A floatplane has slender pontoons mounted under the fuselage. Two floats are common, but other configurations are possible. Only the "floats" of a floatplane normally come into contact with water. The fuselage remains above water. Some small land aircraft can be modified to become float planes and in general floatplanes are small aircraft. Floatplanes are limited by their ability to handle wave heights typically greater than 12 inches (0.31 m). These float pontoons add to the empty weight of the airplane, and to the drag coefficient, resulting in reduced payload capacity, slower rate-of-climb and slower cruise speed.
The Friedrichshafen FF.33 was a German single-engined amphibious reconnaissance biplane designed by Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen in 1914.
The initial production version was powered by a Mercedes D.II engine inline water-cooled engine, six examples of this variant were built. The basic design was refined and improved. The FF.33e main production reconnaissance variant was powered by a Benz B.III inline engine. This version had longer twin floats, and the under tail central float was eliminated. A radio transmitter replaced its armament, aproximately 180 examples of the FF.33e variant were built.
The FF.33l was the main production armed scout/fighter version. The design underwent aerodynamic improvements, including a reduction in length and wingspan, about 135 of this version built.
The FF.33 served in both the German and Austrio-Hungarian navies. Several other nations purchased the Friedrichshafen FF.33e during the first world war, including: Bulgaria, Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden. The Finnish Air Force purchased two FF.33Es from Germany in February 1918. The first one arrived on April 20, 1918 to Vaasa and the other one in the summer of 1918.
The Albatros W.IV was a German floatplane version of the D.II with new wing and tail surfaces. Albatros Flugzeugwerke built 128 examples (including one prototype) between June 1916 and December 1917. The first test flight for the prototype (No 747) was in June 1916. The Albatros W.IV served with the Kaiserliche Marine, operating in the North Sea and Baltic theatres of war and later as trainers.
The Albatros W.IV was powered by the same 160 hp (120 kW) Mercedes D.III water-cooled inline engine which was fitted to the Albatros D.II and the design was based around the same fuselage, the W.IV was armed with either one or two 0.312 in (7.92 mm) LMG 08/15 machine guns.
The Friedrichshafen FF.43 was a German single-seat floatplane fighter of the 1910s produced by Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen.
Designed for defence of the floatplane bases, the FF.43 was a biplane powered by a Mercedes D.III inline piston engine driving a tractor propeller. It was armed with two 7.92 mm (0.312 in) LMG 08/15 forward-firing machine guns. Only one aircraft was built.
The Hansa-Brandenburg KDW was a German single seat fighter floatplane of World War I. The KDW - Kampf Doppeldecker, Wasser ("Fighter Biplane, Water") - was an adaptation of the Hansa-Brandenburg D.I landplane and was designed to provide coastal defense over the North Sea and Adriatic.
The Hansa-Brandenburg KDW was manufactured by Hansa und Brandenburgische Flugzeug-Werke, from a designed Ernst Heinkel. The KDW was introduced in 1916 and approximately 60 were built.
The wingspan was 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m). The length was 26 ft 3 in (8 m) with a height of 11 ft 0 in (3.35 m). The KDW's loaded weight was 2,293 lb (1,040 kg). The armament for the KDW was 1 or 2 Schwarzlose MG M.07/12 fixed forward-firing 0.312 in (7.92 mm) machine guns
Powered by a single Benz Bz.III water-cooled inline engine, producing 150 hp (112 kW), with a maximum speed was 93 kn, 107 mph (172 km/h) at sea level. It had a service ceiling of 13,123 ft (4,000 m) and an endurance of 2 hrs 30 mins
It was produced under licence by the Austrian manufacturer Phönix from 1916 in five batches, each with different engines, around 60 aircraft in total being produced.
Rumpler 6B was a German single-engine floatplane fighter with biplane wing structure, designed and built by Rumpler Flugzeugwerke, in Berlin Johannisthal and introduced in 1916.
Born out of requirement of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) for a seaplane fighter, the Rumpler 6B, was, like its contemporaries Albatros W.4 and Hansa-Brandenburg W.9, an adaptation of an existing landplane design. In Rumpler's case the new floatplane fighter was based on company's two-seat C.I reconnaissance aircraft. The modifications included adding forward stagger to wings, removal of the second (observer's) cockpit and fitting a larger rudder to offset the increased side area caused by the addition of floats. In the production aircraft, the area of horizontal tail surfaces was also slightly reduced. The armament consisted of a fixed, forward-firing 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08/15 "Spandau" machine gun mounted on port side of the engine block.
The initial version of the fighter was the 6B-1. A total of 39 of these were produced, with all but one of the number having been delivered by the end of May 1917. A new version of the basic design, the 6B-2, was introduced in October 1917. These aircraft retained the Mercedes D.III engine, but otherwise they were based on the C.IV, with larger dimensions and more rounded horizontal tail surfaces. In spite of decrease in performance, 49 of this type were delivered between October 1917 and January 1918, during which time the remaining 6B-1 also left the factory.
The Rumpler 6Bs were mostly employed at German seaplane bases at Ostend and Zeebrugge. Some were also sent to Black Sea area to fight the Russians.
The two 6B1 naval fighters stationed at the German Naval Air Station Peynerdjik near Varna on the Black Sea were transferred in June 1918 to the Bulgarian Navy. They were used after the war in minesweeping operation. In 1920 they were destroyed in accordance with the clauses of the Peace Treaty.
