One Sunday the Warmonger and I were driving through the Savannah airport
when I noticed this airplane. It's not often I see a totally unfamiliar
plane, and this one certainly got my attention. We pulled in to check it out.
Mary at Savannah Aviation told us this was custom built built for
filming documentaries around the world. It was here to be dismantled and shipped to Australia
for its first job.
After a while they loaded up and went flying. The two 300HP engines started instantly
and ran unusually quietly.
This thing has more windows than Microsoft!
This is a definite widebody. I got the feeling they will be living aboard at times.
When retracted, the nose gear projects ahead of the hull as a bumper for water operations.
Since the film company is French, the design takes its cues from the Eiffel tower.
All these struts allow a long and slender wing without a big spar running through the cabin.
The interior is about the size of your local Wal-Mart.
Most seaplanes look like an airplane inside, this one is definitely a boat.
You'll have to excuse the housekeeping; they were in the process of packing up
for down under.
The raised cover to the left is over a floor panel in the rear, just forward of the bunk,
which allows an underwater view, like a glassbottom boat.
Length 39 ft 10 inches
Wing Span 67 ft
Height 22 ft
Engines 2 Lycoming IO-540 300 HP
Gross Weight 8,000+ lbs
Empty Weight 4,995 lbs
Fuel 180 gal
Top Speed 120 mph
Cruising Speed 110 mph
Stall Speed 60 mph
We received an email March 18th from one of the crew
with the following update:
After a four week ship ride, L'Avion was reassembled in Brisbane, Australia.
The plane is currently based at Cairus, Australia, flying the Great Barrier Reef.
The aircraft has visited other exotic sites before, including Tierra del Fuego, the Amazon, and La Paz, Bolivia.
(La Paz is 14,400 MSL, pretty high territory for a non-turbo!)
The Warmonger has built a Flight Simulator model for this unique aircraft.
Check it out here!
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