avatar_Cliffy B

Skyraider Floatplane

Started by Cliffy B, June 10, 2009, 12:06:43 PM

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Cliffy B

Hey guys, I've got some ideas for an alternate history of WWII I'm working on and the Skyraider is a major player.  In my world the Skyraider and the Super Corsair have taken over as the main USN and RN carrier aircraft.  Naturally the Skyraider is produced in many variants one of which is a floatplane.  I envision the floatplane version replacing all of the outdated Kingfishers and Seagulls and is used primarily as utility, C-SAR, and ASW scouts for the fleet.  Helos are still too fragile in my world so the floatplane still reigns supreme until well after the war.

On to the design...  I wanted it to be able to carry a good number of passengers/downed aircrew, so I opted for the fat body version of the Spad.  Armament would consist of the standard 2-4 20mm in the wings and twin .30s or .50s in a rear seat turret (not sure on the style yet, either SBD or TBF), as well as 5 HVAR stubs per wing and two inboard pylons for bombs, torps, whatever.

I can't decide on the float design though.  What do you guys think would be better; Kingfisher style floats IE, floats bolted on, or something like the Duck where they're molded into the body????

I want the plane to be able to retain as much of its combat ability as possible so it hold it's own on the front lines and not need significant baby sitting by the fighters while it plucks downed aircrew outta the drink.

So does it sound feasible?  Would it be able to operate from the standard BB/CA seaplane cats in service at the time?

I'm working on design sketches, I'll post some up later on when I get some more time to work.

Any thoughts, questions, ideas, yays, nays?
"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."
-Tom Clancy

"Radial's Growl, Inline's Purr, Jet's Suck!"

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."


One BIG float does it for me, like a super-sized Kingfisher.

The SPAD has a big enough fuselage, specially in the fat version, not to need a any extra volume that would be provided by the Duck type float. I guess it would have a hefty inertia with all that extra mass  too, and may not yaw or roll too well.
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For max effectiveness in the SAR role probably along the lines of the Columbia XJL-1

The aircraft originated as a Grumman design to replace the Duck.

Daryl J.

Seeing that ^^^^^^^^^^^^ in SEA colors or oveall GSB would be cool.

Daryl J.


Now food for thought, but why not have a torp mounted in a conformal recess as part of the fuselage float?

Shas 8)
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I see this is your first post---welcome!
Here is one model along "your" lines I did recently:

I like the "pedestal" idea, but the Duck's pedestal is way to narrow. I widened mine by .160 (two slabs of .080 sheet). Plus, I needed to put the "Hellcat" fuselage up higher because of the increased diameter of the prop. If you go to the "Flying Boat" Group-build forum to "Grumman Gander" you can see how I did it.

I think the Columbia-style aircraft would have a hard time with two torpedoes under the wings, as would mine. Perhaps twin floats like the Northrop N-3PB would work for a Skyraider. I might even be induced to trade you mine (I used the wings for a whif, but still have the large twin floats).
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Captain Canada

Hey, I like this world of yours ! For sure one big float. I think a pair bolted on would look funny.....

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The Curtiss Seahawk was supposed to be capable of carrying bombs in its central float...... until it became clear that the float would suffer leaks when used that way.

One could try to hang bombs or torpedoes in an offset position next to the main float...... I remember seeing something like that.
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The Skyraider was designed to be (and was) a prodigious lifter of ordnance--some 8,000 lbs. Obviously a floatplane version would need a LOT of flotation to accommodate such a load. Maybe your central float should be designed to have an increasingly exaggerated "V" from bottom to top so that as the aircraft settles into the water with increased load, that the weight is distributed over more water surface area for better buoyancy.

Getting esoteric here, but perhaps the pedestal float should be "semi-retractable". That is, if this is going to be a true amphibian that can also land on a carrier or airstrip, you're going to need really beefy and long landing gear (the ones popping out of the float, as in my Gander, probably wouldn't do for a heavy aircraft like the Skyraider). So unless the landing gear is going to be really long (like the Columbia---but remember, the Columbia wasn't a heavy-lifter) the "ideal" solution is to have the float-pedestal semi-retract so the "normal" landing gear (or maybe a SLIGHT extension) can be used when landing or taking off from solids. But that would mean.....oops!...the propeller chopping into the float extension. Hmmm---gotta re-think this! :blink:

Also, the Skyraider could carry three torpedoes, one on the centerline and one each on the inner wing. The centerline torpedo can be dispensed with if you have a float-pedestal---two torpedoes is still quite a load, and then a few wing racks could have some other ordnance.

I'm not meaning to "intrude" on your whif, just offering my brainstorming (believe me, there is a real typhoon in my head sometimes!)
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!

Cliffy B

Don't worry about it sequoiaranger, any and all help is appreciated.  It's got me thinking anyway  ;D  If I need a larger float, carry multiple passengers, two-three crew, and ordnance, won't I need to upgrade the power plant?  Turboprop?  When were turboprops invented?  Contra-rotating props?

I didn't envisioned them carrying a full strike load anyway.  If they have floats and extra people aboard its performance will be degraded but how much?  I figured for C-SAR missions it would just carry gas and cannon/MG ammo, ASW scouting, add either HVARs and/or one acoustic homing torpedo, maybe a searchlight?  Utility would be like C-SAR missions unless it was safely behind enemy lines so minus the ammo and gunner for some extra lift capacity.

So one large float then....hmmmm...  I was liking the idea of the retractable wing floats, but if the main float is big enough then you wouldn't need the wing floats right?  Think I might have to carve the float out of some balsa wood now  ;D

The brain is in overdrive, now I got something to think about while I'm at work tonight.  Any thoughts guys?
"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."
-Tom Clancy

"Radial's Growl, Inline's Purr, Jet's Suck!"

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."


Nice idea Cliff!  :thumbsup: As has been said, the Spad was a prodigious lifter so I don't think you'd need more power unless you wanted it to go fast against the drag of the float. On the other hand, contraprops would usefully reduce the prop diameter, thereby allowing the pedestal to be shorter.
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>I was liking the idea of the retractable wing floats, but if the main float is big enough then you wouldn't need the wing floats right? <

The wing floats aren't really for flotation, but to right the wing if it starts to dip. It's a tricky balance on a central float, and if the wing tip hits the water while you're moving.....

So retractable wingtip floats are good, and necessary if you only have a central float. Twin floats pretty much eliminate the wing-dip potential.

I just thought that an INWARD-retracting as well as vertical-retracting float might do the trick. That is, the forward end of the float could retract backwards (no phallic thoughts now, boys!) to clear the prop for land-landings.

The massive engine of the Skyraider was pretty powerful, but a turbo-prop might be even better.
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


Welcome aboard Cliffy!

Here is a floaty-Spad I did for the Secret Santa GB a few years ago.  The floats were just carved from balsa and liberally covered in Bondo red putty.  Getting them the same was a b*tch, and they still dont stand up to close scrutiny, but it's a decent 6-footer. 

So I got that going for me...which is nice....


I believe our Supreme Commander did a Skyraider on floats for the Schneider Trophy them for the Perth and Glasgow show 1 to 2 years ago. Sure the pics will be here somewhere. Martin...?? LOL Soon be Glasgow....


Martin H

oi! less of the imperious bit, im no bleedin Cylon.

cant find any picks of the one I did sandy. its posible i have the images hidden away on my external hard drive,
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