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Apr 11, 2004, 02:38 AM
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Brad Trent's Avatar
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New Seaplane from the Master

I made the 1 hour drive out to Chilliwack, B.C., this morning to witness the maiden flight of the latest seaplane design from the shop of our local legend, Ivan Pettgrew. It would have been worth a much longer drive to see this one, believe me!

I was aware of this project from the time Ivan started drawing it up, since we'd had a discussion about the similarities and differences between the Shorts Sunderland and Solent models, the later being a redesign/upgrade of the WW II flying boat bomber. Ivan chose to model a late mark of the Solent, taking advantage of the longer tail moment and realigned engine nacelles of that version.

Though the new model is almost as large as his magnificent Martin Mars water bomber, he decided to power this one with the lowly geared 400 power systems. His Mars spanned 120", while the Solent, to the same scale , is only 82", though the fuselages of both are very close in size. His view is to treat it as a small wing with a large fuselage, rather than a large plane with a small wing, hence the modest power needs.

The specs. I heard today are:

Span 82"
Weight rtf 5 lbs. 4 oz.
Motors 4 x 6V S400 geared (GWS 400E drive )
Wiring - All 4 motors in parallel
Cells 10 x CP 1700
Props 4 - GWS 9x7 3 blade
Amps 9/motor - 38 total, Watts aprox. 400
Finish Solite & Micafilm light above the waterline, tissue and dope + Krylon below the waterline.

The first take-off , after lots of photos and a taxi test, was acomplished in about 60', at 3/4 throttle. After 1/2 a circuit, he went to full throttle, and climbed quite steeply. No lack of power here! A few more circuits, with no problems evident, led to some very non-scale exploration of the flight envelope , including loops, rolls, and stall turns. I'm sure the 1/20th scale passengers were reaching for the barf bags .

The 2nd take-off, at full throttle, saw the huge plane in the air in less than 20'. Simply amazing.

Enough blather, heres the pics:

Last edited by Brad Trent; Apr 11, 2004 at 11:54 AM. Reason: update specs
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Apr 11, 2004, 02:43 AM
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At anchor

At anchor:
Apr 11, 2004, 02:46 AM
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On Step

Take-off run on step:
Apr 11, 2004, 02:48 AM
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Low and close:
Apr 11, 2004, 02:48 AM
Big gov never Works
St. Martin's Avatar
That is simply awsome! Looking foward to more pics of this beauty. Looks as if you have much nicer weather than usaround the east coast.

Apr 11, 2004, 02:51 AM
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Gordon's Avatar
WOW!! What a beautiful machine.

Many thanks for posting the details and pics Brad. I'm sure looking forward to in-flight pics

Apr 11, 2004, 02:52 AM
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Gordon's Avatar
Dang, you were in the middle of posting them

Boy, but it looks so real!

Apr 11, 2004, 02:56 AM
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St. Martin's Avatar
It happened to me also, Gordon. He posted them over an hr ago. It's the new forum not being consistant yet in downloading.

Apr 11, 2004, 03:00 AM
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Brad Trent's Avatar
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To see more of Ivan's planes, and info on plans, have a look at

We've had a great spring so far. Of course, our total snowfall for the winter was probably less than you saw in any one day back East . I had to cut the lawn twice in the last week . The temp. at the pond in Chilliwack today was about 20C, with very light winds.

Yes, the realism of this plane in flight, and on the water, is incredible ( at least when Ivan's not "testing the limits"). That's a characteristic of all his models, thanks to light weight, "adequate" power, and great flying on his part.

Here's another of his designs, the Shorts Sealand, built and flown by Hal Norrish, on the pond today:
Last edited by Brad Trent; Apr 11, 2004 at 03:16 AM. Reason: add comments
Apr 11, 2004, 05:53 AM
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Ironsides's Avatar
Absolutely gorgeous.

Spent the spring of 1967 at CFB Chilliwack. Weather was definitely nicer than Calgary.

Apr 11, 2004, 06:38 AM
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Sluf7's Avatar
Thanks for posting the Pic's AMO is resident in the Transport Musuem here in NZ fully restored.

Ivan's done a superb job and like the others looks so real on the water and in flight. Bloody nice job is all I can say.

I'll have to see if I can talk Ivan into a Sunderland now.:0)
Apr 11, 2004, 07:30 AM
Super Senior Member
Thanks for the info and the link to the website. I put in an email on the Sealand (always loved that model since first seeing the vids from last year)

Apr 11, 2004, 09:52 AM
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J Morgan's Avatar
Simply incredible! What a beautiful machine. How do you tell it from the real one?!!!!

Latest blog entry: Ziroli A-1H at 100"ws
Apr 11, 2004, 11:48 AM
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Rudderman98's Avatar
Not another project!!

Congrats Ivan on your maiden. Can't wait to see her in CWK this year.
Brad, Thanks for the great pics as well.

Apr 11, 2004, 12:28 PM
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Thanks, guys, for the kind comments on both Ivan's plane, and my feeble attempts at showing it off. The whole morning at the float site was a success; Ivan's maiden went superbly, my little Aquastar flew well off the water after some minor mods suggested at last weeks attempt, and at least a dozen flights were made without having to take the rescue canoe off the top of Ivan's van.

CFB Chilliwack was closed almost a decade ago, and is missed by many.

Ivan probably saw AMO in person last year, as he is originally a school teacher from NZ, and was there last year to visit, and to fly his 1/4 scale Pearse Flyer to celebrate the centenial of flight, with a Kiwi twist!

Ivan's models are only distinguishable from the real thing by their lack of noise.

I knew this would get your attention.

Slope Nut:
The Sealand makes a wonderful model, great flier and not often seen. Just for you, here's a shot of Ivan's prototype, also flown at the pond yesterday:

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