Friday, November 14, 2008

Republic Seabee 3-view

Descended from the original Spencer S-12 Air Car Amphibian prototype, and for a time known as the Thunderbolt Amphibian, the Seabee was Republic Aviation's attempt to enter the anticipated postwar civil aviation market. It was one of the more unorthodox designs put forth for this market, which never materialized to the degree hoped for. The enclosed cabin sat three passengers in addition to the pilot, and the Franklin 6A8-215 engine was mounted overhead in a pusher configuration.

Republic Seabee top view plans
Republic Seabee side and front view plans
Republic Seabee 3-view drawing, from US Patent documents

The first RC-1 prorotype flew in November 1944, and in 1946-48 just over a thousand production RC-3s were built. The numbers built would have been greater had WWII lasted longer and the orders for the military OA-15 rescue variant not been cut. Despite having been out of production for six decades, the Seabee's popularity has ensured that around a quarter of the airframes built are still extant.

Photo: Seabee N6097K. Aeroplane Monthly December 1988 p.721

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