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* Updates 2 & 15 June 2010 *
Warbus Industries Ltd.
design & report by S.A. Gallacci
|Warbus Industries Ltd. Canada
Sporty single-float, two-seat bi-plane, popular for its brisk performance and robust construction. These Winnipeg-built machines, originally intended for the Canadian back-country, have proven to be reliable in ocean sea water, though the mixed construction wings (aluminum, plywood, and fabric) need constant inspection in tropical humidity. Other short-falls with the type include the very limited cargo volume, in an ingenious, but small compartment in the main float, or what can be crammed into the passenger area. The main float also contains all the fuel cells, including overload tanks as standard. But the Seasnake is sensitive to load; it can carry either a passenger and luggage, or full fuel tanks, but not both. So it is not uncommon for an inexperienced operator to attempt to do both and discover that the Seasnake will refuse to get airborne under those conditions. Best range with payload is nevertheless a good 1000 to 1200 miles. Alternately, with full fuel, a Seasnake can go about 1900 miles or slow cruise for over ten hours.
The Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy and Air Force would operate Seasnake Mk II and Mk IV on Atlantic patrol and the tropicalized Mk V was built under license in Australia but did not see service. Seasnakes continued to fly in the post-war years, but shortages of Rutlidge- Swingbridge R1250 engines and the lack of a suitable alternative eventually eliminated practical operations. Fortunately several specimens survive in museums or in pampered private ownership. Talk continues of a turbo-prop version, using surviving Mk Vs, which have survived nearly 50 years of neglect in a Perth salvage yard in remarkable condition.
This historical overview
* "Mechanical Problems" by S. A. Gallacci - (medium file here - 445 KBytes) *
Trishia McMillan (on float) & Lentilla Aksnel (on wing) and their Warbus "Seasnake",
perhaps on a break during their visit to the Spontoon Islands and Archipelago in the late-1930s.
(Large file here - 2.3 MBytes)