Joseph W. Gigante

 

The UC-1 Twin Bee is a twin-engine five-seat conversion of the Republic RC-3 Seabee amphibian.  The conversion was developed by Mr. Joseph W. Gigante of United Consultant Corporation 1959 -1965.  His company later was known as STOL Aircraft Corporation of Norwood, Massachusetts. 

The original re-builds of the Seabee began at the old Canton Airport (1). STOL Aircraft Corporation moved to the Norwood airport site around 1970.

The Canton airport no longer exists, it was south of Norwood. The original plan for the "Massachusetts Air Terminal" called for the major runways to be in Norwood, with student runways to be in Canton. If the plan had been completed it would have been a major airport.

In her original configuration, the prototype had two 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A1A engines, and made her first flight in 1960 with a Helio test pilot at controls. Later most test flights were made by test pilot Peter Annis.  During development, engine model was changes to injection type, the cowlings were redesigned and the tail control surface areas were increased.

After extensive flight tests for five years, the UC-1 Twin Bee was awarded the US FAR Aircraft Type Certificate No: A6EA on 25 June 1965.  The first production aircraft was delivered one year later.

Conversion is accomplished by replacing the Seabee's original 215 hp Franklin engine by two 180 hp Lycoming IO-360-B1D engines, driving 2-blade CS/feathering tractor propellers.  The original wing span is increased by 6 ft, to 43.33 ft, by adding a 3-foot wing-root extension on each side.  The hull is stretched 3 ft by inserting a "plug" just aft of cabin, to counter-act shift of CG.  Further the rudder/trim-tab area is increased according to the increased power.  The fuel capacity is increased from 75 US gal to 101 US gal by the addition of a new 85 US gal main fuel tank above step and 16 US gal fuel tank in the tail boom.  The instrument panel, and the seat tracks, are moved forward to allow a fifth seat in the original cargo area.  To date 23 conversions have been completed, the last one in 1987.

(1) E-mail from Robert Sission, 11 December 2010.

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