Military Factory
Military Factory

Flying Boat Aircraft

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

The "Flying Boat" is a largely overlooked aircraft group in modern times though it played a major role in decades prior.

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The inherent ability to land and take-off from water while carrying heavy loads of passengers and cargo made flying boats a natural stable in aviation's early and middle decades. Flying Boats differed from their floatplane brethren by being dimensionally larger in size and utilizing their boat-like hulls to traverse on water. Floatplanes, instead, relied on a pontoon arrangement as their undercarriage. A few notable floatplanes remain in modern times but the group has largely fallen into disuse with the rise of the helicopter and other systems to take their place.


There are a total of 43 Floatplane Aircraft in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order. Flag images indicative of country of origin.




1918
Aeromarine 40
The Aeromarine Model 40 (or simply "Aeromarine 40") was a two-seat flying boat trainer aircraft serving the United States Nav...
Thumbnail picture of the Aeromarine 40

1923
Aeromarine 75
The American concern of Aeromarine converted the British Felixstowe F5L military flying boat for the civilian market. The F5L...
Thumbnail picture of the Aeromarine 75

2016
AVIC TA-600
In 1986, the Chinese Navy began operations of the Harbin SH-5, a large amphibious aircraft utilized primarily for maritime pa...
Thumbnail picture of the AVIC TA-600

1961
Beriev Be-10 (Mallow)
The Beriev Be-10 flying boat was developed for use by Soviet Naval Aviation as a patrol bomber during the Cold War years. It ...
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev Be-10 (Mallow)

1961
Beriev Be-12 Tchaika (Mail)
The Beriev Be-12 "Mail" was a successful flying boat aircraft developed for the Soviet Navy as a replacement for its troubles...
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev Be-12 Tchaika (Mail)

1935
Beriev Be-2 / MBR-2
The Beriev Be-2 was one of the few flying boats of note fighting for the Soviet Union throughout World War 2 as very little i...
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev Be-2 / MBR-2

2003
Beriev Be-200 Altair
The Beriev Be-200 "Altair" is based on the Cold War-era Beriev A-40 "Albatros", a twin-engined amphibious aircraft capable of...
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev Be-200 Altair

1989
Beriev Be-42 (A-40) Albatross (Mermaid)
The Soviets progressed jet-powered amphibious aircraft more so than any world power during the Cold War years. Beriev, with a...
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev Be-42 (A-40) Albatross (Mermaid)

1940
Blohm and Voss Bv 138
The Blohm and Voss (also written as "Blohm und Voss" or "Blohm & Voss") Bv 138 was a German flying boat that saw quantitative...
Thumbnail picture of the Blohm and Voss Bv 138

1941
Blohm and Voss Bv 222 Wiking (Viking)
The Blohm & Voss Bv 222 Wiking (translating to "Viking") was a large German flying boat design of World War 2. The behemoth s...
Thumbnail picture of the Blohm and Voss Bv 222 Wiking (Viking)

1944
Blohm and Voss Bv 238
The mammoth Blohm & Voss Bv 238 was the next evolution in the Blohm & Voss flying boat series for Germany during World War Tw...
Thumbnail picture of the Blohm and Voss Bv 238

1939
Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98)
The Boeing Model 314 "Clipper" was a flying boat developed by Boeing Aircraft Company to fulfill a Pan American requirement f...
Thumbnail picture of the Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98)

1936
CANT Z.501 Gabbiano (Gull)
The CANT Z.501 Gabbiano (meaning "Gull") was a flying boat aircraft developed in Italy and shared a resemblance to the succes...
Thumbnail picture of the CANT Z.501 Gabbiano (Gull)

1979
CHDB A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) (Ekranoplan)
The Soviet Navy made use of several "ekranoplan" design forms during the Cold War decades, these pseudo-aircraft designs util...
Thumbnail picture of the CHDB A-90 Orlyonok (Eaglet) (Ekranoplan)

1940
Consolidated PB2Y Coronado
By the middle of the 1930's America was no longer blind to the real possibility that the war would sooner or later be waged a...
Thumbnail picture of the Consolidated PB2Y Coronado

1936
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Maritime aircraft play an understated role, especially in that of war time. Fly boats came to pass, first in peace-time devel...
Thumbnail picture of the Consolidated PBY Catalina

1917
Curtiss H-16
In 1911, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company unveiled their Model D, a biplane aircraft powered by a single Curtiss E-4 e...
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss H-16