In February 1918, the Finnish White army ordered one Rumpler and seven other aircraft from Germany. The aircraft was destroyed in an accident in 1918. Another Rumpler aircraft was bought from the Germans in Tallinn in 1918 and it was used for 7 years.
The Friedrichshafen FF.41 was a large, German-built, three-seat, twin-engine amphibious reconnaissance aircraft designed by Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen in 1917.
The aircraft was mainly used as a reconnaissance aircraft, but also as a bomber and as a mine-laying aircraft. A torpedo-carrying version, the FF.41AT, was also developed. It had a modified fuselage and a single vertical fin (in comparison to the basic model's three). Only five FF.41AT aircraft were manufactured.
The Friedrichshafen FF.41 was based on the Friedrichshafen FF.35. The major difference between them was a change from pusher plane stlye propulsion to a tractor configuration
The Finnish Air Force purchased one FF.41AT aircraft from the Germans in Estonia on 26 November 1918, at the end of World War I. It was flown to Sortavala where it was repaired. In 1922, the torpedo-carrying fuselage was changed and the capability to carry torpedoes was removed. This aircraft was in use between 1918-23.
The Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 was a German biplane fighter floatplane of World War I. It was a development of Ernst Heinkel's previous KDW, adding a rear cockpit for an observer/gunner, and had an unusual inverted tailplane (which instead of standing up from the fuselage, hung below it) in order to give an uninterrupted field of fire. The aircraft's first flight was in early 1917.
The W.12 was powered by a Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder inline engine, producing160 hp (119 kW). The maximum speed of the W.12 was 99 mph (160 km/h) with a service ceiling of 16,405 ft (5,000 m). The aircraft's range was 320 mi (520 km) with an endurance 3 and a half hours. The armament consisted of 1 or 2 fixed forward 7.92 (0.312 in) LMG 08/15 machine guns and a single 7.92 (0.312 in) Parabellum MG14 on a flexible gun mount in rear cockpit.
The W.12's (under the Naval designation C3MG) served on the Western Front, based at the Naval air bases at Ostend and Zeebrugge. The aircraft had some success, and one shot down the British airship C.27. During the time it was operational, a total of 181 W.12 were built. The aircraft served in the Kaiserliche Marine and Marine-Luchtvaartdienst.
In April 1918, a W.12 made an emergency landing in the neutral territory of the Netherlands, where it was interned and flight tested by the Dutch. In 1919 the government of the Netherlands bought a license to build the aircraft. Thirty-five W.12's were subsequently manufactured by the Van Berkel company of Rotterdam as the W-A, serving with the Dutch Naval Air Service until 1933.
The Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 was a German monoplane fighter floatplane manufactured by Hansa und Brandenburgische Flugzeug-Werke, which served in 1918 in the closing months of World War I. The Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 had its first flight on March 27, 1918. The fighter was deployed from bases on the North Sea coast.
The German naval air service asked for an aircraft with increased speed and firepower to counter the heavily armed Felixtowe flying boats used by the British in the North sea. In response to this request, Hansa und Brandenburgische Flugzeug-Werke designed the W.29 which was based on the aging W.12 biplane. The W.29 was specificly designed by Ernst Heinkel to replace early W.12 biplane. The monoplane configuration created much less drag, giving the W.29 a higher rate of speed.
There were several production batches of W.29's. Batch 2507-2536 were powered by the 150 hp Benz III inline water-cooled engine. Armament was a pair of Spandau guns synchronized for the pilot and a Parabellum on a ring for the observer.
The first combat for the Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 took place on July 4, 1918. Oberleutnant Friedrich Christiansen lead a flight of four W.29's which intercepted and attacked three Felixtowe flying boats. They shot down all three without a loss. Christiansen's use of the W.29 in July of 1918 was exceptional. On July 6 1918, Christiansen lead a flight of five W.29's who located and damaged the British submarine C 25. On July 31, 1918 Christiansen downed another Curtiss flying boat. By the end of the war he had 13 confirmed victories.
Hansa-Brandenburg W.33 was a German two-seat, low-wing single-engined seaplane, which had been designed by Hansa und Brandenburgische Flugzeugwerke in the 1920s. Although the W.33 was built in relatively small numbers, the design was widely recognized as successful and numerous copies and license built versions were built by the hundreds after World War I.
The Hansa-Brandenburg W.33 aircraft was designed in 1916 by Ernst Heinkel and entered German service in 1918. 26 aircraft were built of this design, but only six before the collapse of the German empire. Noticeably superior to the FF.33L, it proved to be an excellent aircraft. The Hansa-Brandenburg monoplanes considerably influenced German seaplane design; several copies appeared in 1918, such as the Friedrichshafen FF.63, the Dornier Cs-I, the Junkers J.11, and the L.F.G. Roland ME 8. After the war a version of the W.29 was used by Denmark, while Finland obtained a license for to manufacture of the W.33.
Finland purchased a number of W.33 and W.34 aircraft from Germany. In 1921, Finland also obtained the manufacturing license for the W.33. The first Finnish-built Hansa made its maiden flight on 4 November 1922, and was called IVL A.22 Hansa. This aircraft was the first industrially manufactured aircraft in Finland. During the following four years a total of 120 aircraft were manufactured. The Finnish Air Force used the aircraft in maritime service until 1936.
This experimental two-seat seaplane was built during 1918. It was of all-metal construction except for the fabric-covered wing and cruciform tail surfaces.
Ailerons were fitted with Flettner-type servos. The machine was fitted with vee-type eight-cylinder Benz engine. Both nose and side radiator installations were tested.