Sales - Service - Build - Train
Building the SeaRey
CSP took delivery of our first SeaRey, a SeaRey LSX kit in the fall of 2010. We spent the next two years assembling and documenting the assembly of our plane. Check out our blog to see how a SeaRey is built.
This week, Abid Farooqui, production manager for the SeaRey, gave us a tour of the the new SeaRey SLSA production line.
One of the best aspects of owning a SeaRey is the unparalleled freedom that it gives you to explore, travel, and get out of the cold! That being the case...
We've been continuing to work through the trials and adventures of Phase I flight testing...
NOW AVAILABLE FACTORY BUILT!
The SeaRey in flight is a beautiful form with its swept wings, sophisticated hull design and panoramic lexan cockpit. It is a high wing, pusher, tail dragger configuration. The wings are swept back at the leading edge with a straight trailing edge to form a tapered wing. The engine is mounted on top of the wing, which is supported above the fuselage by a vertical pylon.
The cabin is designed with side-by-side seating. Entry into the cabin is easy: slide open the canopy and step over the side into the cockpit. Upon seating yourself, you will find there is plenty of elbow room (44 inches, 112cm), even for the "big guys". The cockpit is actually the same width as a Cessna 182. The fabric seats are comfortably cushioned, and you will find the side pockets handy for storing necessary paperwork, maps, small tools and more. The dual flight controls enable flying from either seat. There is enough space on the instrument panel to accommodate most any instruments you care to install.
There is generous storage space behind the seats to stow your fishing gear, overnight bags and camping gear for those more adventurous trips (L48 x W44 x H17 in.) The instrument panel and cockpit is one area where many customers have expressed their creativity and workmanship. We have shown custom seats and panels here from several customer SeaReys.
The individual dual sliding canopies provide extra cabin comfort and are an important safety feature for any seaplane involved in water operations. A nice feature of the SeaRey is the ability to fly unaffected with the canopies either opened or closed. In warmer climates the canopies can be opened to enjoy the breeze, and closed in cooler weather to help stay warm. The closed canopies also dampen engine noise inside the cockpit.
Ground handling is simple and uneventful. The retractable landing gear is rugged and handles even unimproved grass runways with ease. The take off roll on land at gross weight is about 375 feet (115m). Lift off takes place at around 45-50 mph (40 - 45 knots), and 65-70 mph (55-60 knots) is the best rate of climb speed. Rate of climb is 1,000+ ft per min (300m+ per min) Solo and around 800 feet per minute (245m per min) at gross weight.
In Flight: Level out, clean up and throttle back to cruising rpm's and the SeaRey settles at a respectable 90 mph (80 knots). Top speed is 113 mph (98 knots). Control pressures are light and responsive. The SeaRey offers stable handling even in gusty wind conditions. Directional stability is very good, with no tendency to hunt due to the large vertical tail surface. Aileron pressure is light and should be led with a small amount of rudder input. Due to the installation of special leading edge extensions on the wings, the stall is very docile and the aircraft is spin resistant. Upon throttling back and applying 20 degrees of flaps, the aircraft slows to the stall speed of around 40 mph (34 knots). The stall is gentle and straightforward and recovery is conventional. Gently ease the aft stick pressure and the aircraft begins flying almost immediately with little nose down attitude and minimal altitude loss.
Make sure you raise the landing gear for those water operations. The retractable undercarriage comes with a simple manual system or alternatively an electric mechanism. An ingenious over center lock mechanism is a real feature of this delightfully simple design.
Best approach speed for a water landing is 65 – 70 mph (55-60 knots) with 10 degrees of flaps. Upon reaching short final, 20 degrees of flaps can be initiated to further slow the aircraft's touch down speed on the water. Landing flare begins lower than conventional land-only aircraft. A nice touch down speed is 45-50 mph (40-45 knots). This lands the aircraft "on step" and produces very smooth contact with the water.
The SeaRey is capable of handling quite rough water conditions but until such time as the pilot has developed their seaplane water experience, operations in moderate conditions with wave size under 12 inches (30cm), is recommended.
With 20 degrees of flaps, you power up for takeoff. The SeaRey will come "on plane" in around 4 seconds. A further 6 to 8 seconds and you are airborne. The hull produces a very flat spray pattern preventing water from going through the propeller. You and your passenger will stay dry, even with the canopies open. Accelerate to 45-50 mph (40-45 knots) to rotate and lift off. As soon as you are established in the climb and at a safe height, reduce the flaps to 10 degrees.
Prepare for ground landing by lowering the landing gear and locking it into place. Use the same approach and landing procedure as with the water landing. As tail draggers go you will find the SeaRey to be very tame and easy to master. Most of our pilots (now over a thousand) havetransitioned from tricycle gear configurations with little or no problem.
One of the major advantages of a SeaRey over a traditional seaplane is that the SeaRey can be "ramped." After landing in the water the pilot can deploy the retractable landing gear and then simply taxi up a boat ramp or beach. This means that SeaRey can be easily kept in a waterfront home owner's back yard.
For more information about the Chesapeake Sport Pilot's SeaRey sales and service or to join our Searey mailing list, please send your name, adddress, and phone number to (410) 604-1717 or firstname.lastname@example.org