Amphibious seaplanes used to rule the world many years ago, looking stylish and incredibly cool in the process. They were able to take off and land from lakes, ocean bays, island coves or ordinary runways, but somehow they went off our radar in this past decade.
Dornier, a German company that has been building flying boats for almost a century, plans to bring seaplanes back in trends with the superb Seastar, a project that has been actually in the works since the 1980s. After completing flight tests and getting the FAA certification, the design was unfortunately put on hold due to lack of funds, but by 2009 the money started coming in and this seaplane is finally a reality.
Featuring an all-composite airframe, and built in Canada by Diamond Aircraft, the Seastar is immune to corrosion and it’s capable of flying at speeds of up to 207mph with the aid of two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprops, paired with five-blade MT propeller.
The two engines were placed back to back above the cabin centerline, giving the plane a one of a kind look that will surely impress everyone. This also translates into docile handling, even with one engine out, and protection from water ingestion.
VIP configuration allows the spacious cabin to accommodate up to seven passengers, who may enjoy leather seats, extra-large windows and wood veneer details. But, don’t let the classic looks fool you, since the cockpit has been equipped with the latest Honeywell Primus Epic 2.0 avionics suite.
The price-tag seems to keep up with the ages, and stands at $7 million.