Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The Maine (Seaplane) Event!
Is this the best, most in-your-face float-flying event in America?
Since the early 1950s, there have been attempts to construct seaplane floats from composite materials. One of these efforts has been successful, and Aerocet has proven, without a doubt, the viability of composite float construction. In 1987, Tom Hamilton founded Aerocet, based in Priest River, Idaho. Aerocet manufactures three sizes of straight floats: the model 2200 for the Super Cub; the model 3500, approved on Cessna 180/185, 206 and Found's Expedition; and the model 5850 Beaver float. The Model 3400 amphibious float is approved on Cessna 180/185, 206 and the Expedition.
Aqua, in Brandon, Minn., produces straight floats. Unique in their line is the model 1500 float, currently the only certified float for LSA-eligible aircraft, like the Piper J-3 Cub. The Aqua 1900 float is approved on Super Cubs, and the model 2400 is commonly installed on Maule aircraft. The model 3190 float is approved on the Cessna 180 and 185.
EDO Floats was established in 1924 by Earl Dodge Osborn who pioneered the use of aluminum rather than wood in the manufacture of seaplane floats. The EDO Float Division is now owned by Kenmore Air Harbor in Bothell, Wash. EDO Floats are approved on a wide variety of aircraft from a small Piper J3 Cub to a large Beech 18. The EDO 2000 series float may be the most numerous float model produced by any manufacturer.
Founded in 1954, PK Floats in Lincoln, Maine, manufactures float models ranging in size from the model 2250 amphibious float, approved on the Husky, to the model 3500 in both straight and amphibious configuration, approved on the Cessna 185 and 206. The model 3000 float for the Cessna 180/185 is also available in straight or amphibious versions.
Wipline is the largest manufacturer of seaplane floats today. A division of Wipaire, Wipline is currently under the management of Charlie Wiplinger, the third generation of Wiplingers to run the company. Wipline Model 2100 floats equip Super Cubs, Huskys, Scouts and others. The Model 2100 amphibious float is the amphibious float most often seen on these aircraft. Wipline's largest float, the Model 13,000, equips the Twin Otter. Wipline float sizes between these extremes are the 3000 float (Cessna 180/185), the 3450 (Cessna 185/206 and Found) and the model 6100 float for the Beaver. The most recent addition to their line of floats is the Model 7000, certified for the Kodiak. The model 8750 float is in development and will replace Wipline's current Caravan float, the model 8000. Wipline is the only manufacturer of floats for the Caravan and has also completed certification of their floats on the Cessna 182.
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