Flying Boats, Amphibians & Sea Planes...
Here’s to all of you lucky people who have flown the friendly skies on hulls & pontoons attached to flying boats & planes & to those of you that would like to see a bit of what you’ve been missing.
Over the years, since I was young, there’s been many a flying boat I was on & a few which I flew. With the help of some of my friends & you, I’d like to share some of the pics I’ve found.
Did you ever wonder why so many airports are next to the water? For many, life’s international gateways began with the Clipper and villages gave way to cities from the Beaver & the Otters, the Widgeons, Grumman Goose, Sikorski flying boats and then Howard Hues Spruce Goose was destined to move more & quicker, than ever before, however, as the jet age took over, so did the runways, but the water still makes a perfect runway for many a seaplane & amphibian and it is those I’d like to share with you!
I’ve a friend that was visiting the far north of the Pacific up in Akutan, Alaska…
Robert Finlay launched this for me on YouTube, it’s a Grumman Goose of Penn Air and from another point of view from one of Akutan’s residents.
One of the flying boats featured in the The Aviator, just below,
was the Sikorski S-38… truly a gorgeous plane. I know you want one too!
Maybe a bit more affordable could be the
Icon Aircraft amphibians, sure to be a crowd pleaser flying or towing behind your ute!
One of the all-time work horses
of the aviation industry, continues to be the Beaver, often found roaming the Pacific Northwest, from Vancouver & Seattle, north to the Alaskan waters.
Harbour Air, from BC, Canada, run what they call the World’s Largest All-Seaplane Airline, with a fleet of over 50 aircraft, 14 of them Beavers & 18 turbine Otters – both just below!
So, from the Pacific Northwest above, to the southern waters of New Zealand below,
here’s the yellow Grumman Goose of Sea Bee Air that flew the Hauraki Gulf, from Auckland’s Mission Bay to the islands of Waiheke, Great Barrier & beyond + a black & white pic, of Sea Bee Air’s Grumman Widgeon.
NZ was ideally suited for flying boats… in the middle of the southern ocean, it was only a matter of time before a fleet of Sunderland’s flown by TEAL were to appear, flying the shores of NZ to Australia and islands all around, but even before, a Walsh Bros Boeing Seaplane visited the
Pahi Regatta, just below, in 1921.
From 1942 NZ used 56 PBY Catalinas in the South Pacific. This one below is still flying here in NZ…
A friend shared a fascinating link on BIGGLES books with some really great covers. I thought here would be a good place to share that!
Below, C/ NZ History online… I found a pic of one of American Airways Sikorski flying boats, the Samoan Clipper & Imperial Airways Centaurus, moored off the Pan American Airways wharf, at Mechanics Bay in Auckland, sometime between 1937-1938.
An absolute all time favorite of mine, because
I got to fly one, the one just below, is the
Martin Mars of Coulson Flying Tankers
Pretty cool eh & still flying in Canada
these days, with an exciting new look & banner as
Coulson Flying Tankers.
The Catalina pics below, still flying too, out of Ardmore Airfield in Auckland, NZ.
No Plane-No Gain!
I hope to add some more, oh here’s one…
Hawaii By Flying Clipper
Oh the girls were so pretty, from
Vintage Luxury, the Boeing 314…
truly a proper flying machine!