New to float planes. - RC Groups
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Dec 27, 2005, 06:12 PM
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New to float planes.

I'm interested in getting into float planes. I'v flown RC planes for about 15 years now. We don't have a lot of water near, so I want to modify a good everyday flyer to take on floats.

I'm trying to decide between the Great Planes Big Stik 60 ARF with a 66" wingspan and weighing 6.5lbs and a Giant Big Stik ARF with an 80" wingspan and weighing 13 to 15lbs. I'd prefer the 60 since I have a Saito 120 that I could use for power.

Has anyone used one of these planes for a float plane. How does it do, and what type of floats did you use?
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Dec 27, 2005, 09:37 PM
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northnutt,be warned...waterflying is highly addictive ! Welcome to it !My very first water bird was a Midwest Sweet Stik.40 with GEE BEE 33" floats. Inspite of the lousy float design,it performed rather well. It seems like the typical Das Ugly Stick variations ,like the original,have about 20% more wing area than comparitive powered R/C models.This - and the wing tip design - give the design such great handling.
Your choice of the Great Planes Big Stik .60/ Saito 120 is way too over powered.A Saito 91 would be perfect,in my opinion anyway.
The floats? It's always less expensive to build your own from foam.A simple search will give you the proportions needed.The Goldberg Cub floats worked on my 72" Unionville Hobbies Beaver which came in at 8 1/2 #.
A water rudder set up is always good idea .
Do some 'home work'...check out the contibutions of IronSides,Jim Casey,Major Tomski,Waterdog,and some of the other 'regulars' to this forum for added insight.They are highly experienced and will save you having to learn the way they did !
We all want you to be successful the first time out !
Dec 27, 2005, 09:53 PM
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Thanks for the information. I do actually have a Saito 91 also. I'll try it out. I'm really looing forward to getting into water flying. No one really does it around here (Enid, OK), and I'v wanted to try it out for a long time.

Thanks again,
Dec 29, 2005, 12:52 AM
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Hey Northnutt,

Art is right--it's highly addictive! My first experiece was last summer. I converted my Hangar 9 Alpha 40 trainer to a float plane. Shortly after, I converted my GWS SlowStick into a flying boat for small ponds and lakes. I have two more "float projects" under construction for this Spring. I'm hooked!

Anyway, I have a couple documents that will help with your float setup if you don't already have something to guide you. I've been informed that these are the work of the late Chuck Cunningham. I used these to setup my Alpha and am pleased to say my first float experience was a success.

I've been told by someone that I trust that float setup is 95% of the game. And I've seen enough examples in one season of float flying to reinforce the belief. There are a lot of numbers on these pages, but I think the most important items to get correct are float length, step distance relative to CG and wing/float incidence. Of course, don't forget to rebalance the plane after adding floats!

Hope this helps.

P.S. I think any of the sticks will make a great float plane. A guy in our club has one on floats and it seems to do just fine. I have a Hangar 9 UltraStick 60 and it's one of my favorite planes (highly recommended), but I haven't put it on floats--yet! Is there anything stick can't do?
Last edited by sgillmore; Dec 29, 2005 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Additional Info
Dec 29, 2005, 04:39 AM
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The floats do need to be 25 % of the wing span apart, using each float's center line measurement. They have to be rigidly mounted.
The wing incidence will vary as to actual airfoil used. ( the Slow Stick doesn't need to be increased.) It should always be at least 2 degrees on other airfoils.
Chuck Cunningham's design work was always good. He passed away some time back.
Dec 29, 2005, 05:44 PM
Registered User
When you start looking at floats you might want to check out the floats from Falcon Trading at I have them on a Cessna that weights about 6 # and I love them. ENJOY !!! RED

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