There are many different types of aircraft and aviation vessels. Between the hot air balloons and the space ships, aviation has many types of vessels in between. While space ships may be the conventionally accepted kings of the skies, there are others who believe that UFOs are actually at the top of the flying vessels food chain. However, moving away from outer space and getting back to our planet, the flying boat is one of the very interesting aircraft that is in our skies.
Flying boats are a type of seaplane that floats on water on its fuselage. The first such aircraft was made in 1910 and they gradually gained popularity over the years up until the end of World War Two due to their ability to land and take off on water. At that time land based runways were uncommon and presented an inhibitive cost. After the Second World War, development of runways on land led to a gradual move from the use of flying boats. Their use was mainly left to military and recreational aviation where they continue to be used in maritime security operations, air-to-sea rescue missions, putting out forest fires, accessing undeveloped areas with no or poor infrastructure and more. Some examples of modern day flying boats include the Beriev Be-200 twinjet, the Canadair CL-215, the Bombardier 415 and the ShinMaywa US-2.
The flying boat is designed with a fuselage that provides buoyancy so that it can float on water. Some of this aircrafts are fitted with floats under their wings so as to stabilize them while on the water. This is what makes them different from floatplanes, which have floats under their fuselage for the purpose of providing buoyancy. The fuselage of a floatplane does not come into contact with the water and they are in many cases smaller aircraft as compared to the flying boats.
Piloting a flying boat will for obvious reasons require a slightly different kind of training especially with regards to take off and landing. In the air however, most of the handling in airplanes is very similar to a regular aircraft. Most of the pilots currently operating flying boats have had their aviation training in the military where the use of these kinds of craft still persists. Outside the military flying boats are found with adventurers and tour operators who want to give their clients a unique experience. They are however not very common and there are countries in different parts of the world where there are no flying boats operating.
An opportunity to enjoy a ride on a flying boat is one of the most exciting experiences anyone can hope to enjoy. Taking off from the water and getting to land on it can be a bit scary but it’s one of the things you do not get to go through every other day. If you ever have the opportunity to fly in this type of aircraft it would be best you take it, because as far as aviation trends go, it is quickly becoming an opportunity that is hard to come by.