Republic Seabee News 2005

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2005 Dec 16

Seabee Dissected!


A few years ago NASA, together with some major universities and commercial enterprises started a project called SATS - Small Aircraft Transportation System.  The purpose of the project is to develop technologies to make personal aircraft affordable. In 2004 Munro & Associates, an engineering and manufacturing consultant company based in Troy, MI, purchased Seabee s/n 1054 for the purpose of studying the design and manufacturing methods used on the Seabee.  The Seabee was delivered by truck to M&A on 15 March 2004 and soon work was started to dissect the Seabee for a detail benchmark study of the Seabee design.

As a part of the SATS project, M&A made a Lean Design study of the Seabee for NASA. More details to follow in Stories section!

2005 Sep 09

Robinson V8 Update


Brian Robinson ( sent this August a news update on the Robinson Seabee V8 engine conversions;

Interest in the V 8 powered Seabee continues to grow. We have seven converted Seabees flying, and four more under conversion. The first U.S. licensed V 8 powered Seabee is the Tahoe Special. Rebuilt from the ground up by Steve Lantz & Paul Shepard, the Tahoe Special is powered by an LS 6 coupled to a four-blade MT reversible propeller. The aircraft just won the Grand Champion Seaplane award at AirVenture 2005! Based at Carson, City Nevada, they often fly from land or water with density altitudes in the 9000’ range. Steve & Paul consider the air conditioning essential for operating in their climate.

Total fleet time is approximately 1800 hrs.  The highest time V8 Seabee is my own airplane CF-ILM.  It has accumulated 1176 hours.  The longest trip has been from Balsam Lake to Key West Florida and return.  We use whatever fuel is available, automotive or aviation. The aircraft continues to perform flawlessly. The V8 installation has been operated from sea to level to 10,000 ft., and in temperatures ranging from -20°F to 113°F.

From a pilot's perspective, the performance improvement is spectacular.  From a passenger's perspective, the heating and air-conditioning systems as well as the noticeable reduction in cabin noise level are welcome additions. From an owner's perspective, the 50% reduction in operating costs is significant.

Our current focus is now on improving the airframe.  We have designed a large baggage door system, & it is currently installed on three aircraft. The owners love it! During the winter we modified the landing gear to improve the crosswind handling characteristics and added reinforcing below the stabilizers to stiffen the skin. We have completed design work on retractable wing floats and are in the initial stages of manufacturing them.

Steve Lantz's fabulous "Tahoe Special" amature built aircraft is flying proof that the licensing issues for the US market can be addressed.  There is nothing to prevent anyone frin registering and completing their project with our drive package.  The V8 reliability, performance and economy are second to none, but don't take our word for it; talk to our customers.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to call us at 705-340-2408  

In the latest issue, No. 150, of "Water Flying", published by Seaplane Pilots Association, there is also an article on the Robinson Seabee V8 engine conversions. The article titled "Old Amphib with New Attitude" has been written by Robert S. Grant.


2005 Jun 23

News Update


More photos!"Lake Tahoe Special" Is Flying! - Blair Robinson ( has sent several photos to prove that Steve Lantz' Robinson V8 powered Seabee is flying!  She made her first flight on 14 June 2005.  These wonderful photos were taken by Ian Norman.

Registered N48VP to honor US Navy VP-48 Squadron, this is the first Seabee to be certified as an amateur built aircraft by the FAA, to allow the installation of the 405 hp (rated) LS-6 V8 engine (350 hp operating).  Steve properly changed the model designation of his Seabee (ex N6003K s/n 172) to "Lake Tahoe Special", with S/N 001. Congratulations Steve!!!

RC-3 Seabee Type Certificate #A-769 for Sale - IRSOC web site (Steve Mestler) that the RC-3 Seabee FAA Type Certificate #A-769 is up for sale.  The current owner Sky Enterprises Inc. (Mr. Wolf Meyerfeld) has owned the Seabee Type Certificate since 1988, and even tried to put the Seabee into production again in the late 1980s through the company Republic Aircraft Manufacturing Inc. (RAM).

