About 6 months ago, SAM AIR purchased some new Aerocet fiberglass floats to replace the old aluminum Edo's for our Cessna 206 floatplane. I received an e-mail from my Chief Pilot this week with his comments and some pictures. I have posted them for the enjoyment of the airplane nuts... of which I am perhaps the biggest! Pictures are credited to Todd from SAM AIR. The following is what Jon, our Chief Pilot wrote:
I have now flown them (new floats) on several occasions all over the jungles of Peru, and have made some observations. So we are on the same page as far as how the airplane is equipped. It is on a U206G with the Bonaire IO-550 conversion with the Hartzell Top Prop. It is equipped with the Flint Tips (3800# Gross Weight) and Horton STOL. (Short Take-Off and Land)
The first thing I noticed is that as soon as you crank up, idle tax speed is noticably faster (OK in most places but more of a challenge in a marginal river takeoff where you have no space to taxi upriver and too narrow to turn around most of the time).
2. Water rudders are more effective.
3. Seems to wallow more in the plow, and makes a deeper wake!
4. Step turns feel similar to the Edos.
5. Comes out of the water at #3800 in 40 seconds (Edos were 1 minute plus!).
6. Seems to have more of a suction than the Edos.
7. Very little sence of acceleration on lift off and very little nose over tendency on touchdown. (very slippery due to no drag from rivet heads)
8. Seems to have a steeper Vx climb, hard to put numbers on it but have been able to climb straight out in places where I used to have to fly the river.
9. Rate of climb is improved by 50fpm+.
10. Flying wires sing on descent.
11. Installed in 32 man hours.
12. Lighter by more than 50 lbs.