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Build Your Own Floats
By Hardin County Flying Colors, Elizabethtown, Kentucky USA

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Float Flying

This page contains all our collective knowledge about flying off water, which ain't much!

Here are two programs to aid you in float sizing for your particular aircraft 
You can download and run them on your computer, or run them directly from this site.
Each program will ask you the distance in inches from the propeller to the rudder hinge line.
After you enter this number, click calculate for the measurements.

Dual float setup    FloatDes.exe
One main float with two small pylon floats    Pylon.exe
You'll need this too, it's the key to the measurements    Floatnew.jpg

For those of you into scratch building, here is a picture illustrating general design principles

NOTE: You need this file, VB40032.DLL, in your   c:\windows\system   directory in 
order for the two float programs to work.

You can download the file by clicking this link.  VB40032.DLL

Save it to your c:\windows\system directory, and then try the programs again. 

You may already have this file, because many games install it automatically.

Check out the following site for exceptional float flying information:

by Ironsides, with contributions from Skip Pothier and John Hawkins

Q and A

1. Where does the step go?  Seems best at the CG or 1/2 to 1 inch behind the CG.

2. What about wing incidence?  You should have the tops of your floats parallel with the center line of the wing.
For example, on a flat bottomed wing, make the floats parallel with the bottom of the wing.

3. How far in front of my propeller do I put the tip of my floats? About 2 inches in front of the propeller should keep
the plane from nosing over when you throttle up.

4. What kind of propeller should I use?  PLASTIC.

5. Do I have to buy expensive floats?  No. You can make your own with dynamite and nails. Just kidding.
You can make your own by using a hot wire cutter, and cutting slabs of white foam to the proper shape.
Then epoxy hardwood into them for gear attachment, and sheet with balsa, or cover with low temp film.

more later.....

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Developed by Geistware of Indiana© ., 1999.
Updated September 22, 2004