC-134.

Starting with the 123E, it featured the same two Piston engines of the C-123B (P&W R-2800's) but had a differently shaped fuselage belly, two wing floats and two ski/floats underneath the fuselage, which itself had been sealed for water ops. Our C-123K has a MTOW of 72,500lbs but i think the B model is only in the area of ~60,000lbs.

Now the YC-134 is almost an all new plane. It had two Cyclone R-3350's turning four bladed props instead of the R-2800's turning the three bladed props. It also featured a new fuel system that had removed the nacelle fuel tanks and moved the fuel inside the wings. It did have the same fuselage though along with the same float/ski system.

So if you consider the float ski system as just a float system, then i would say the C-123 is the winner.
Commercial Pilot- SEL, MEL, Instrument
 
vv701
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:13 pm

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 22):
I think what the original poster meant was not a plane that built for the purpose of being a float plane - ie Amphibian

That is certain ly clear from his subsequent comments. Indeed it was always a possibility which is why, when putting the Saunders Roe Princess forward as a contender, I started by saying

Quoting VV701 (Reply 9):
The Saunders Roe Princess was not a float plane. It was a flying boat.

and then went on to say

Quoting VV701 (Reply 9):
However it did have retractable wing-tip floats. It is therefore in the mix to be considered to be the "biggest plane with floats".
 
Viscount724
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:05 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 16):
So exactly how does the Princess not "qualify" to be considered as the "Biggest plane with floats"?

My assumption, and I would guess the assumption of 90% of the other readers of this thread, was that the reference to "floats" referred to aircraft whose entire weight is supported by the floats, not simply wingtip floats that prevent the wingtips from digging in. The Princess was a "flying boat", not a "floatplane".
 
vv701
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RE: Biggest Plane With Floats?

Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:27 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 34):
My assumption, and I would guess the assumption of 90% of the other readers of this thread, was that the reference to "floats" referred to aircraft whose entire weight is supported by the floats, not simply wingtip floats that prevent the wingtips from digging in. The Princess was a "flying boat", not a "floatplane".

Thanks for your lesson! I'm sorry you think I got it the wrong way round. Would it have been better if I had explained what the Princess was before I said what it was not? Nevertheless don't you think we were in broad agreement? As an aide memoir before you reply to that, these are the first two sentences in my first reply in this thread:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 9):
The Saunders Roe Princess was not a float plane. It was a flying boat.

My assumption and perhaps that of more than 90 per cent of the other readers of this thread is that what you are now saying has an uncanny resemblance to what I originally said.      

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