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Seaplane Facts

What are seaplanes?
How do they work? 
Are they safe? 

We have gathered interesting facts about seaplanes, Textron’s Cessna Caravan and Samra Seaplane. You might be surprised to learn that seaplanes have been around for a lot longer and are more common than most people think.

We continuously add to the list here and on social media, so make sure to come back to learn more about the versatility, usefulness, safety, efficiency and convenience seaplanes offer.

Do you have other interesting facts we should add, or a question about seaplanes? Contact us.

Once the seaplane operates on water, whether powered or not, it is required to comply with all relevant maritime and water navigation laws and policies - just like boats.

As a pilot, in order to be allowed to fly a seaplane, you need to obtain a seaplane rating, for which you receive ground and flight training and pass a class rating theoretical and practical test.

The floats on our seaplanes, even being completely watertight, also have additional storage units for light cargo.

The maximum cruise speed on the Caravan EX Amphibian is 164 kts (or just over 300 km/h)

In 1910, the first successful powered seaplane flight was completed by Frenchman Henri Fabre in the Gnome Omega-powered hydravion, a trimaran floatplane.

The fastest jet-propelled seaplane is the Convair F2Y Sea Dart, with a top speed of 1,328 kilometre per hour!

Amphibious hull seaplanes have unique handling characteristics both on the water and in the air. Because the thrust line is well above the center of drag, these airplanes tend to nose down when power is applied and nose up as power is reduced.

The world’s largest seaplane is the size of a Boeing 737. Its first test take-off was in July 2020 in China. While it can carry up to 50 passengers, its main purpose will be for forest firefighting, marine rescue and other critical emergency rescue missions.

There are 4 different ways to offload passengers once a seaplane gets to the destination. 1. By docking, this method ensures a safe and stable transfer of passengers directly to the ground. 2. Mooring & boat transfer is a combination of two methods where the plane is anchored in the sea and the passengers are picked up by boat. This method is used when there is not enough water depth. 3. Floating platform: this type of platform rises and falls along with waves and tides. It is similar to docking. Another easy way to transport passengers. The platform will be carefully designed for the stability and safety of the people on it. 4. Last but not least, beaching is one of the easiest methods, but must be carried out carefully as it might conflict with others such as swimmers. It also depends on the firmness on the shoreline.

"Auxiliary vertical fins" or "finlets" are located on the horizontal stabilizer of the floatplane to ensure yaw stability.

The Seaplane Pilots Association(SPA) has been the voice for protecting and promoting water flying since 1972. In addition to supporting seaplane pilots, SPA publishes the Water Flying magazine, the only magazine dedicated to covering the seaplane community. Find out more:

The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is less noisy than a typical speedboat.