Planned improvments for the new production Seabee included installation of IO-540 engine (300/350 hp), Hartzell 3-blad full reversible propeller, retractable wing floats, 4/6 seat capacity, retractable water rudder, single step after body and state of the art avionics. Estimated prices in 1989 were US $ 200,000 for the 300 hp version, and US $ 225,000 for the 350 hp version.

Production was planned at W. E. Aerotech in Arlington, Washington.  The production team was to be headed by Mr. Charles "Chuck" Herbst who had a long experience as an aeronautical engineer with companies such as Aeronca, Tyee Aircraft, Trident Aircraft and Boeing.  With Trident, Mr. Herbst worked with Seabee designer Percival Spencer to design a modernized version of the Seabee called Trident TR-1 Trigull.

On 24 April 1989 RAM was listed on the Vancouver Stock Exchange, with Mr. Wolf Meyerfeld as president and Mr. David Hudson as director. Sadly this was at the worst possible time, when the climate for finding investors in the avaition industry was extremely harsh...  RAM failed to raise the funds needed for putting the Seabee into production again.


2005 Jun 15

News Update


C-FDOQ (s/n 934)New Robinson V8 Engine Conversions Are Flying - Blair Robinson reports that Seabee C-FDOQ (s/n 934) made her first flight with her new Robinson LS-6 V8 engine conversion last week. C-FDOQ was imported to Canada from USA (ex N6657K) by Mr. Michael Lush, Orangeville, Ontario.  She has been through a complete restoration and looks fantastic in her new polished aluminum exterior!

As reported below,the Neil and Janet Kennedy's have just completed a Robinson LS-6 V8 engine conversion on their Seabee C-GHQU (s/n 639).  They are waiting for the final paper work prior to flying.  #639 will be the 5th Seabee in Ontario flying with the Robinson engine conversions. Please visit the Robinson V8 engine website at: .

On set for "The Breed"!"Shaya Manzi" in The Movies Again! - Mark Becker reports from South Africa that "Shaya Manzi" (ZS-ORX s/n 261) recently starred in her 4th film, "The Breed"! Previously she starred in the Hallmark Channels film "Supernova" (see Jan 11 news).

The film "The Breed" was shot on a remote location about 980 miles from Cape Town and is meant to resemble somewhere on the Canadian/US border, and stars Michelle Rodriquez (from "Fast and Furious" and "SWAT").  The film is about military bread dogs gone haywire.

"Shaya Manzi" was on set for just under a month and plays a major role in the film, including the opening flying sequence.  Both films "The Breed" and "Supernova" are due out in December/January time frame.  We can hardly wait!!!

2005 Jun 10

Mystery Seabee C-GHOU

Click on photo for larger view!Mystery Seabee - An unidentifed Seabee has been observed in CanadaOn 7 June 2005, Mr. Luc Brousseau saw this Seabee at Centralia / Huron Airpark (CYCE) in Ontario, Canada.

The Seabee is marked with the Canadian registration mark 'C-GHOU', but there is no information on this registration mark on the Transport Canada website or anywhere else on the internet.

It is presumed that mark is a fake mark, or a new mark applied for a recently imported Seabee not registered yet. If you can help identify this Seabee (c/n, history, owner, etc...), please e-mail!  Luc sent this photo of C-GHOU! Thank you very much, Luc!

2005-Jun-15 Mystery Solved! Thanks to Mr. Blair Robinson and Mr. Ian Macdonald, the 'Mystery' Seabee has been identified.  The correct registration is of course C-GHQU, which makes her s/n 639 owned by Neil and Janet Kennedy, Elmira, Ontario, Canada. They have just completed a Robinson LS-6 V8 engine conversion and are waiting for the final paper work prior to flying.  

