FloatPlanes and Amphibs LLC (FPNA) has worked hard to bring you the highest standard in Float Plane flying! We proudly present for the Flying Enthusiast, Waterborne Amphibious floats. Waterborne provides a perfect blend of aerodynamic and hydrodynamic performance which the discerning aviator has come to expect. State-of-the art composite structure makes for a perfect combination of both form with function.
A decision to make composite floats was driven by two factors, weight and durability. As with any float system, metal is require in some form. We have matched all metals so as not to create a “battery effect” from water interacting with them. These materials are aircraft grade, they are anodized, (this is a special application to the metal), then chromated, which is a coating helping protect against oxidation (rust) and finally epoxy painted, sealing these two other treatments from direct exposure to water. The aluminum used is either 60/61 T6 or 20/24 T3 and the hardware is all aircraft grade!
Our composites are a combination of E-glass and Kevlar, with Corecell foam for structural strength. Additionally we have sealed bulkheads which provide not only great strength to the float but also provide added security should one hit and rupture the float itself, this way you won’t sink! A replaceable skid is also located on the keel in front of the step to the nose, adding one more level of protection to the bottom of the float for operations such as beaching.
FPNA's design has taken quite some time and a total of 4 different design concepts before arriving at the one currently produced. Much time and efforts was spent to reduce weight without compromising strength and integrity. The shape was also quite a consideration; we wanted a system which would allow for use as a straight float, (no landing gear other than the floats themselves) and as amphibious floats, (tricycle format or four wheel format). Amphibious floats can be used for land and sea operations. For sea operations we needed the landing gear to retract, this is achieved by having the landing gear retract into the floats themselves. Creating a rectangular box ( approximately 7.5” X 15” X 12.75 for the 1300 series and 8.5 X 17.75 X 14.75 for the 1600 series ) open from top to bottom was the solution chosen, allowing the landing gear to then bolt into place. The Tricycle gear version of the amphibious float is made to have nothing else attached to the float, and a third leg located at the nose, which will retract as well. The other form of amphibious float has a wheel at the nose of each float, making a 4 wheel system. Nose wheels are free castoring and each style has its own merits. The 4 wheel system is general used with aircraft that were designed for tail wheel operations and converting them to a float system often requires a different mounting solution.
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Advantages Of Waterborne Floats
Our landing gear system is electrically activated and pneumatically deployed. Both the 1300 and 1600 Series use a 4-way toggle valve and features a “fail-safe” Co2 back-up system. Confirmation of gear extension and retraction is accomplished by means of reed switch activated position lights to assure safety and accuracy. From the all composite V-hull puncture resistant Kevlar keel to the molded bearing plates and fail-safe gear retraction system, Waterborne floats have been engineered to be the standard by which all others will need to meet.
- Minimal Maintenance
- Fiberglass / Kevlar
- E-glass and Kevlar with corcell foam laminate
- Kevlar in high stress areas
- High density cores used at all major attach point areas
- Internal Bearing Plates (No metal laminated into the floats)
- All A N hardware used as required.
- METAL: All Aluminum 60/61 T6 20/24 T3 All components are epoxy painted
- WHEELS: Aviation grade Wheels (500 x 5 Tires) Sealed Brakes
- LSA compliant and part 23 compliancy in progress
Waterborne Series 1350
Waterborne Series 1600
||14.2 feet/4.3 meters
||16.2 feet/4.9 meters
||1.83 feet/.56 meters
||2.04 feet/.62 meters
||1.42 feet/.43 meters
||1.42 feet/.43 meters
||43.25 cubic feet
||51.26 cubic feet
||180 lbs/81.6 kg*
||198 lbs/ 89.8 kg
*Weights include nose gear, wheels, tires, brakes, spreader bars, braces, instrumentation and all mounting hardware BEFORE deduction for aircraft components removed to accommodate floats.
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