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Take Your Plane To The Lake With These 8 Amphibs

Oshkosh Updates 2014

It's summer - and for a lot of us, that means time at the lake. But it doesn't have to mean time away from the airport, if the lake is your airport...

Seaplanes are pretty rare around the field, but they're possibly the coolest "off-road" airplanes you can find. Here are eight that you might want to fly...

1) Volmer VJ-22 Sportsman

This homebuilt amphib was originally designed in 1958, and is constructed of wood and fabric. It's powered by a 90hp Continental C85 engine, and cruises at a max speed of 95mph.

volmer-vj-22 I Wish I Was Flying / Flickr

2) Lake LA-4 Buccaneer

This is a common sight around seaplane bases, with over 1000 built. It was designed in the 1950s as a derivative of the Colonial C-1 Skimmer, and sports a 200hp Lycoming. It'll carry you and two friends at 150 mph - pretty fast for a light amphib!

lake-la-4-3 I Wish I Was Flying / Flickr
lake-la-4-1 Ben Seese / Flickr
lake-la-4-2 Ben Seese / Flickr

3) Seawind 3000

The Seawind 3000 is the second generation of the kit-built Seawind amphib family. It's a composite aircraft that carries four passengers and cruises at 169mph when powered by a +300hp engine. While the kits are no longer sold, Seawind's certifying a production version of the kit-built, called the 300C.

seawind Observe The Banana / Flickr

4) ICON A5

This two passenger light sport amphib should reach certification in 2014. It's powered by a 100hp Rotax engine, and should cruise around 120mph.

icon-a5 H. Michael Miley / Flickr

5) Grumman HU-16 Albatross

The Albatross was developed in 1949 as a air-sea rescue seaplane for the US military, with 466 built. The Coast Guard was the last US government operator to use the aircraft, retiring them in 1983. Private individuals have acquired many of the aircraft, and a few have been re-certified as standard category aircraft for commercial service.

The Albatross carries two Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engines, each producing 1,425hp. It cruises at 124mph and carries up to 10 passengers - so while you're not getting anywhere fast, it'll be pretty comfortable.

albatross-1 John Murphy / Flickr
albatross-2 Nathan Rupert
albatross YouTube

6) Piaggio P.136

Piaggio developed the P.136 in 1948, primarily for use by the Italian military. Several were sold in the United States under the name "Royal Gull." They can carry five passengers, and are pushed along by two 340hp Lycoming engines.

piaggio-p136 John Murphy / Flickr

7) Grumman G-44 Widgeon

The Widgeon first flew in 1940. It was originally intended for the civilian market, but World War II pressed the design into service with the US Navy, Army and Coast Guard. A total of 317 were built, with many now in private hands. The Widgeon's powered by two Ranger L-440C-5 inverted inline engines, rated at 200hp apiece. It can carry five passengers and tops out at 160mph.

widgeon D. Miller
widgeon YouTube

8) MVP.Aero

No one knows much about this aircraft - except that it's touted to the the "Most Versatile Plane." It debuts at this year's EAA AirVenture - check back between July 28th and August 3rd and we'll share the details!


Check Us Out Between July 28th And August 3rd As We Cover EAA AirVenture In Oshkosh

It's Boldmethod's first trip to OSH - and we've got a lot planned!

Oshkosh Updates 2014

Aleks Udris

Aleks is a Boldmethod co-founder and technical director. He's worked in safety and operations in the airline industry, and was a flight instructor and course manager for the University of North Dakota. You can reach him at

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