2005 May 19

Seabee Accident in CA


N6292K (s/n 505) suffered an accident on 14 May 2005 - Updated 2005-Jun-10; Here are more correct details from the preliminary NTSB report:

On May 14, 2005, about 1550 Pacific daylight time, a Republic RC-3, N6292K, experienced a loss of engine power and made a forced landing in a vineyard in Franz Valley near Calistoga, California. The pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport (STS), Santa Rosa, California, at 1530. The flight was scheduled to terminate at Lake Berryessa Seaport Base (E20), Napa, California, and no flight plan had been filed.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) interviewed the pilot. The pilot reported that the first indication of an engine problem was the rise in oil temperature with a corresponding decrease in oil pressure. He decided to turn back for STS, made it over a ridge, and had to make a forced landing. The pilot stated that the airplane had just come out of an annual inspection 2 weeks prior to the accident. There were no mechanical anomalies noted on the two flights prior to the accident flight.

An early news report suggested there were 4 people aboard. All apparantly escaped with no - or only minor injuries. The damage to the the Bee is reported to be substantial.

Additional information from the CBS 5 website;

A Windsor woman suffered minor injuries when a four-seat amphibious plane flipped over after making an emergency landing in a Sonoma County vineyard on Saturday afternoon.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Lt. Roger Rude said the plane experienced engine failure and was making an emergency landing off Franz Valley Road when a stake in the vineyard hit a wing on the plane causing it to flip over.

Sama Celene Hershey, 28, of Windsor, suffered minor injuries when she unfastened her seat belt while hanging upside down, Rude said. She was treated and released at Healdsburg District Hospital, Rude said.

Three men on board were not injured in the 3:10 p.m. incident, Rude said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Donn Walker said the Republic RC-3 Seabee had departed Santa Rosa for Lake Berryessa.

FAA Registry lists the owner of N6292K as Mr. Arthur W McDonnel, Santa Rosa, California.  Mr. McDonnel has been the registered owner of N6292K since 21 July 2004.

2005 Apr 14

Kenmore Air Book


NEW BOOK: "Success On The Step - Flying With Kenmore Air" - Written by C. Marin Faure [Earmark Publishing, Seattle, Washington, ISBN # 0-9760200-1-7].

"Success on the Step" tells the history of Kenmore Air, started in 1946 by a pilot and two mechanics who wanted to "be our own bosses and be involved in aviation".

It was a one-plane operation based at Kenmore Air Harbor, basically a mud bog near Seattle. None of them had ever heard of a business plan and the concept of marketing was a stranger. Six months later, the pilot was dead and one of the mechanics had left. Bob Munro, the remaining mechanic, pushed on alone.

During 1947 Kenmore Air became a Seabee dealer for the Northwest, and quickly the Republic Seabee amphibian became a huge success in the area. 'Bees were swarming the Kenmore Air Harbor and at the peak almost 40 'Bees had their base at Kenmore.  Kenmore Air also became experts on Seabee repairs and maintenance for the local Seabees, and developed a number of modifications to improve the performance.  Kenmore Air owned only one Seabee, N6295K, but put her through the test by operating her for some of the most spectacular Seabee operations ever.  In 1953 Kenmore Air was hired to fly in an entire mining camp to Leduc Glacier, 50 miles north of Ketchikan, Alaska.  Two Norseman seaplanes and one Seabee were used to complete the two-month operation. For this job the Seabee was operated from snow on hull only, with landing gear removed.

Some of the of the legends from the Seabee years include, in addition to Bob Munro; Tom Wardleigh, Bill Fisk and Ted Huntley.  This book has all the incredible stories!  A MUST for any Seabee enthusiast!

Today, Kenmore Air is among the best-known and most respected float plane operations in the world, flying an eclectic mix of piston Beavers and turbine Otters and Caravans, landing passengers on glaciers, lakes and harbors among the mist-shrouded fjords and islands of the U.S. and Canadian northwest.

