Floats are narrow pontoons found on a floatplane or seaplane. They are commonly utilized when a client requests a small plane charter to an isolated destination. The floats are mounted beneath the fuselage. This provides the plane with buoyancy while on water. Some seaplanes and floatplanes also have landing gear in addition to floats to ensure landing on land is also possible. An aircraft having both set-ups is known as an amphibious aircraft.
A Floatplane’s Purpose
Floatplanes are nowhere near as common as they were prior to World War II, but there is still a niche for them. On average, floatplanes are also referred to as bush planes. This is because a small plane charter that can land on water is in demand in small, isolated communities. Hunters, campers, and explorers rely on floatplanes to reach remote locations. They’re also ideal for reaching small islands that don’t necessarily have the proper landmass to land on.
A Floatplane’s Design
There are two basic designs for the floats on seaplanes or floatplanes:
- Single Float – This design includes one large float. It’s mounted directly under the fuselage with smaller floats found beneath the wingtips.
- Twin Float – This design uses two main floats located on either side of the fuselage. Some models may also utilize small floats beneath the wing tips in addition to the two main floats.