Military Factory

Floatplane / Seaplane Aircraft

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 12/1/2015

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.





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 (45) Floatplane / Seaplane 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 ... [Read More]
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)... [Read More]
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 dedicat... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Aichi E16A Zuiun (Paul)

1945
Aichi M6A Seiran
This oft-forgotten Aichi aircraft design was classified as an attack floatplane, designed exclusivel... [Read More]
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. Des... [Read More]
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 ai... [Read More]
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 a... [Read More]
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... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the CANT Z.506 Airone (Heron)

1953
Convair F2Y Sea Dart
The concept of a jet-powered "seaplane fighter" had long been on the minds of military aircraft engi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Convair F2Y Sea Dart

1949
Convair Skate
With advances being made in turbojet technology - and aeronautics in general - during the latter par... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Convair Skate

1911
Curtiss A-1 Triad (Model E)
Like the United States Army's air service of the early 20th century, the United States Navy (USN) ai... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss A-1 Triad (Model E)

1944
Curtiss SC Seahawk
World War 2 (1939-1945) required an equal victory over the sea as it did over land, particularly for... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss SC Seahawk

1942
Curtiss SO3C Seamew
The Curtiss SO3C "Seamew" (Curtiss Model 82) was an oft-forgotten navy reconnaissance/scout/patrol f... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss SO3C Seamew

1935
Curtiss SOC Seagull
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss SOC Seagull

1953
de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter

1938
Dornier Do 22
The Dornier Do 22 was a German-designed and produced three-man floatplane. It was produced in German... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Dornier Do 22

1959
Dornier Do 28 (Skyservant)
In the mid-1950s, Dornier Flugzeugbau GmbH of West Germany developed the single engine Do 27 Short T... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Dornier Do 28 (Skyservant)

1917
Fairey Campania
The British became big proponents and pioneers of naval aviation during World War 1. War had broken ... [Read More]
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. Fair... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Fairey III

1937
Fairey Seafox
Since 1917, Fairey Aviation Company delivered many-an-aircraft for British Royal Navy service and th... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Fairey Seafox

1939
Fokker T.VIII
Prior to the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War 2, the Dutch maintained a relatively he... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Fokker T.VIII

1936
Grumman J2F Duck
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Grumman J2F Duck

1917
Hansa-Brandenburg W.12
The Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 was a two-seat floatplane fighter seaplane design serving the German Empi... [Read More]
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 i... [Read More]
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 Sieg... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Heinkel He 51

1935
Heinkel He 59
Because of the restrictions heaped upon Germany after the close of World War 1 (1914-1918), its mili... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Heinkel He 59

1943
Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu (Rex)
Early in World War 2 (1939-1945), Japanese authorities understood that their conquest of the Pacific... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu (Rex)

1938
Latecoere 298
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Latecoere 298

1928
Liore-et-Olivier LeO 25
The Liore-et-Olivier was a bomber platform developed by the French for its Air Force and also went o... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Liore-et-Olivier LeO 25

1917
LTG FD.1
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the LTG FD.1

1917
Macchi M.5
The Italian concern of Macchi was founded in 1912 by Giulio Macchi out of Varese, Italy. Despite Ita... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Macchi M.5

1941
Mitsubishi F1M (Pete)
The Empire of Japan's military aviation industry played catch up to the world on its path to World W... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Mitsubishi F1M (Pete)

1942
Nakajima A6M2-N (Rufe)
As an island nation with a primary military focus placed on a powerful navy, the Empire of Japan was... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Nakajima A6M2-N (Rufe)

1935
Nakajima E8N (Dave)
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Nakajima E8N (Dave)

1922
Nieuport-Delage NiD 29
World War 1 had been raging in Europe since 1914 and aircraft technology had advanced ten-fold by 19... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Nieuport-Delage NiD 29

1941
Northrop N-3PB Nomad
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Northrop N-3PB Nomad

1929
Polikarpov Po-2 (Mule)
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Polikarpov Po-2 (Mule)

1916
Rumpler 6B
The Rumpler concern has become a largely forgotten aviation manufacturer when pitted alongside the l... [Read More]
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... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Rumpler B.I

1915
Short Type 184
... [Read More]
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... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Sopwith Baby

1917
SPAD S.XIV
The SPAD S.XIV was a floatplane version of the earlier S.XII fighter. The original S.XII was develop... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the SPAD S.XIV

1927
Vought FU-1
During May of 1922, the Lewis and Vought Corporation was reformed to become the Chance Vought Corpor... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Vought FU-1

1940
Vought OS2U Kingfisher
The OS2U Kingfisher was a product of the Vought aircraft firm, appearing initially as the VS.310 des... [Read More]
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 ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Vought VE-7 Bluebird