Bob Munro died in 2000, still running the business by his simple philosophy: do the right thing. He told author C. Marin Faure that he couldn't recall a single day when he didn't look forward to going to work. "I'd be flying through the mountains or up along the coast of British Columbia, and I'd have a hard time believing I was being paid to do it," he said. Judging from the tales told by others in the company, pretty much all of them feel the same way. The company, while different today than it was in 1946, or even last year, continues to evolve and adapt without forgetting to do the right thing.

The book gives the reader a splendid picture of a life that most of us just dream about; a joyous mix of adventure, occasional unwanted thrills, life in the outdoors, daring rescues, good companions.

Buy it from Kenmore Air; Street address: 6321 NE 175th; Postal address: P.O. Box 82064, Kenmore, WA 98028-0064, USA. Phone: 800-423-5526.

Or: Earmark Publishing; 2013 Fourth Ave, Suite 402, Seattle, WA 98121, USA. Phone: 206-441-4745.

2005 Apr 09

Gone West


Dr. Darrell L. Davey -  It is with great sadness the Seabee community has learned that Dr. Darrell Lillburn Davey (67) on Tuesday 29 March perished in the crash/ditching of his Cessna T337E, N1711M.

Only a few minutes after take-off from Blakely Island Airport (38WA), Washington, both engines stopped and a successful emergency landing was made on sea near Orcas Island.  Both Dr. Davey and the passenger Jesse VanGolen exited and escaped the aircraft before it sank. However, they had to struggle in the cold water for several minutes, and when rescue arrived some 40 minutes later, Dr. Davey was found floating face down. CPR was administered to  Davey, but all attempts at resusciation were unsuccessful.  The passenger was treated for hypothermia and survived.

Dr. Davey was the proud and enthusiastic owner of Seabe N5166B (s/n 1000). He was a frequent visitor to seaplane splash-ins in California and Washington. Dr. Davey and his family were residents of both Camarillo, CA, and Blakely Island, WA.

Dr. Davey is survived by his wife Debbie and their children Torin (18) and Genevieve (15), and his two adult children Morgan and Christian Davey. Everyone who knew Darrell will greatly miss him. Obituary.

Ed Clark - Former owner of Seabee s/n 1000, and long time Seabee enthusiast Ed Clark (Hawthorne, CA) has passed away. At is death Mr. Clark was the owner of Seabee N87537 (s/n 97).  Mr. Clark was one of the driving forces behind the annual Clear Lake Splash In, which attracts many seaplanes - including many Seabees - to Lake Tahoe each September.  More information on Ed will be appreciated.

William S. Gentry - Sadly it is also reported that a third member of the Californian Seabee gang has passed away recently; Mr. William S. Gentry (Danville, CA).  Bill was the owner of Seabee N6496K (s/n 762). More information on Bill will be appreciated.

2005 Mar 22

Moody's Camp


Moody's CampMoody's Camp -  Mr. Dennis McDowell has kindly sent some very nice old photos of a Seabee docking at Moody's Camp on Big Spider Lake, Wisconsin, some time during the 1950s.

Dennis discovered the photos when he was making a familiy album.  The McDowell's bought one of the cabins of Moody's that no longer exists.  Dennis is not into aviation and had to visit the local airport to find someone able to identify the amphibian.  He is already fascinated by the unique looks of the Seabee! One more Seabee fan emerging? More...

2005 Jan 11

World News


SE-AXRSweden -  Owner David Pajus reports that he on 6 December 2004 made the first post-restoration test flight of SE-AXR (s/n 270).  Cowling, wings and tail surfaces have been painted aluminum, with outer wing sections, wing struts and water rudder painted  red. The fuselage is polished aluminum with red and blue trim stripes.  The lower hull is white. S/n 270 has most of the Daubenspeck modifications, including a GO-480 engine and the beautiful Daubenspeck scoop-type engine cowling...and of course extended wings and wing droop tips.  Mr. Pajus imported s/n 270 to Sweden from Norway (LN-IKK) in 2003.

