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Thread: The Flying Boats Are Coming, The Flying Boats Are Coming!!

  1. #1
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    The Flying Boats Are Coming, The Flying Boats Are Coming!!

    Icon, your competition is about to fly up your butt so you better light a fire under the FAA to give you that twice delayed "decision". There's a virtual tidal wave of new and nearly new S-LSA amphibian flying boats about to make a splash coming on market this year and it looks like some could take away your share of it.

    For a niche market within a niche category, there must be a whole lotta designers and developers out there who believe as I do: That water flying is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. These new choices are:

    Triton/Mermaid-- Seems the 6 year legal battles are finally over and this long awaited certified design is finally ready for delivery. It's now manufactured in China but under the control and management of the original US designer.
    Seamax-- This Brazilian has been around for a couple of years but no marketing or proper distribution was in place. It now has new US representation with apparent resources behind it.
    Searey-- This beloved Kit just passed the tough certification audit and the factory built fly away version is coming on production stream now.
    Freedom--Another certified model that came and went very quickly a few years ago because of very poor distribution. New representation is in place now for another kick at the can.
    Akoya--Although recently back from the financial graveyard with a $20 million Chinese ownership stake, I'm negatively biased towards them because $400K LSA's are just wrong and should not be tolerated.

    In the E-LSA category is the Super Petral LS. In the planning and development stages is the electric powered Equator Excursion and the FlyWhale(both from Europe). In secret development it is written that 3 US S-LSA types are coming on board soon and apparently it's all very hush hush according to reports.

    But the one that I like most and could be a real serious contender and competitor for Icon is the Dornier S-Ray 007, a 2 seater tractor from that historic company. It is being developed by the grandson of founder, aviation pioneer and legend, Claude Dornier. It's a modern, carbon and composite replica based on the 1921 Dornier Libelle. According to reports it is going for the full monte-Part 21 Certification in progress, S-LSA expected afterwards and a Kit version under development.

    http://www.do-sray.de/index.php?home

    Whoopee, let's all get wet!!!
    Last edited by Floatsflyer; 02-28-2013 at 12:04 PM.

  2. #2
    zaitcev's Avatar
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    The numbers of these exciting new boats is a legion, but they are not all equal.

    SeaRey is a proven quality, was around for a while and not going away, slow, expensive, barely fitting S-LSA limits. It's going to continue to sell to EX-AB as before with a token presence as S-LSA. It's basically the $200k Carbon Cub of boatplanes.

    Seamax is also well-proven all around the world, but it just cannot seem to crack the U.S. market. I think they sold something like 4 since the reboot two years ago.

    The rest of them are vapour at this time, although Super Petrel is intriguing.

    If you ask me, regular airplanes on amphibious floats butt right into the territory of these airplanes and hurt their prospects. For example, if you want a new LSA and have the money, you can get a CTLS on floats that beats SeaRey in every respect. You aren't getting the same community experience, but otherwise it's a thing to consider.
    Last edited by zaitcev; 02-28-2013 at 03:39 PM.

  3. #3
    Flyfalcons's Avatar
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    Not to mention flying boats have major docking limitations.
    Ryan Winslow
    EAA 525529
    Stinson 108-1 "Big Red", RV-7 under construction

  4. #4

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    Hats off to flying boat guys! Man, it seems a bit nuts to me to mix aviation with boating....which makes me admire the folks who take the plunge into them.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #5

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    Frank,

    I always thought that if I won a big lottery, I'd search the world for an old PBY and refurbish it. What a fun tropical cruiser that would be!

    Joe

  6. #6
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    Joe, I found you one but may take 2 lottery wins!

  7. #7

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    Yikes!

    Where is it? I bet there is a good story connected to it!!! If you read the Kermit Weeks S-43 news you may have seen a quote by him, "when I grow up I want to become me". Now this PBY is a job for superman, a guy with a huge wallet, great patients, and a huge heart!

    Joe

  8. #8
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    Story is not as good as it might be. It went down in Dago Lake, Alaska in 1947. Government sold it for parts in 1948 for $58.00, wow! and it stayed at the lake until 1984 when it was finally transported to the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum. That's where it sits today, as is in the picture below, but with wheels down as an outdoor exhibit.


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