A special 72-page issue of the Seaplane Pilots Association's Water Flying Annual, published in March, throws the spotlight on flying boats.
"From budget amphibians to heavy metal, we've attempted to cover the spectrum objectively and honestly," said SPA Executive Director Mike Volk. "It's a departure from our usual coverage of land-based aircraft on floats."
But Volk added that this edition's concentration on amphibians does not signal a shift away from floatplanes. "After all, I grew up flying Cessna and de Havilland floatplanes in the Pacific Northwest. Whether you're in the floatplane camp or the 'boatplane' camp, I think you'll find this issue enlightening, interesting, and useful."
This twenty-second issue of SPA's comprehensive annual guide to water flying includes a feature on the revolutionary kitbuilt Seawind and another on a beautifully restored 1947 Grumman Widgeon.
For a close-up look at the drama of aerial forest fire control, there's an article on that very special kind of flying in the Canadair CL-215 flying boat. SPA reviews the development history of the CL-215, which many in the fire control business consider the world's best airplane for the job.
Other features include a historical retrospective on the transatlantic flight of 24 Italian S-55X flying boats heading for the Chicago Exposition of 1933. Under the command of Italian General Italo Balbo, the double-hulled wooden torpedo bombers crossed the Atlantic in formation, landing on Lake Michigan. Author Ted Koch also provides details on the S-55X and its navigation equipment, the most advanced of its time.
The Annual also covers 65 years of Russian flying boat development.
As in previous years, the SPA Water Flying Annual carries comprehensive directories of seaplane training sources, rental locations, and seaplane flight instructors.
"It's largely encyclopedic, meant as more of a reference tool than a magazine," said Volk. "The Annual complements the bimonthly issues of Water Flying magazine that every SPA member receives."
Water Flying Annual was mailed to SPA members in March.
Others can purchase a copy for $10 plus $3 shipping and handling from: Seaplane Pilots Association, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701, or through the SPA Web site.
April 27, 2000