SE-AXR is now the latest addition to the growing collection of "Silver-Bees" in Sweden!  No other place in the World will you find such an amazing collection of shining beautiful Seabees.  Put on your shades and just take a look at SE-AXB, SE-AXX, SE-AXY, SE-BXB and SE-IIO!  These guys know how to make aluminum shine!

Peter Fonda and Seabee "Shaya Manzi"!South Africa - Our friends in South Africa are frequent news on this web-site!  Mark Becker and his Seabee companions really seem to know how to enjoy their Seabee ZS-ORX (s/n 261) - "Shaya Manzi"!

Their latest adventure is an appearance in a new Hallmark Channels cable TV miniseries, starring Peter Fonda, Luke Perry, Tia Carrere and Lance Henriksen.  This is "Shaya Manzi's" third appearance for the big screen!  The Hallmark Channels production directed by John Harrison is called "Supernova" and is a science fiction thriller about the end of the earth, much like the recent cinema movie "The Day After Tomorrow".

Let's go flying!Peter Fonda is starring as a scientist who discovers that the Sun has gone super nova and needs to escape to a tropical island.  And this is where the Seabee comes in...  The film was shot intirely in Cape Town, South Africa.

The producers complained that "Shaya Manzi" looked too new and shiny, so she was aged using a beef extract called Bovril.  This made for some interesting odors during the ferry and location flying...

Keep your eyes peeled to see "Shaya Manzi" on a cable television near you during 2005...

2005 Jan 01

Year 2004


Ownership changes 2004 -  Below is a summary of all known Republic Seabee ownership changes for year 2004.  The date given is not the legal date of ownership change (Bill of Sale), but the date on which the aircraft officially was registered on the nation's civil aircraft register.

N2TB (s/n 819)
02-Jul-2004 registered to Mr. Robert J Bastin; 5350 Huffman Mill Road, Hopkinsville, KY 42240-9163, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Tommy Bartlett, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

N3263G (s/n 361)
19-May-2004 registered to Mr. Eric Kresmery; 13 North State Street, Elgin, IL  60123, USA.  Previously owned by Jack Gill Enterprises, Pickens, MS.

N565CB (s/n 946)
11-Mar-2004 registered to Mr. Lee L Robbins; 42 Aviation Drive, Horseheads, NY 14845-1102, USA, who has sold N6713K. N565CB was previously owned by Mr. Mark Elliott, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

N6097K (s/n 280)
19-Aug-2004 registered to Mr. David A Guntly; 13531 7 Mi Rd, Caledonia, WI 53108, USA. Previously owned by Mr. Thomas A. Guntly.

N6113K (s/n 296)
20-Jul-2004 re-registered to Mr. Robert W Taylor Trustee; 975 Bennett Road, Fairbanks, AK 99712-2650, USA.

N6239K (s/n 442)
20-Feb-2004 registered to Mr. Joseph D Vrechek; 239 W 4th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501-2318, USA.

N6256K (s/n 463)
05-Nov-2004 registered to Mr. Byron W Miller; 365 Monitor Road, Silverton, OR 97381-1212, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Vern E. Ziegler, Spokane, WA.

N6292K (s/n 505)
21-Jul-2004 registered to Mr. Arthur W McDonnel; 5248 Old Redwood Highway, Apt 15, Santa Rosa, CA 95403-7838, USA.

N6356K (s/n 585)
07-Sep-2004 registered to Mr.  M Miller Monarch; PO Box 188, Hardinsburg, KY 40143-0188, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Jan Bem, Miami Beach, FL.

N6428K (s/n 673)
04-Jun-2004 registered to Mr. Wayne Young; 1826 Wright Drive, Daytona Beach, FL 32128, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Patrick J Coyle, Orange Park, FL.

