Technical Questions, Know How, Equipment, Tools......
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:33 pm
In trying to learn more about so-called "Lake" amphibians (LA-4 series, Buccaneer, Renegade, etc.) I have seen that the type has been owned and built by several different companies over the years - Colonial Aircraft, Lake Aircraft Corp. (LAC), Consolidated Aeronautics, Revo, Inc. and Global Amphibians LLC (which given the timing I assume was aka "LanShe" in Ft. Pierce, FL.)
I was just wondering if there is a consensus among "Lake" experts, purists, and aficionados as to which examples (by vintage, models, company, etc.) are considered to be the best built, most desirable, etc. In other words, are all "Lake Amphibians" created equal or not?
I hope to hear back from John S. on this and anyone else with a valid opinion based on experience or other first-hand knowledge. Thanks!
Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:40 pm
John Staber posts here rarely these days, best to send a PM. He once allowed me to post the History of Skimmer One on my now unused wordpress blog, and I'd actually like to bring it into Seaplanemagazine.com
I just never have time to write emails, because I am writing emails all the time...
Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:06 pm
For those that want to learn more about Lake Amphibians, I suggest going to Lakeamphibclub.com which is the website of our club and spend a little time there. It is very informative about what Lakes do and the history of the Lake family of amphibians from 1946 when Skimmer One was conceived right on through to 2016 - 70 years of Lake news and enjoyment. I also produce that same history in CD form and it includes builder's photos, magazine articles, brochures, biographies of important people during the history, miscellaneous items like models, cups, T shirts, lighters...It would take months if you ready every word in all the brochures... unusual modifications. Did you know that a 1960 Lake 180 was used by Bell Aerosystems for an air-cushion landing experiment for many years? Did you know that Lake Aircraft made one seaplane that was not an amphibian? Did you know that just about all Lake Amphibians were made in Sanford, Maine?
I could never include here all that information and do it justice.
Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:05 pm
I did know that about the Lake used for air-cushion research - and about the one used in conjunction with a Grumman Goose for hydrofoil research too.... Just can't believe that I couldn't find some better photos already online.
John, I have spent a little bit of time so far (and will probably spend more as I am able) on your club Web site, but I didn't see anything there that specifically addressed my original question about possible variations in reputations for each of the various iterations of the Lake based on "who" (which company) built them.
Also, is your CD history that you mentioned above "free" or is it included with membership in the club, or is there some other way to obtain a copy? (I didn't see it mentioned in particular on the club Web site either, but maybe I just need to keep looking...)
Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:33 pm
Years ago, when ever I was in Kennebunkport for vacation I would stop in at the Sanford facility as well as Laconia.
Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:48 pm
I will be posting more stuff on the Seaplane Magazine under "notes from an old Lake instructor"
After that I will do a history session as to dates and models, etc. For now I will say that it all started with the Colonial Aircraft Corporation in Sanford ME who built the Colonial C-1 and C-2, and then built the LA-4-180 for Jack Strayer who went out of business in 1962. Aerofab, Inc. was formed in 1963 at the same Colonial Aircraft building and they built ALL of the Lake Amphibians up to 2003.
There were two sales organizations 1963 to 1979 Al Alson in Indiana, then Texas in 1969 and Armand Rivard until 2003. A brief couple of years saw LanShe Aerospace with the type certificate, but it folded and Armand still holds the certificate today. It can be a long and confusing tale. My history CD is available from John H.Staber, Skimmer One, Inc., PO Box 72, Old Chatham NY 12136 for a $25 donation. Paypal accepted or personal check in USD. John
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