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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.]]
 
[[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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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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A '''floatplane''' ('''float plane''' or '''pontoon plane''') is a type of [[seaplane]], with one or more slender [[Floats (nautical)|pontoon]]s (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>
   
 
==Design==
 
==Design==
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All floatplanes tend to be less stable on water than flying boats.<ref>[http://www.canadianflight.org/history/billt03.htm Floatplane history]</ref> However, in small aircraft design, floatplanes offer an advantage over flying boats, as the hull (i .e. the lower part of the fuselage) of floatplanes does not make contact with water surfaces, permitting a conventionally mounted single piston engine, with a propellor, in the nose.
 
All floatplanes tend to be less stable on water than flying boats.<ref>[http://www.canadianflight.org/history/billt03.htm Floatplane history]</ref> However, in small aircraft design, floatplanes offer an advantage over flying boats, as the hull (i .e. the lower part of the fuselage) of floatplanes does not make contact with water surfaces, permitting a conventionally mounted single piston engine, with a propellor, in the nose.
   
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Floats inevitably impose extra drag and weight, rendering floatplanes slower and less manoeuvrable during flight, with a slower rate of climb, relative to aircraft equipped with retractable landing gear. Nevertheless, [[air race]]s devoted to floatplanes attracted a lot of attention during the 1920s and 1930s, most notably in the form of the Schneider Trophy.
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Floats inevitably impose extra [[drag (aerodynamics)|drag]] and weight, rendering floatplanes slower and less manoeuvrable during flight, with a slower rate of climb, relative to aircraft equipped with retractable landing gear. Nevertheless, [[air race]]s devoted to floatplanes attracted a lot of attention during the 1920s and 1930s, most notably in the form of the Schneider Trophy.
   
 
There are two basic float configurations on floatplanes:
 
There are two basic float configurations on floatplanes:

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