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New floats help please Cessna 206

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New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:01 pm

Hi all.
I'm new both here and to the whole float flying thing,but I need some advice please.

I'm restoring a Cessna 206 F floatplane. When finished it will have the sportsman kit, the VG kit and the Wiptips. It used to be on PK3500 floats but as part of the restoration I need it on amphibs, it's float selection that I need help with.

My plan was to put it on a set of Aerocet Amphibs, however a set of Wipline 4000 has been offered to me cheap as they need a fairly large overhaul. The work in doing that doesn't bother me as I'm an A&P but after all the work I do on then will I be disappointed with the performance.......?

My guess is the Aerocets will go better but how much better- comments please.
I'm told the Wipline 4000 float was designed as a river float and in rough water it will seriously shake the plane apart- comments please.

Thanks
Mike
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby KlausNW » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:09 pm

The information you got about the Wipline 4000 is accurate. Wipline does make a smaller amphib that does work good but I would choose the Aerocets first also.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby TriPacer » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:47 pm

Welcome again! I'm curious - how would rough waters shake the floats/plane apart?
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:46 pm

Hi all.
I had hoped I might here from someone on this forum who has a Cessna 206 on Aerocet amphibs or on Wipline 4000.
I know the aerocets will "go better" but I'm looking for a bit more exacting help.
The wips I'm offered are 1/4 the cost of the aerocets, are they a terrible second cousin or only just a little bit poorer performer?
I'm told they really are a "flat" water float and that seems to be true but is that a major difference from the aerocets?

Anyone out there who can help?

Thanks
Mike.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:53 pm

The "shake the plane and floats apart" is a bit of a figure of speech. I'm sure your have gone for a ride in a flat bottom boat too fast on a roughy lake, that shakes your teach out, a bit mor "V" on the hull is much more gentle.

I'm being told the wips are a flatter bottom than the aerocets, I guess that's true? I'm being told the aerocets are a better rough water float, I guess that's true?
Mike
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby TriPacer » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:11 pm

Oh - I gotcha. Makes sense.

I can't comment on the Wipline vs. Aerocet debate - I run on Baumanns. Here's a short, unscientific discussion of several of the float brands:

http://www.seaplaneswest.com/floats.html

I haven't verified it (even though it could probably be googled) but something about the lack of rivets on a composite float just makes me intuit that there should be a performance benefit.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby jjbaker » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:02 pm

Hi Mikey and welcome to the forum. Glad you found us.

Problem with very very detailed feedback on floats for 206's on this forum is that most of the guys flying these planes, fly them for a living and are most certainly not very talkative forum people. Those who fly 206's on Amphibs for fun are even less in numbers and even more elusive.

However, I am sure you have read all about the specs and details and I am sure you've heard the Aerocet argument enough. We unfortunately lost (by accident), a member here who had extensive experience flying various airplanes and floats and here's what he had to say on Aerocets:

kevinsky18 wrote:Aerocet floats are becoming a favorite float among float charter operators because they are made from fiberglass; thus they do not corrode, the have no rivets to leak, they are ten times stronger than aluminum floats and if you do put a hole in them they are easy to patch. They ar e very slippery in both the water and the air (my 182 on amphibs cruises at 140mph at 24 squared). If you are going to be doing any ocean landings you will want fiberglass floats because even on salt they will last a life time. They also retain their value for almost ever because they just don't age. They used to weigh a big more than Aluminum but Aerocet has developed new techniques to bring the weight down to that of Aluminum and in most cases less than Aluminum. The Aerocet 3400s will also fit a varity of aircraft 180, 182, 185 and 206. So you can swap them around if need be.

I did a lot of research before buying my set and in the end I put my money on Aerocets. As many know I take my plane into some pretty rough and tough areas and these Aerocet floats haven't failed me yet.


Also: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2798

The right float for your plane really as much depends on your intended use (rough water, altitude, useful load, power, load) as it does on your budget.
What you were told is accurate, the Cets are a bit lighter on the airframe in rough water, mainly because of their hull shape/ design and how they cut swells. Maybe the price difference is caused by shape/ MX status and prior use. Can't really compare what I cannot see.

The 206 float people I met were primarily Aerocet people, some with very sturdy, well performing (rough water) PK's in between.

I am sure that the aluminum float will always require more in terms of MX and upkeep, but the two manufacturers don't give each other much.
Make sure you're not buying someone's beaten up but freshly painted floats for a dime, before spending $10K on getting them to do what you need.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:10 pm

Thanks.
It's sounding like the older Wipline 4000's (that need overhauling) are not worth all the effort I'll go to, I do want to land in salt ( most of my work will be salt) and that alone really makes up my mind.
I'll go the Aerocet way with a brand new set.
I guess it's telling also when second hand sets of amphib aerocets just don't come up for sale, and there always is sets of the Wip 4000's for sale.

