Military Factory

Floatplane Aircraft

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/5/2015

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 Aircraft in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order. Flag images indicative of country of origin.

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

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)

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)

Aichi M6A Seiran
This oft-forgotten Aichi aircraft design was classified as an attack floatplane, designed exclusively for the launching from ...
Thumbnail picture of the Aichi M6A Seiran

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)

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

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

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)

Convair Skate
With advances being made in turbojet technology - and aeronautics in general - during the latter part of the 1940s, the Unite...
Thumbnail picture of the Convair Skate

Curtiss A-1 Triad (Model E)
Like the United States Army's air service of the early 20th century, the United States Navy (USN) air power managed a humble ...
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss A-1 Triad (Model E)

Curtiss SC Seahawk
World War 2 (1939-1945) required an equal victory over the sea as it did over land, particularly for nations dependent on fre...
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss SC Seahawk

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

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

Dornier Do 28 (Skyservant)
In the mid-1950s, Dornier Flugzeugbau GmbH of West Germany developed the single engine Do 27 Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL...
Thumbnail picture of the Dornier Do 28 (Skyservant)

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

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

Fairey Seafox
Since 1917, Fairey Aviation Company delivered many-an-aircraft for British Royal Navy service and this relationship spanned f...
Thumbnail picture of the Fairey Seafox

Fokker T.VIII
Prior to the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War 2, the Dutch maintained a relatively healthy stable of modern ai...
Thumbnail picture of the Fokker T.VIII

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

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

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

Heinkel He 59
Because of the restrictions heaped upon Germany after the close of World War 1 (1914-1918), its military buildup heading into...
Thumbnail picture of the Heinkel He 59

Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu (Rex)
Early in World War 2 (1939-1945), Japanese authorities understood that their conquest of the Pacific would strain their carri...
Thumbnail picture of the Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu (Rex)

Thumbnail picture of the Latecoere 298

Liore-et-Olivier LeO 25
The Liore-et-Olivier was a bomber platform developed by the French for its Air Force and also went on to see service with its...
Thumbnail picture of the Liore-et-Olivier LeO 25

Thumbnail picture of the LTG FD.1

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

Mitsubishi F1M (Pete)
The Empire of Japan's military aviation industry played catch up to the world on its path to World War 2 (1939-1945). This me...
Thumbnail picture of the Mitsubishi F1M (Pete)

Nakajima A6M2-N (Rufe)
As an island nation with a primary military focus placed on a powerful navy, the Empire of Japan was forced to rely upon a he...
Thumbnail picture of the Nakajima A6M2-N (Rufe)

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

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

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

Thumbnail picture of the Short Type 184

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

The SPAD S.XIV was a floatplane version of the earlier S.XII fighter. The original S.XII was developed by way of a request by...
Thumbnail picture of the SPAD S.XIV

Vought FU-1
During May of 1922, the Lewis and Vought Corporation was reformed to become the Chance Vought Corporation and its first produ...
Thumbnail picture of the Vought FU-1

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

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