With the use of seaplanes climbing worldwide and the supply of available stalwarts like the Cessna 206 and the de Havilland Twin Otter shrinking, the marketplace has begun to respond to consumer demand. Look no farther than the Viking Twin Otter, the new version of the venerable Canadian original, for proof. But putting an airplane back into production is an expensive proposition, and in a time of finite resources, alternative solutions may be required—the kind of practical adaptation floatplane pilots can identify with. Take the Cessna 185, a highly sought-after platform for mounting on floats. No one’s standing on the dock waiting for Cessna to put the model back into production, so Wipaire, manufacturer of the Wipline family of floats, has stepped into the void to create the Wipaire Boss 182.
“It’s a concept based on one fundamental principle—that we are running out of Cessna 185s,” said Brian Addis, Wipaire’s training instructor and maintenance and engineering check pilot. “We asked ourselves, ‘What mods can we do to make [the 182] behave as well as the 185 or better, and take advantage of fact there are so many 182s?’ They are ubiquitous, comparatively speaking, to the 185.”