Seaplane Preparation / Part 5 of 5

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The wings, tail surfaces, turtledeck, and fuselage were fabric covered at different times and each horizontal lower fabric covered  surface required the installation of drainage grommets. They are intended to drain away any water collected by condensation or otherwise from the lowest point in the airframe.  As an example, each pair of ribs in the wings has it’s own grommet on the bottom lowest portion of each rib bay.  An ordinary drainage grommet is the size of a quarter with a hole in it and is glued to the fabric.  Then you glue a larger diameter fabric dollie  over the grommet and then  take a soldering iron and burn a hole through both fabrics and through the hole of the grommet. If your going to put your aircraft on floats the Poly-Fiber Fabric Instructions advise you to use “Seaplane Grommets” which have a molded shroud that is open on one side.  These are mounted so the open hole or drain port points backwards thus avoiding the collection of water during take-offs and landings.

Another item unique for seaplane operations are flying dock ropes. These ropes are usually two to three feet long and hang below the leading edge of the wing tips. They help manipulate the seaplane while docking by providing a rope to grab and pull the seaplane to the dock. I reinforced the metal wing understructure and mounted 1/4 inch eyelets for the later attachment of the flying dock ropes.

The last and perhaps most costly item needed for seaplane preparation is a “Seaplane Prop”.  My 80 X 44 wood Sensenich will not survive the severe duty of water operations.  Water spray is like gravel and will quickly harm the soft wood surface. My hope is to use a Catto Composite 86 X 38 climb prop that is light weight with reinforced nickel edges .

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