Design News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Film Awakens New Interest In Amazing Seaplanes. Is It Smooth Sailing Ahead?

Seaplanes have a colorful past and maybe an important climate-friendly future.

Seaplanes, sometimes called flying boats, have been around since the late 1800s. Since then, they have become a colorful part of the aviation landscape for commercial and military applications. It 

Perhaps the most famous seaplane was the Howard Hughes H-4 Hercules, nicknamed the “Spruce Goose.” It was developed in the U.S. during the war, although it didn’t fly until 1947. It was the largest flying boat ever to fly. It now resides at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Today, seaplanes have made a comeback, both as historical curiosities and as climate-friendly planes of the future. A recent film titled “Flying Boat” honors the history of these amazing aircraft as does this gallery.

John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.