1918
Curtiss NC (Navy Curtiss / Nancy Boat)
World War 1 in Europe prompted all military industries to develop and produce various solutions to ongoing (and some new) pro...
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss NC (Navy Curtiss / Nancy Boat)

1938
Dornier Do 18
Though a serviceable flying boat with a successful pedigree, the Dornier Do 18 was highly outclassed and outdated at the star...
Thumbnail picture of the Dornier Do 18

1937
Dornier Do 24
The Dornier Do 24 was a capable flying both serving in limited numbers both Allied and Axis powers in World War 2. The system...
Thumbnail picture of the Dornier Do 24

1917
Thumbnail picture of the Felixstowe F.2

1917
Felixstowe F.5
The Felixstowe F.5 series originated in the United Kingdom as a militarized flying boat in the last year of World War 1 (1918...
Thumbnail picture of the Felixstowe F.5

1937
Grumman Goose (G-21)
While most every aircraft venture usually began with a military requirement or private venture undertaken by a manufacturer f...
Thumbnail picture of the Grumman Goose (G-21)

1949
Grumman HU-16 Albatross
The Grumman HU-16 Albatross platform made appearances all across the globe with United States military forces, rescuing downe...
Thumbnail picture of the Grumman HU-16 Albatross

1986
Thumbnail picture of the Harbin SH-5

1945
Hughes H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose)
This famous Howard Hughes flying boat aircraft - formally designated by Hughes Aircraft as the H-4 "Hercules" - only ever ach...
Thumbnail picture of the Hughes H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose)

1938
Kawanishi H6K (Mavis)
Though looking very much the part of a German-produced Dornier series flying boat, the Kawanishi brand H6K series (codenamed ...
Thumbnail picture of the Kawanishi H6K (Mavis)

1942
Kawanishi H8K (Emily)
The Empire of Japan seemed to be producing its best aircraft designs of the war towards the end of the conflict. The Kawanish...
Thumbnail picture of the Kawanishi H8K (Emily)

1987
Lun (Ekranoplan)
One of the more interesting of the Cold War aircraft developments became the massive Soviet Lun Ekranoplan (NATO codename of ...
Thumbnail picture of the Lun (Ekranoplan)

1918
Thumbnail picture of the Macchi M.7

1943
Martin JRM Mars
World War 2 proved the swan song for the flying boat, large aircraft granted boat-like hulls and high-mounted wings to allow ...
Thumbnail picture of the Martin JRM Mars

1955
Martin P6M SeaMaster
The Cold War (1947-1991) period was one of technological advancement whose momentum was driven by developments during World W...
Thumbnail picture of the Martin P6M SeaMaster

1941
Martin PBM-3 / PBM-5 Mariner
The Martin PBM-3 / PBM-5 Mariner was a World War 2-era flying boat used in the maritime reconnaissance role. Martin designed ...
Thumbnail picture of the Martin PBM-3 / PBM-5 Mariner

1936
Saunders-Roe A.27 London
The Saro London borrowed much from the British flying boat designs peppering the 1920s and, in many ways, her retirement was ...
Thumbnail picture of the Saunders-Roe A.27 London

1939
Saunders-Roe A.36 Lerwick
Along with the Short Brothers and Supermarine, Saunders-Roe (SARO) was a principle flying boat developer for the United Kingd...
Thumbnail picture of the Saunders-Roe A.36 Lerwick

1947
Saunders-Roe SR.A-1
The flying boat had certainly proved its worth during combat service in World War 2 (1939-1945). Prior to the conflict, it wa...
Thumbnail picture of the Saunders-Roe SR.A-1

1971
Thumbnail picture of the Shin Meiwa PS-1

2007
Thumbnail picture of the ShinMaywa US-2

1937
Short S25 Sunderland
The Short Sunderland was the premiere flying boat of British military aviators during World War 2. Oft regarded as one of the...
Thumbnail picture of the Short S25 Sunderland

1946
Short S45 Solent
The Golden Age of Flight encompassed the years between the two World Wars and introduced airline travel to the masses. With i...
Thumbnail picture of the Short S45 Solent

1935
Thumbnail picture of the Sikorsky S-43

1937
Supermarine Stranraer
The Supermarine Stranraer was the final evolution of the Supermarine Southampton which debuted in March of 1925. The original...
Thumbnail picture of the Supermarine Stranraer