Military Factory

Flying Boat Aircraft

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 7/20/2015

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.

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

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

AVIC TA-600 / AG-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 / AG-600

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)

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)

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

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

Beriev Be-42 Albatros (Mermaid) (A-40)
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 Albatros (Mermaid) (A-40)

Beriev-Bartini VVA-14 (Vertikal no-Vzletayuschaya Amphibia)
The "Polaris" submarine-launched missiles debuted by the West during the Cold War (1947-1991) caused enough consternation in ...
Thumbnail picture of the Beriev-Bartini VVA-14 (Vertikal no-Vzletayuschaya Amphibia)

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

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)

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

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)

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)

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)

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

Consolidated PBY Catalina
Maritime aircraft play an understated - yet hugely important - role during World War 2 where their long range capabilities we...
Thumbnail picture of the Consolidated PBY Catalina

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 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

Curtiss NC (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 (Nancy Boat)

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

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

Felixstowe F.2
In the pre-World War 1 period, Royal Navy Lt Cmdr John Porte partnered with famous American aviator Glenn Curtiss to develop ...
Thumbnail picture of the Felixstowe F.2

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

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)

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

Harbin SH-5 (Shuishang Hongzhaji)
The Harbin SH-5 became a locally designed and developed flying boat for the Chinese Navy ("PLAN") during the latter stages of...
Thumbnail picture of the Harbin SH-5 (Shuishang Hongzhaji)

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)

Junkers Ju 52
The tri-motor, prop-driven aircraft achieve popularity for a short time during the Interwar years - the period proceeding Wor...
Thumbnail picture of the Junkers Ju 52

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)

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)

Kawanishi K-200
The Japanese concern of Kawanishi made a name for itself in service to the Empire by delivering a healthy stable of serviceab...
Thumbnail picture of the Kawanishi K-200

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)

Macchi M.7
Before the Italian concern of Macchi developed its stable of frontline fighters for the Italian Air Force of World War 2, it ...
Thumbnail picture of the Macchi M.7

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

Martin P5M Marlin
World War 2 showcased the value of large flying boats in the long range maritime patrol and anti-shipping roles. The Glenn L....
Thumbnail picture of the Martin P5M Marlin

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

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

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

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

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

ShinMaywa US-2
While no longer as heavily relied upon as in previous decades of military aviation, the flying boat is alive and well through...
Thumbnail picture of the ShinMaywa US-2

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

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

Thumbnail picture of the Sikorsky S-43

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