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Seabee Production Line
Production Lists

1060 Seabees were manufactured by Republic Aviation Corporation from 1945 to 1947.  An unknown number have later been built from parts.





Seabee Accident ListAccidents will happen as long as man will fly.  Unfortunately, the Seabees have not been spared for accidents.  Most accidents with Seabees were due to pilots landing with landing gear in wrong position; gear down on water, or gear up on land.  Fortunately, the Seabee is a very sturdy airplane and most times the occupants survive accidents.  Here is a list of all known Seabee accidents.


US Registrations


Long a source of confusion for researchers, the plan for aircraft licenses and their display was actually grounded in logic, short-sighted though it may have been. A summary, digested in chronological form from William T Larkins' work in British Air Pictorial in 1954, is presented in hopes of clarifying the waters a bit:

1919 = The Convention for the Regulation of Air Navigation, as part of the October 1919 Peace Conference, created the system of international identification still in use that sets the first letter(s) as country of origin: N for United States, D for Germany, G for Great Britain, SE for Sweden, etc. This system was in use for seven years before it was formally ratified by our government.

1921 = In July the National Aircraft Underwriters Association, a service organization for the insurance industry, established a five-letter licensing code, but this system was voluntary with no governmental teeth in it. Because of indifference from manufacturers (only 33 planes were registered by the end of 1922, and it's doubtful if that number exceeded 50). It was history by 1925, but some aircraft of that period appeared as N-ABCA, N-ABCB, etc; see below.

1926 = In May the first real attempt at organization came with the federal Air Commerce Act that went into effect in January 1927. In this system a class letter C, S, or P was to be added, denoting Commercial, State, or Private. C specified approved (airworthy) airplanes used in commerce and the air mail, but this was amended in 1930 to include any aircraft meeting minimum government airworthiness requirements regardless of its use. S was for state- or federal-owned planes, with most all states requiring aircraft operated within their boundaries to bear an NC number (Oregon, where much flying activity took place, was a notable exception), but this was dropped in 1937. P only lasted until March 1927 to sort out private aircraft from C and S (no example of an NP designation was located). A limit of five numbers seemed adequate at the time for present and future aircraft, but these were all taken by 1929!

"Identified Aircraft" was the term used to designate aircraft that did not meet minimum airworthiness requirements, and it was possible to register such an aircraft until March 1939. These would wear IMA (Identification Mark Assignment) numbers, usually without the N.

1929 = A new plan was to approve three numerals, and a suffix: E, H, K, M, N, V, W or Y. Not surprisingly, these new blocks were used up by the end of 1934.

Class prefixes R and X for Restricted and Experimental aircraft were established. A class prefix of G identified Gliders until it was canceled in 1937, with sailplanes and gliders placed the same bag as powered aircraft. The use of the letter N was optional at this time for aircraft flown within the nation's boundaries.

1935 = Visionaries stepped in and claimed an increase to five numerals would surely do it. This opened up a block from 10000 to 99999, but these, too, showed signs of being gobbled up by the war years.

1938 = The Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) was established as an independent agency and, in 1940, was split into two parts -- the Civil Aeronautics Board, to handle rule making, regulation, and accident investigation, and the Civil Aeronautics Administration, to take care of licensing and certification, airway development, and safety enforcement. By the outbreak of war, CAA had also assumed control of landings and takeoffs at airports. The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) would not arrive until November 1, 1958.

1946 = Blocks of three and four numerals with the other letter suffixes (except number-lookalikes I and O) were added, and 46000 to 79999 were generally reserved for war-surplus aircraft. A class prefix L for Limited type certification went into effect, lasting only until 1948.

1948 = Class prefixes of C, R, and X were eliminated in December, and only the N was used.

1953 = Double suffixes with three numerals were authorized in March.

1958 = The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) established November .

None of these rules was carved in marble, and exceptions were manifold. A notable example is a de Havilland DH-4 that earned the very first license in its duties with the Department of Commerce. It proudly wore N1, even though to abide by its owner's rules it should have been NS1. Because of DoC's practice of reassigning numbers after the sale, destruction, or export of an airplane to another, N1 showed up later on a government Northrop Alpha 2, a Ford 5-AT, a Lockheed 12-A, and a DC-3!

In other instances, a number might be borrowed temporarily by a manufacturer from an inactive company hack for use on a prototype until it had its own license, or a "blue-sky" number might be painted on a new model for photographic or publicity purposes.

Special-request registrations became popular, accounting for the many low-number- plus-suffix registrations, especially after World War Two. If one had the $10.00 fee, one could have just about anything, as long as it was available.

With batch allocations by CAA to regional offices for areal distribution, numbers became cloudy as a logical reference tool, indicating where airplanes were licensed, and not where or when they were built. Additionally, some batches were issued to large manufacturers, which explains how Douglas cornered the N30000 market.


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Updated: 2019-04-16

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