Sal Taibi - Floats


from 1953 Frank Zaic Yearbook

I personally like two Edo type floats best but have found out in the past five years of flying ROW that it just does not pay off, the drag and weight seem to handicap the model too much. But for flying-for-fun I think they are tops. I like to watch the long run which is so realistic, and also the real appearance of the model in the air. I usually set Edo floats so that the top of the float, which is straight, is approximately 1/4" positive to the wing, not to the thrustline or centerline of the fuselage, but to the angle of the wing. These floats must be fixed very rigid. I usually make the landing gear as short as possible so that the planning action on the water will be better. Allow about 2" clearance from prop to the top of the float.

The float must be very rigid. It should be "Xd" with light wire and soldered. The rear float support is also soldered to the rear spreader bar and fastened to the fuselage with small rubber bands around a small hook. The main landing gear is pulled together and then slid into brass tubing in the float: No fastening necessary as the spreading action of the gear will hold wire in tubing. It is best to cement small hardwood wedges in place where rear float support is fastened to the body so that the support will not slide back or forward. If this happens, it will change angle of attack of the float.

CONTEST TYPE FLOATS-I am enclosing full size layout of the floats I used at the l95l Nats. Had them on an .099 Arden powered Zenith model whose weight was 11 oz. with floats, and had an area of 365 sq. in. It placed second. There is no internal construction, just sides and covering. Sides are cut from 3/32 soft balsa, and covered also with soft 3/32. Brass tubing was wrapped and cemented to a 1/8 x 1/4 balsa and cemented in the float. A 1/16 wire piece is cemented to the side of the float. It is fixed to the landing gear, which is slipped into the brass tubing, with rubber bands.

The models these days are so highly overpowered that with the sled type floats they require practically no take-off run; as soon as they are released they just jump off the water, especially if there is a 5 to 10 m.p.h. breeze. This is not my idea of a seaplane, rather, it's an excuse to enter a good flying model in a seaplane event. I tried flying a seaplane for four years, and then saw the futility of it and built a pair of sled type floats for my Zenith.

aalmps 10/99; REV 2/09