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[[File:DeHavilland Single Otter Harbour Air.jpg|thumb|right|A [[De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter]] floatplane in [[Harbour Air]] [[livery]].]]
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[[Image:DeHavilland Single Otter Harbour Air.jpg|thumb|right|A [[De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter]] floatplane in [[Harbour Air]] [[livery]].]]
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[[File:Avro Type D floatplane.jpg|thumb|right|The British [[Avro Type D]] was adapted to become one of the first successful floatplanes. This example first flew on 18 November 1911.]]
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[[Image:Avro Type D floatplane.jpg|thumb|right|The British [[Avro Type D]] was adapted to become one of the first successful floatplanes. This example first flew on 18 November 1911.]]
   
 
A '''floatplane''' ('''float plane''' or '''pontoon plane''') is a type of [[seaplane]], with one or more slender pontoons (known as "floats") mounted under the fuselage to provide buoyancy. By contrast, a [[flying boat]] uses its fuselage for buoyancy. Either type of seaplane may also have landing gear suitable for land, making the vehicle an amphibious aircraft.<ref>{{cite journal|magazine=Air Trails|date=Winter 1971|title=Floatplane Flying|author=James M. Triggs|page=39}}</ref>
 
A '''floatplane''' ('''float plane''' or '''pontoon plane''') is a type of [[seaplane]], with one or more slender pontoons (known as "floats") mounted under the fuselage to provide buoyancy. By contrast, a [[flying boat]] uses its fuselage for buoyancy. Either type of seaplane may also have landing gear suitable for land, making the vehicle an amphibious aircraft.<ref>{{cite journal|magazine=Air Trails|date=Winter 1971|title=Floatplane Flying|author=James M. Triggs|page=39}}</ref>
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The first aircraft to successfully take off from water was [[Henri Fabre]]'s [[Fabre Hydravion]], first flown on 28 March 1910.<ref>{{cite book|title=Taking Flight|first=Kenneth H.|last=Hallion|location= New York |publisher=Oxford University Press|year=2003|isbn=0 19 516035 5}}</ref> Although not a very successful aircraft, this inspired other aircraft designers to emulate him, and Fabre designed and built floats for a number of other aircraft, such as the [[Voisin Canard]].
 
The first aircraft to successfully take off from water was [[Henri Fabre]]'s [[Fabre Hydravion]], first flown on 28 March 1910.<ref>{{cite book|title=Taking Flight|first=Kenneth H.|last=Hallion|location= New York |publisher=Oxford University Press|year=2003|isbn=0 19 516035 5}}</ref> Although not a very successful aircraft, this inspired other aircraft designers to emulate him, and Fabre designed and built floats for a number of other aircraft, such as the [[Voisin Canard]].
   
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[[File:Ar196.jpg|thumb|right|An [[Arado Ar 196]] naval floatplane]]
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[[Image:Ar196.jpg|thumb|right|An [[Arado Ar 196]] naval floatplane]]
   
 
Floatplanes were widely used during [[World War I]], and remained in [[navy|naval]] use until [[World War II]]. Most larger [[warship]]s of that era carried floatplanes - typically four for each [[battleship]], and one to two for each [[cruiser]] - to be launched by [[Aircraft catapult|catapult]]s; their main task was to spot targets over the horizon for the big guns. Other floatplanes, sometimes carried on [[seaplane tender]]s, were used for bombings, reconnaissance, air-sea rescue, and even as fighters.
 
Floatplanes were widely used during [[World War I]], and remained in [[navy|naval]] use until [[World War II]]. Most larger [[warship]]s of that era carried floatplanes - typically four for each [[battleship]], and one to two for each [[cruiser]] - to be launched by [[Aircraft catapult|catapult]]s; their main task was to spot targets over the horizon for the big guns. Other floatplanes, sometimes carried on [[seaplane tender]]s, were used for bombings, reconnaissance, air-sea rescue, and even as fighters.

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