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Five Amazing Float Planes For Flying Off Of The Water

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Our hobby is full of unique aircraft that cover many facets of aviation. Float flying is one of those that really stand out for several reasons. There's nothing like hitting the lake early in the morning with patchy fog and glassy smooth water. It's a serene place to fly and vastly different from your local flying field. There's drama and risk flying off the water. You don't want to dig a float and flip your plane. It looks so cool when you smoothly take off and nail the approach and landing. Touch and Goes are one of our favorite things to do on the water. It takes some skill and feels great when you get it just right. If you've never experienced float flying, then take a look at the five planes listed below. Anyone of them will be a great choice. What's your favorite Float Plane? Let us know in the comments below.

1. Sport Cub

The Sport Cub is a fantastic flying airplane with a stabilization system and optional floats. It flys great off the water, but there is no water rudder, so it's best for calm conditions and low winds.

2. Tidewater

The Tidewater is a purpose built float plane that has wing tip floats to keep it stable and straight during take offs and landings. You can get it ready to fly or receiver ready and it makes for a quick build so you can get out flying soon after receiving the box.

3. Polaris

The Polaris is a popular foam airplane kit that handles great on water, land, snow and ice. It sits low to the ground so it is very stable on the water making it hard to mess up a takeoff or landing.

4. Ultra Micro ICON A5

The Ultra Micro ICON A5 BNF is a great micro scale model. The full size A5 is the sports car of the aviation world and this model certainly does it justice. It's sporty and fun to fly off the lake or a small pond.

5. Shark

The Multiplex Shark is another plane that is equally suited to land or float flying with removable landing gear sets. We suggest you add the aileron kit for a sporty float flyer that can handle some wind.

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Old Apr 07, 2015, 10:20 AM
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The Carbon-Z Cub is fantastic on floats. I would have to have it in my top five along with the Flyzone Beaver which came with floats included in the kit. Mike Heer
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Old Apr 07, 2015, 10:59 AM
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I agree that the Carbon-Z Cub is a wonderful float plane.

I also have a Tidewater and it is a best-choice float model. Though I did lose the stock ESC after it got wet once and switched up to a 40A, and put a Spektrum receiver in mine.

Jury's out on the Micro Icon. A friend has one that had to be hand-launched and had lots of aileron servo grief. Cute, but delicate.


Carbon Z Cub crosswind on floats (1 min 24 sec)


Flyzone Tidewaters (1 min 45 sec)
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Old Apr 07, 2015, 11:18 AM
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Carbon Z and Flyzone Beaver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Heer View Post
The Carbon-Z Cub is fantastic on floats. I would have to have it in my top five along with the Flyzone Beaver which came with floats included in the kit. Mike Heer
The Carbon Z is just amazing on floats, followed by the Flyzone Beaver and then I'd take the Sport Cub 3rd. All great birds!
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Old Apr 07, 2015, 11:23 AM
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TEAM HILLBILLY
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I got 5 lakes within 3 miles of me. I have a floater, of course. Nothin quite like it
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Old Apr 07, 2015, 02:49 PM
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Nothing better than flying off the water!
I have a GP J-3 Cub, an HK DHC-2 Beaver, a Kadet Senior, and a GP 182, all on floats.
About to mount amphibious floats to a Hangar 9 J-3 Cub.
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Old Apr 07, 2015, 08:55 PM
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I just received a Flyzone DHC-2 Beaver Island Wings Edition today and am really looking forward to flying it off water. If it flies as good as it looks I'll be very happy. I'm loving all the little scale details on this plane.

-Dustin
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Old Apr 08, 2015, 09:13 AM
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My utterly reliable J-3, now with hundreds of flights, and the 182.
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Old Apr 08, 2015, 02:57 PM
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I have a Sport Cub S on floats that I flew off my boat last weekend for only my second flight ever. SAFE mode makes a big difference for newbies like myself.

I got ahead of myself and also have a Flyzone Tidewater that I have yet to fly. It will be a little while before I attempt.
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Old Apr 09, 2015, 10:51 AM
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Really want to do this but I'll probably need to buy a kayak for the "walk of shame"
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Old Apr 09, 2015, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exponential View Post
Really want to do this but I'll probably need to buy a kayak for the "walk of shame"
normally it just blows to one side.
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Old Apr 09, 2015, 11:51 AM
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Recovery can be part of the fun!

At one of our Float Flies a prize was an electronic "decoy" from Gander Mountain that was kind of a gag prize. But darned if it didn't work!

Kayaks are good. Paddleboats - whatever you can muster.

Because sometimes even when it blows in the job isn't over easily. ;-)

Had one (a fiberglass fuselage) sink to the bottom!
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Old Apr 09, 2015, 01:16 PM
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+1 for the Icon A5. I fly lake exclusively.

I preordered the UM Icon when the link went live. No regrets. Easily out handles the Carbon Cub on pontoons. It will likely out handle my jetski. As good in the air as on the water!!!

Just be sure to have plenty of batteries.

Happy landings and such. (1 min 46 sec)
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Old Apr 09, 2015, 01:56 PM
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Nederland, ZH, Oostvoorne
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Sorry my favorite are not in the list. They are my Empire flyingboat and Grumman Goose. Both my own designs. They are balsa/ply construction. Both kits are lasercut by Gary (GLM) you all know from the Morganmill.com Battery Cartridge system for the CarbonCub.

Grumman Goose :

Grumman Goose 3rd Flight (7 min 48 sec)


Empire flyingboat :

Empire flyingboat , low and slow (10 min 51 sec)


Cheers,

Bart
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Old Apr 09, 2015, 02:51 PM
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Goose looks great, one day I hope to buy and build it after a few practice balsa builds.

Meanwhile I have been flying a Tidewater and it is a great choice. Excellent water handling and good all around flyer.
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