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| Beaver on Floats
Beaver on Skis (in development)
The Beaver on Floats
When we started building our Beaver (on wheels) six years ago we already
knew that eventually we would also design floats for the aircraft—we
just had to! After the 2008 flying season and with dozens of test flights
under the Beaver’s belt we began the design process.
The floats are built just like the ones on the full size Beaver. The number
of formers and aluminum sheets that make up the skin of the floats are
exactly the same, and on top of the floats you’ll find the access
hatches used to pump out water, which is part of the pre-flight routine
of our Beaver as well as the original aircraft. Even the rudders can be
pulled up and down, precisely the way it’s done on the model’s
There are 10 bulkheads in each float and the thickness of the aluminum
sheets varies between 0.4 mm and 0.8 mm. Each float is held together by
4,000 (!) rivets and each and every one of them has to be waterproofed.
The floats are almost 9 feet long and one of them weighs about 8 kilos;
the all-up weight of both floats including the struts is 20 kilos. In comparison,
the main landing gear of the Beaver tips the scales at 6 kilos, meaning
the aircraft on floats is approximately 14 kilos heavier (and slower) than
its terra firma-bound cousin. But even this increase in take-off weight
(from 92 to 106 kilos) is no big deal for the powerful Moki S-400 with
its output of 23 HP.
There was an additional reason for the lower top speed of the aircraft:
the drag had increased by roughly 20 percent. And that means it takes longer
to get the model in the air. Float planes first need to overcome the resistance
of the water in order to start gliding (or skimming) ever so slightly above
the surface. Only then did our pilot, James Metternich, open the throttle
all the way. The Beaver was on her way, gracefully taking off after about
300 feet. Flying and landing the huge aircraft turned out to be a breeze
and after nine months of developing, designing and building we had accomplished
what we’d set out to do—build a super-scale version of the
DHC-2 Beaver on floats.
Length (w/o rudder): 2700 mm
Maximal Width: 395 mm
Hight: 325 mm
Track: 1168 mm
Volume: 150 liters per float
All-up Weight: 20 kilos