|STANDARD DATA: Seats 4. Gross wt. 2,600. Empty wt. 1,775. Engine 215-hp Franklin.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 120. Cruise mph 103. Landing mph 53. Initial climb rate 700. Range 560. Ceiling 12,000.
About 200 Seabees are currently flying in the United States, with approximately 130 others active in other countries. First made in 1944 and placed into full-scale quantity production in 1946, a total of 1,060 aircraft were produced before Republic Aviation abandoned civilian aircraft production in 1947. The relatively low cost amphibian is still a favorite among sea-rated pilots, and current used prices reflect its popularity. Design of the four-seat flying boat is unique. The RC-3 Seabee’s single six-cylinder engine is mounted behind and on top of the cabin so that the pusher propeller spins about halfway back the length of the fuselage. The original Seabee prototype used a 175-hp Franklin engine and first flew in 1944. Numerous changes in design and components reduced empty weight and production costs before the final RC-3 model was approved.