Mike
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby jjbaker » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:38 am

As for a "working" rough water float and salt, you'll develop a keen sense for the weak-points of any float real fast.
Don't save money on corrosion protection and frequent washing. Would be nice if you share some of your project pictures as well as the restoration progress, too.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby TriPacer » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:20 pm

jjbaker wrote:We unfortunately lost (by accident), a member here who had extensive experience flying various airplanes and floats and here's what he had to say on Aerocets


When did that happen? By "lost", I'm assuming you mean the worst... Maybe my memory fails me but I don't remember hearing about that.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby jjbaker » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:29 pm

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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby TriPacer » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:37 pm

Man - how quickly I forget... I remember that thread now (and posted on it). Sad... :(
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby KlausNW » Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:39 am

I don't want to get started on Wipline floats, especially the 4000's. Just to let you know the companies I have worked for tried everything possible to make the 4000's work and they just don't.

between the performance, weight, flat bottom and poor factory support...... there is just better choices.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:53 pm

Thanks for the last round of advice, and the aerocets have got good resale value if I want rid of them later, you carnt find a second hand set anywhere , so that's a good indication of how people like them
Yes I'll put some pictures up of my projet - I'll do that tomorrow.

Mike
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:00 am

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What it looked like a few years ago.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:08 am

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Packed up for the 300 mile trip home.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:10 am

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Wing top skin replacement and stripped for STOL kit fitting
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:41 am

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Sportsman kit fitted, VG kit fitted, working on the Wiptips.


How do I stop this rotating my images when I post them?
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby jjbaker » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:11 am

Hi Mikey,

For some reason, clicking on them shows them correctly. They are much too large to be displayed in whole.
I know there is no way the software would rotate them, the upload gets it embedded as shown.
If the pictures are taken or uploaded with a smartphone, there may be a bug. I don't have the funds to have the mobile app checked out and fixed.

I upload all my pictures to photobucket.com or some other free picture hosting site and then embed them here using the IMG tag above.
This is encouraged as a database will quickly bug itself down and the display of the pictures requires the server to work harder.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but thank you for sharing your bird!
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby KlausNW » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:19 pm

Even upside down it's great to see another aircraft get rebuilt. Market value will most likely be less than what you'll have in it but, finding a replacement once you're done will be next to impossible. I do quite a few rebuilds and the owner/investor never regrets the confidence and satisfaction they get each time it flys.

Besides, the manufactures are not making aircraft that pilots want to own. Most of them weigh too much and have poor performance. A new 206 on floats cost over 400K and only carries a couple passengers and half fuel. And... They're nose heavy dogs.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby skimmerone » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:22 pm

Speaking of rebuilding. The fate of the PBY that was to make a movie is that it is a pile of aluminum, totally demolished by the salvage company that retrieved it from the beach in Alabama. It was damaged by landing in 4 foot seas in the Gulf of Mexico and sprung a severe leak in the nose area and beach. It was a needless loss, as there was another person directly involved who is a Lake owner and offered his services (he is in the business, also) to save the amphibian and he was ignored.
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:40 am

Hi all.
I went and looked at the Wipline floats I've been offered today. It seems that they are Wipline 3730's not 4000's.
I'm after comments on them, I'm sure they won't be as good as the aerocets again but are the 3730's a different and much better float for my Cessna 206.

Thanks
Mike
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby KlausNW » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:57 am

If I was in your shoes, I would consider the 3730's. Double check if the keels are riveted or bonded? If there is no rivets, the Aerocets would still look a little more attractive.

This is a structure repair manual for the bonded keel's:
http://www.wipaire.com/pdf/1008274.pdf
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby Mikey » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:34 am

Thanks for the info on the bonding.
So are the 3730's quite a different animal to the 4000's, there wasn't a person who I spoke to who had a good thing to say about the 4000's?
The 3730's I'm looking at look straight and clean, they have damage to a spreader bar, ( needs replacing) after it was used to turn the aircraft they were fitted to back over after a wheels down in the water. It's got one horrible patch on the side , looks like a temporary pop rivet repair, not hard to fix and the wheel hubs/disks and bearings are all corroded badly.
But if I help the chap who has them fit some newer ones to his aircraft I Basically get these for very little cash outlay.

Mike
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Re: New floats help please Cessna 206

Unread postby KlausNW » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:26 pm

I would probably use them for now if the parts are less then $6-7000. New wheels and spreader bar can be expensive. After 4 or 5 years you'll be ready for some better floats. The Wipline retract system and lights will drive you crazy. They use magnetic switches that continue to be problematic.
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