Seaplane Preparation / Part 2 of 5

aft float fitting

The floats are attached using the same forward attach points as the main wheel gear but requires a special “Aft” fitting for the rear float attach points. The aft float fitting assembly is available from Atlee Dodge of Anchorage Alaska who specialize in Cub type parts.  The fitting is a heavy duty steel plate that is welded over the cluster of  longeron, crossover and vertical tube intersections.  It is designed to attach the rear float struts and float brace wires. While welding these fittings on I also welded on the front seat belt retractor mount plates.

Another item on my seaplane welding prep list was the provision for mounting a tube below the aircrafts belly that is used to pull a cable through that allows the water rudders to be retracted after a water take-off. The tube would only be attached when the floats are installed so I needed to weld a larger tube insert in the cockpit for the cable retract tube to attach to. The water rudders  are located on the stern of each float and are interconnected with the air rudders and rudder pedals. They assist steering the seaplane while on water and are manually retracted by the pilot with a cable attached chain that attaches to a hook below the instrument panel.

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Seaplane Preparation / Part 1 of 5

Image

My original reason for building an airplane was to someday have it on floats. The construction plans do not provide any information specific for a float conversion so I had to research this myself.  During the early fuselage construction phase I visited with Larry Bauer who built a superb experimental seaplane pictured above.  Larry’s airplane is very similar to mine and uses the same Clamar amphibious floats that I would like to use someday. My visit with Larry was very useful in understanding how the floats are attached, rigged and controlled and in the next four posts I will describe the early airframe modifications that will later be used for transforming my taildragger to an amphibious seaplane.