One of the best parts about Ridge Landing being in central Florida is the easy accessibility to all kinds of seaside towns and beach cities. Our central location makes it easy for our residents to fly off to all kinds of destinations, whether you want to head to Key West to transport to island time or the west coast’s St. Pete Beach is calling your name, Ridge Landing encourages that you use our location to its fullest potential.
With that being said, Florida has a lot of water. The state is a peninsula, after all! With three sides of Florida surrounded by beautiful water and aquatic life to match, it’s only right that we take a look at some of the best amphibious and float planes on the market.
Our own Crooked Lake is perfect for float planes or amphibian aircrafts, you can also use our dock!
So without further ado, here are the top planes you can take on the water.
The Icon A5 Amphibious Light Sport Aircraft
Icon A5/ photo by Jim Koepnick
In the works since 2006 and recently debuted in 2014, this aircraft from Icon Aircraft is geared towards the recreational flyer. Robb Report said that not only is it extremely light, but its wings are foldable for simple towing behind your car (like a boat), and it can operate on aviation fuel as well as regular gasoline that you can buy at any gas station.
Lisa Airplanes Akoya
Keeping enthusiasts on their feet, French startup Lisa Airplanes has been in the process of building the Akoya for many years. The Akoya is more than just an amphibious plane, though — it will be able to operate on land, water, and snow. While testing has halted for a bit, the company recently received a big financial boost from Chinese investors which will help the completion of the project. Lisa Airplanes plans to do a demo in the Alps this year, with customers being priority.
The Chinese Jiaolong AG600, aka “The World’s Largest Flying Boat”
Translated to the “Water Dragon,” the AG600 will be the largest amphibious aircraft in the world as of currently. While most seaplanes are used for recreation, the Water Dragon might imply more serious uses. The Diplomat reports that it might enable China to control the South China Sea, suggesting more military importance because of the unlikeliness of civilian demand.
A great choice for a family trip, the Seawind 300C’s cabin can fit two adults and three children, and the panoramic view is a fun addition for those wishing to take in the sights. Also, this seaplane goes fast. The cruising speed is 190 MPH or 165 knots at 75% power, although most pilots tend to fly at 55% power, not even taking advantage of the speed at their fingertips.
Cessna 206 on Wipline 3450 Floats
When a Cessna is involved, it’s hard to say no. The Wipline 3450 was designed using CAD, with laser-cut aluminum parts and skins, and the rivet holes are pre-punched, making replacement parts a cinch. The aircraft is built to be ultra light while maintaining ruggedness, and best of all, it is approved to accommodate the Turbine Cessna 206 engine upgrade.
Here’s a light sport aircraft with a sleek design and ditches the traditional look of a float plane. One convenient feature of the M-22 is the fact that it, like the Icon A5, can operate using premium auto fuel, making filling up a breeze, especially if you choose to take it for a spin on one of Florida’s many lakes.
Viking Twin Otter 400S
Canadian manufacturer Viking Air just introduced “the world’s first dedicated seaplane in the near 20 passenger category” at the Singapore Airshow. Obviously designed for the commercial sector for short-to-medium length flights, the Viking 400S is a big development in the seaplane community, opening up the amphibious experience to those who aren’t pilots. It is slated to be sold within a year, at a list price of about $6 million.
What about you? What’s your favorite float plane or amphibian aircraft?