Flying boats and floatplanes

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Francis marliere, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Francis marliere

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    Gentlemen,

    I am looking about the operational limitations of floatplanes and flying boats used by most WWII air forces and navies. In other words, I would like to know in which sea state (Douglas or Beaufort) they could operate (take off and water landing). Do you have an idea ?

    Thanks for any help,

    Francis Marliere
     
  2. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Francis
    I cannot give exact info but Dornier Do 18 and 24 were exeptionally good seaboats partly because the use of sponsons instead of floats, which were a hazard during t/o and landind on heavy seas and also a weak point, ie easily damaged or detached on heavy seas. Catalina with its sturdier and retractable floats was probably better than for ex Sunderland on heavy seas.

    Juha
     
  3. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    This USN reference might give you an idea:

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA476447

    Based on figure 14, looks like wave height of about 4 ft (Beaufort sea state 4 Douglas scale 3) for wind 18-20 knots is/was considered typical for flying boat
    operation in 2004. It only provides a comparison with Shin Meiwa US-1A which does a bit better than average. However, figure 15 provides a power to weight scale for some major WWII flying boats which perhaps give you an idea of how they stack up with the US-1A and what constitutes typical.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I think landing is the real issue as WWII seaplanes (at least German seaplanes) normally used a catapult for take off. That includes large seaplanes such as the Do-26.

    do26-3.jpg
     
  5. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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  6. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #6 oldcrowcv63, Jan 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
    A buddy and I caught a hop from NAS Jax to Dulles in 1970 but landed without preplaned/prepositioned wheels. A fellow who saw us land and exit the USN P-3 in uniform offered to give us a ride into DC to see our girl friends. Turns out he was an expatriot German and former kriegsmarine pilot who flew channel rescue missions in an Arado ar 196. Thing is, he claimed he was launched by a rocket from a rail mount on an E-Boat! no less. Never heard of such a system let alone a boat so small carrying an aircraft and always wondered whether the story was legit? that boat is just way too small!!! I wonder whether there was a larger patrol craft used for a similar purpose as the E-Boat? Still, we were sure grateful for the ride.
     
  7. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    Why folks that design float planes for the Nth Atlantic use twin floats instead of monofloats can be witnessed in this video


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vnhze7UiGbU
     
  8. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    The reason I believe him is because that's about the only system the Germans could have run.
     
  9. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    oldcrowcv63,
    Beautiful post, just beautiful. Great information and pictures. OLDcrow? I don't think so. Anyone with your apparent love for the birds will never grow old. Thanks again buddy.
     
  10. dogsbody

    dogsbody Member

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  11. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Let's see: the engine has fallen off and the plane is being consumed by flames in the middle of the ocean and the commentator says:

    "This would have caused the crew some very anxious moments!" Can anyone match the British talent for understatement?
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps something got lost in the translation.

    Falke Information
    sfalke.gif
    German seaplanes operated from purpose built catapult ships. Some such as the Falke were smaller then many WWII era destroyers.
     
  13. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #13 oldcrowcv63, Jan 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  14. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #14 oldcrowcv63, Jan 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
    Almost certainly lost. I may well have said, "You mean like the E-Boats referring to both the craft and the mission and he responded in the affirmative meaning only the mission. The rocket business may have resulted from a mutual mis-interpretation by one person attempting to communicate in his second, learned-language with another who could barely speak his own inherited tongue. :confused: Or it could simply be a brain fart. Those happen with increasing frequency.

    Great kriegsmarine web site by the way
     
  15. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Cors, Not sure which pics your referring to though: the ones in the Report (can't take credit for those, I just report the news) or my dog? You must be right about the OLD observation since my girl frequently calls me a child.
     
  16. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    If you try Crecy Publishing, they do a range of wartime Pilot's Notes, which include the Catalina, Sunderland III Sunderland V. They're sure to include limits on flight and landing.
     
  17. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello
    I leafed through Pilot's and Flight Engineer's Notes Sunderland V but didn't notice any info on max sea state for t/o or landing.

    Juha
     
  18. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    #18 Edgar Brooks, Jan 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
    Oh, well, I tried; they probably looked out of the window, and decided it was too rough today.
    You might feel that I'm just making a (very) poor joke, but, in these days of everything being ruled by health safety considerations, with "risk assessments," and the like, during WWII the Mk.1 eyeball was put to use far more than today.
    I've read many Operation Records Books, and they just bluntly state the weather was too bad for flying, with no mention of precise conditions. It can be blowing at 40 knots, which, along the take-off path is perfectly acceptable, but a crosswind makes it unusable.
    Sunderlands were built, and repaired, at a Shorts factory on the river Medway, in Kent, and there was a sufficient length of straight stretch of the river to enable them to take off, but not with a crosswind.
    I was told how flying boats, moored in the Solent, would often be seen facing in totally different directions, since the heavy big ones would "weathercock" into the wind, while the lighter types would be affected by the run of the current, which changed, twice a day, with the tidal flow.
    As far as I know, commanding officers, whether of airfields, ports, or just aircraft, were expected to use their own judgement on the fitness, or otherwise, of the conditions.
     
  19. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #19 nuuumannn, Jan 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
    Just a note about E-boats; what we call an E-boat was actually 'S-boat', or Schnell Boot, or lit. fast boat.
     
  20. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    The best of the Italian floatplanes of WWII, Cant. Z. 506B, was able to take off with Force 4 and to land with Force 5.

    Here a picture taken not far from the place I live:

    cant-z-506b-airone-floatplane-03.png
     
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