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piston amphibious floatplanes

Piston amphibious floatplanes are a type of fixed-wing aircraft, powered by piston engines, which are adapted for functionality on both land and water. Floatplanes are a class of seaplanes (a general category of aircraft which can take off and land on water) designated as such due to the pontoons affixed to the fuselage. The pontoons (or floats) are air-filled devices typically constructed from glass-reinforced plastic (fiberglass) which serve to provide buoyancy to the aircraft. As a result of the increased weight and drag coefficient to the aircraft from the pontoons, floatplanes are typically smaller in payload capacity, climb rate, and speed. The other class of seaplane – a flying boat – uses a specialized, hydrodynamic fuselage (which lacks permanent landing gear and is comparable to the hull of a ship) to maintain buoyancy. Floatplanes can be configured to take off and land on both water and land. These variants, categorized as amphibious floatplanes, can be fitted with both wheels for ground landings and floats for water alighting.
Rather than being offered as a standalone product, many seaplanes are constructed from standard light aircraft modified for modular attachments (i.e. retractable wheels and landing gear or mounts for pontoons). Floatplanes come in two primary variations: “single float” with a large fuselage float and smaller ones on the wing and “twin float” with one pontoon for each wing for a total of two. Single float is better able to land on choppy water, being more laterally stable, whereas double floats are more conducive to mooring and boarding. While all seaplanes in general are not very efficient in waves or inclement conditions, flying boats are typically better controlled than floatplanes in rough water.
Seaplanes were first seriously developed and used extensively for wartime applications beginning in the early 1900s. Flying boats were used for maritime patrol, personnel recovery, and other military applications. Nowadays most modern seaplanes are used for civilian purposes including coastal rescue organizations which require aircraft able to land in close proximity to the survivor. Floatplanes are also frequently chartered as bush airplanes, are used for light transport endeavors into rough, conventionally inaccessible territory or areas with undeveloped infrastructure.

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