How to make floats for a sea plane

The basics about floats/pontoons for airplanes

Seaplanes are boats that can fly or airplanes that can float, either way, they’re cool because they can do both things, the good part is that we don’t need a runway because they can take off and land on water, which is the thing that happens to be 71% of the earth surface. Let’s see how we can design some floats for our airplanes.

sea plane rc floats pontoons

As you see in the image above the simple rules to follow are few, these design rules are to facilitate the stability during take-off and landing, the design is a simple flat and square pontoon shape but it can be more complicated for better hydrodynamics and stability but this design will generally work.


I used foam board to build the pontoons, using the same technique of foam sheeting just like the one used with the build of the airplane, the difference is that it’d be perfect if we can make it waterproof. It can be done using proper silicon or coating, but I didn’t have those for this project, I ended up filling the structures with styrofoam so the water won’t have anywhere to go in.

Dowload Drawing
The project's video
Flying and handling

Is not just the design, you also need to change the way you take off and land, during take-off you have to pull the stick a bit more than you would on land, after a certain speed the floats will be mostly out of the water and that’s the point when you should ease the elevator a bit until the plane has the speed it needs to start flying, if you don’t pull the elevator much the plane is in the risk of diving its nose into the water or at least generate too much drag on the pontoons with the water, during the landing it’s a similar story but not too different from landing on the ground.

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