Military Factory

Flying Boat Aircraft

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

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





The inherent ability to land and take-off from water while carrying heavy loads of passengers and cargo made flying boats a natural workhorse during aviation's early decades. Flying Boats differed from their floatplane brethren by being dimensionally larger in size and utilizing their boat-like hulls to traverse water surfaces where floatplanes relied on a pontoon arrangement as their undercarriage. A few notable flying boat series remain in active service today though the aircraft group has largely fallen into disuse with the rise of the helicopter and other platforms to take their place.


There are a total of (48) Flying Boat 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 serv... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Aeromarine 40

1923
Aeromarine 75
The American concern of Aeromarine converted the British Felixstowe F5L military flying boat for the... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Aeromarine 75

2016
AVIC TA-600 / AG-600
In 1986, the Chinese Navy began operations of the Harbin SH-5, a large amphibious aircraft utilized ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the AVIC TA-600 / AG-600

1961
Beriev Be-10 (Mallow)
The Beriev Be-10 flying boat was developed for use by Soviet Naval Aviation as a patrol bomber durin... [Read More]
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 rep... [Read More]
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 Wor... [Read More]
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 amphi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev Be-200 Altair

1989
Beriev Be-42 Albatros (Mermaid) (A-40)
The Soviets progressed jet-powered amphibious aircraft more so than any world power during the Cold ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev Be-42 Albatros (Mermaid) (A-40)

1972
Beriev-Bartini VVA-14 (Vertikal no-Vzletayuschaya Amphibia)
The "Polaris" submarine-launched missiles debuted by the West during the Cold War (1947-1991) caused... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev-Bartini VVA-14 (Vertikal no-Vzletayuschaya Amphibia)

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 b... [Read More]
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 Wo... [Read More]
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 Ge... [Read More]
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 P... [Read More]
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 ... [Read More]
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 pse... [Read More]
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 s... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Consolidated PB2Y Coronado

1936
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Maritime aircraft play an understated - yet hugely important - role during World War 2 where their l... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Consolidated PBY Catalina

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

1917
Curtiss H-16
In 1911, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company unveiled their Model D, a biplane aircraft powered ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss H-16

1918
Curtiss NC (Nancy Boat)
World War 1 in Europe prompted all military industries to develop and produce various solutions to o... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Curtiss NC (Nancy Boat)

1938
Dornier Do 18
Though a serviceable flying boat with a successful pedigree, the Dornier Do 18 was highly outclassed... [Read More]
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 i... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Dornier Do 24

1917
Felixstowe F.2
In the pre-World War 1 period, Royal Navy Lt Cmdr John Porte partnered with famous American aviator ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Felixstowe F.2

1918
Felixstowe F.5
The Felixstowe F.5 series originated in the United Kingdom as a militarized flying boat in the last ... [Read More]
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 under... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Grumman Goose (G-21)

1949
Grumman HU-16 Albatross
Even after World War 2 (1939-1945) the flying boat remained a key component of world military forces... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Grumman HU-16 Albatross

1986
Harbin SH-5 (Shuishang Hongzhaji)
The Harbin SH-5 became a locally designed and developed flying boat for the Chinese Navy ("PLAN") du... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Harbin SH-5 (Shuishang Hongzhaji)

1945
Hughes H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose)
This famous Howard Hughes flying boat aircraft - formally designated by Hughes Aircraft as the H-4 "... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Hughes H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose)

1932
Junkers Ju 52
The tri-motor, prop-driven aircraft achieve popularity for a short time during the Interwar years - ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Junkers Ju 52

1938
Kawanishi H6K (Mavis)
Though looking very much the part of a German-produced Dornier series flying boat, the Kawanishi bra... [Read More]
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 t... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Kawanishi H8K (Emily)

1946
Kawanishi K-200
The Japanese concern of Kawanishi made a name for itself in service to the Empire by delivering a he... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Kawanishi K-200

1987
Lun (Ekranoplan)
One of the more interesting of the Cold War aircraft developments became the massive Soviet Lun Ekra... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Lun (Ekranoplan)

1918
Macchi M.7
Before the Italian concern of Macchi developed its stable of frontline fighters for the Italian Air ... [Read More]
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 hig... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Martin JRM Mars

1952
Martin P5M Marlin
World War 2 showcased the value of large flying boats in the long range maritime patrol and anti-shi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Martin P5M Marlin

1955
Martin P6M SeaMaster
The Cold War (1947-1991) period was one of technological advancement whose momentum was driven by de... [Read More]
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 reconnaissan... [Read More]
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 ... [Read More]
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 devel... [Read More]
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). Pri... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Saunders-Roe SR.A-1

1971
Shin Meiwa US-1 / PS-1
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Shin Meiwa US-1 / PS-1

2007
ShinMaywa US-2
While no longer as heavily relied upon as in previous decades of military aviation, the flying boat ... [Read More]
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. O... [Read More]
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 tra... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Short S45 Solent

1935
Sikorsky S-43 (Baby Clipper)
Prior to becoming a world-renown helicopter-maker, Sikorsky delivered to the United States military ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Sikorsky S-43 (Baby Clipper)

1937
Supermarine Stranraer
The Supermarine Stranraer was the final evolution of the Supermarine Southampton which debuted in Ma... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Supermarine Stranraer

1936
Supermarine Walrus
... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Supermarine Walrus