Military Factory
Military Factory

Floatplane Aircraft

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 3/1/2014

The tactical usefulness of Floatplanes Aircraft was apparent through two World Wars and the decades between - though its lasting military reach has since been outlived.

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Floatplane aircraft proved tactically viable for a good portion of military aviation history for their ability to be produced quickly and at cost, granted exceptionally long ranges and the inherent ability to take-off and land on water. Unlike flying boats, which use their boat-like hulls when on water, floatplanes are granted use of pontoons as part of their natural undercarriage. Some are even outfitted with wheeled undercarriages as well and carry the ability to land on prepared runways. While not in large scale use with modern militaries, the floatplane was a regular military participant in World War 1 and throughout World War 2.


There are a total of 33 Floatplane Aircraft in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order. Flag images indicative of country of origin.




1917
Aeromarine 39
In 1917, the United States Navy entered into a contract with the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company for a new twin-seat bipla...
Thumbnail picture of the Aeromarine 39

1941
Aichi E13A (Jake)
Based on number alone, the Aichi production E13A series of floatplanes (dubbed "Jake" by the Allies) was the most important s...
Thumbnail picture of the Aichi E13A (Jake)

1944
Aichi E16A Zuiun (Paul)
The E16A Zuiun (translated into "Auspicious Cloud" and codenamed "Paul" by the Allies) was a dedicated reconnaissance floatpl...
Thumbnail picture of the Aichi E16A Zuiun (Paul)

1945
Aichi M6A Seiran
This oft-forgotten Aichi design was classified as an attack floatplane that was designed to be carried aboard the Japanese Na...
Thumbnail picture of the Aichi M6A Seiran

1947
Antonov An-2 (Colt)
The Antonov An-2 is a multi-role light utility biplane initially produced under the Soviet flag. Despite its 1940's pedigree,...
Thumbnail picture of the Antonov An-2 (Colt)

1939
Arado Ar 196
The Arado Ar 196 was the principle floatplane of the German Luftwaffe throughout World War 2. The aircraft was showcased in q...
Thumbnail picture of the Arado Ar 196

1927
Armstrong Whitworth Atlas
The Armstrong Whitworth Atlas was designed to replace the aging de Havilland DH.9A biplane of 1918 as well as the Bristol Fig...
Thumbnail picture of the Armstrong Whitworth Atlas

1936
CANT Z.506 Airone (Heron)
Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico ("CANT") was responsible for the excellent Italian floatplane design that was the CANT Z.506 ...
Thumbnail picture of the CANT Z.506 Airone (Heron)

1949
Thumbnail picture of the Convair Skate

1942
Curtiss SO3C Seamew
The Curtiss SO3C "Seamew" (Curtiss Model 82) was an oft-forgotten navy reconnaissance/scout/patrol floatplane produced in qua...
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss SO3C Seamew

1938
Dornier Do 22
The Dornier Do 22 was a German-designed and produced three-man floatplane. It was produced in Germany and Switzerland for the...
Thumbnail picture of the Dornier Do 22

1917
Fairey Campania
The British became big proponents and pioneers of naval aviation during World War 1. War had broken out in Europe during the ...
Thumbnail picture of the Fairey Campania

1918
Fairey III
The British war effort of World War 1 (1914-1918) brought about many new aircraft developments. Fairey Aviation was one contr...
Thumbnail picture of the Fairey III

1917
Hansa-Brandenburg W.12
The Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 was a two-seat floatplane fighter seaplane design serving the German Empire through the final year...
Thumbnail picture of the Hansa-Brandenburg W.12

1939
Heinkel He 115
By all accounts, the He 115 series of floatplane aircraft was regarded as the finest such aircraft in all of World War 2. She...
Thumbnail picture of the Heinkel He 115

1935
Heinkel He 51
The He 51 was a product of the German Heinkel firm and a design of the Gunter twins, Walter and Siegfried. The Gunters became...
Thumbnail picture of the Heinkel He 51

1931
Thumbnail picture of the Heinkel He 59

1938
Thumbnail picture of the Latecoere 298

1917
Macchi M.5
The Italian concern of Macchi was founded in 1912 by Giulio Macchi out of Varese, Italy. Despite Italy being a member of the ...
Thumbnail picture of the Macchi M.5

1922
Nieuport-Delage NiD 29
World War 1 had been raging in Europe since 1914 and aircraft technology had advanced ten-fold by 1918. The French firm of Ni...
Thumbnail picture of the Nieuport-Delage NiD 29

1916
Rumpler 6B
The Rumpler concern has become a largely forgotten aviation manufacturer when pitted alongside the likes of Albatros and Fokk...
Thumbnail picture of the Rumpler 6B

1914
Rumpler B.I
While discussions of World War 1 (1914-1918) aircraft inevitably turn to Fokkers, SPADs and Sopwiths, the Rumpler concern pro...
Thumbnail picture of the Rumpler B.I

1915
Thumbnail picture of the Short Type 184

1915
Sopwith Baby
Sopwith Aviation was founded in 1912 by Thomas Sopwith (1888-1989) at Kingston upon Thames in London. At its peak, it employe...
Thumbnail picture of the Sopwith Baby

1918
Thumbnail picture of the SPAD S.XIV

1940
Vought OS2U Kingfisher
The OS2U Kingfisher was a product of the Vought aircraft firm, appearing initially as the VS.310 design to which the United S...
Thumbnail picture of the Vought OS2U Kingfisher

1918
Vought VE-7 Bluebird
In 1917 Mr. Birdseye B. Lewis formed an aircraft business with the Vought group, becoming the Lewis & Vought Corporation in t...
Thumbnail picture of the Vought VE-7 Bluebird