Tips for Float flying

Hi all,

I just installed a set of ARC floats on my NexStar. Everything is balanced and aligned. It looks real nice. However, I haven't flown off of water yet. I am a proficient flyer off of pavement and snow, and I'm a little nervous taking off of water. I have some questions for float flying...

  1. What size of prop should I now use?...I know aerodynamics will change with the increased weight and right now I am using a 11x5 nylon Master Airscrew prop on an OS46fxi. Should I change this? BTW the empty weight of the plane is now about 7.5 lb

  1. Any suggestions on water-proofing the switch which is currently on the outside. I plan to water-proof batteries and receiver inside a balloon sealed with duct tape.

  2. Is it ok to fly off of salt water? I plan to use WD-40 to lubricate the engine after each flight.

  1. What about the holes where the landing gear snaps in? I assume these should be sealed?

Thanks for your responses. I'm a little nervous, but excited about float flying


Reply to
Darren Earle
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refer to

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scroll down to a lot of very useful information under section "Floats and Skis"

Float cores - DIY foam cores and floats Floats - Ironsides Floats for electrics - J Spencer Floats, plans and downloads etc Float size Calculator - single or twin floats - download Skis - Ironsides Skis and floats - George Nichols (ex RCM) Ski Kits for R_C Aircraft Ski kits - how to make Winter Float Flying - snow & ice

regards Alan T. Alan's Hobby, Model & RC Web Links

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Reply to

Thanks...very useful indeed.

Reply to
Darren Earle

Use an 11x6 on your .46, the extra speed will help your plane get off the water quicker, and if you're flying off salt water, take some fresh water to flush out your radio gear if you dunk it. Sea water and receivers don't play well together.

Reply to
Doug Dorton
1)Thank engine and prop should be fine although the plane is a little heavy. Use a long takeoff run and let the airplane lift when it is ready. Horsing it off the water is a sure recipe for a snap-crash. 2) Move the switch to the inside, operated with a thin wire pushrod. If impossible, put electrical tape over the switch before each flight (after turning on of course!) 3) If you have a choice, fresh water is preferred. If you dry the engine with WD-40, FOLLOW IT IMMEDIATELY with LOTS of after-run oil (Marvel Mystery Oil or any automatic transmission fluid). WD = water displacement = white death. WD-40 is NOT a quality lubricant and is banned for many critical uses. If salt water gets in any of your electronics, disassemble and rinse them IMMEDIATELY with purified (bottled) water and let them air dry, and test them thoroughly. Many times any electronics in contact with salt water are no longer useable. 4) Make sure the step of the float is at or a little ahead of the CG. 5) Adding a fixed sub-rudder (fin on the bottom of the rear of the fuselage) aids handling on many planes.
Reply to

A fine pitch prop is preferred for float flying. You will do fine with the


Move the switch inside and operate with a L shaped wire. Push 'IN' for ON and pull 'OUT' for OFF. Waterproof the receiver and plugs but NOT the batteries. A wrapped battery will corode very quickly and cause lots of intermittent problems before the light goes on in yr head and you unwrap it to see the mess. If you dunk it, simply pull the batteries and let them dry off in the sun.

Man, I wouldn't fly off salt water.

Yes. And also seal the wing saddle with silicon or some sort of wx stripping.

Add a water rudder or two. A float plane is just about impossible to steer without it. You may also need a sub fin depending on how twitchy the 'plane seems in the air.

Don't fly without a retrieval boat. Other than that, a float 'plane flys just about the same as on wheels. Let us know how it works out! And welcome to the wonderful world of water flying.

Gord Schindler MAAC6694

Reply to
Gord Schindler

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