N6429K (s/n 674)
19-Oct-2004 registered to Mr. Timothy J Mau; 1351 Fox Run Drive, STE 203, Willoughby, OH 44094, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Herman J Mau Jr, Moravia, NY.

N6443K (s/n 693)
26-Oct-2004 registered to Mr. Burton W Bucher; 2424 Sunset Avenue, Waukegan, IL 60087-3704, USA.

N6449K (s/n 700)
22-Nov-2004 registered to Mr. John Anson; 2001 Alexa Breanne Court, Las Vegas, NV 89117-1954, USA.

N6467K (s/n 718)
08-Jan-2004 registered to Flying Dutchman Marine Corp; 2711 Centerville Road STE 200, Wilmington, DE 19808-1660, USA.

N6483K (s/n 727)
02-Nov-2004 registered to Mr. Terrance McDonald; 13904 N Newport Highway, Mead, WA 99021-9631, USA.  Prevously owned by Mr. Clay Vilas (deceased), Sunnyvale, CA.

N6488K (s/n 750)
22-Nov-2004 registered to Mr. Allan P Bisset;  333 Drury Lane, Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918-0333, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Tom Cuni and Mr. John O'Conner of Vintage Air Service, Portland, MA.

N6511K (s/n 777)
29-Jan-2004 registered to Mr. Steven K Hansen; 2680 Wisteria Court, Merced, CA 95340-2788, USA.

N6588K (s/n 861)
26-Mar-2004 registered to Mr. Richard J Wais;  2142 Fairway Lane, Oak Harbor, WA 98277-7117, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Brien I Lillquist, Oak Harbor, WA.

N6590K (s/n 863)
22-Jan-2004 registered to Mr. Christopher J Johnson; 5348 Hyada Boulevard NE, Tacoma, WA 98422-1618, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Robert E McKenney, Gig Harbor, WA.

N6602K (s/n 875)
27-Feb-2004 registered to Mr. Robert A Porter; 6124 W Shore Road, Anacortes, WA 98221-9007, USA.

N6659K (s/n 936)
10-Mar-2004 registered to Mr. Dennis R Hynes; 1871 Spruce Creek Boulevard, Port Orange, FL 32128-6742, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Graham Aley Sutherland, Port Orange, FL.

N6662K (s/n 939)
26-Aug-2004 registered to Mr. Larry D French; 100 Airport Road, Glasgow, MT 59230-2843, USA.  Previously owned by French Aviation Inc; Wolfpoint, MT. 

N6713K (s/n 996)
13-Sep-2004 registered to Mr. Don Johnson DBA; 2802 Bowie Street, Amarillo, TX 79109-3402, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Lee L Robbins, Horseheads, NY, who have bought N565CB.

N6738K (s/n 1026)
10-Aug-2004 registered to Aerial Eye Inc; PO Box 711, Tehachapi, CA 93581-0711, USA.  Change of address.

N6759K (s/n 1047)
08-Sep-2004 registered to Mr. Ben A Brower; 1325 U P Trail Laen, Camano Island, WA 98282-7258, USA.  Previously owned by Mr. Leland J Harris, Bellevue, WA.

N781RD (s/n 511)
01-Apr-2004 registered to Mr. Forrest M Bird Trustee; PO Box 817, Sandpoint, ID 83864-0817, USA.  Re-registered.

N87465 (s/n 15)
19-Apr-2004 registered to Mr. Scott A Henderson; 3763 Image Drive, Anchorage, AK 99504-4376, USA.  Previously owned by his father, Mr. Joe B. McHugh (deceased), Kent, WA.

N9030C (s/n 811)
14-May-2004 registered to Mr. Kenton J Voss; 11 Royal Brook Lane, New York Mills, NY 13417-1308, USA.

SE-AXR (s/n 270)
11-Nov-2004 registered on Swedish CAR to Mr. David Pajus; Box 13002, SE-580 13 Linköping, Sweden.  Previously owned by Mr. Thorleif André Disen, Norway (LN-IKK).

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