See the May 2012 issue of Model Aviation
for an article about
The 2011 Heart of America Float Fly


One of the real thrills in R/C flying is to see a model equipped with floats lightly touch down, skim across the water and lift back off without a bounce.

Although there are some differences specific to float flying, for the most part it is not that much different from flying off of land. Listed below is what I see, after twenty years of active float flying, as eight key elements to successful float flying:

  1. The length of your floats should be 75-80% of your fuselage length (As measured from the prop disk to the rudder hinge)
  2. The step of the float should be located 1/2 to 1 inch behind the CG
  3. 10% of the total length of the float should be ahead of the prop disk
  4. Wing incidence should be 1-3 degrees positive when the top of the float is level
  5. Any model which has enough power for "brisk" performance off of a grass runway can handle the addition of floats
  6. Do install a water rudder
  7. Avoid cross wind take-offs
  8. Take-off speed can be deceptive on water. Take a longer than usual take-off run

If you have any further questions about float flying, float installation, sources for floats, single center float specifications, seaplane applications, recommended first seaplane/float plane, etc., address your question to "Club Information" in the contact us section of this web site. We will get back to you promptly.

The RC Barnstormers Model Airplane Club hosts the Heart of America Float Fly at Lake Miola in the late Spring.