The Fleetwings Sea Bird (or Seabird) was an American-built amphibious aircraft of the 1930s.
|F-401 prototype, Golden Wings Museum, Blaine, Minnesota|
|Role||Amphibious utility aircraft|
|National origin||United States|
|Designer||James C. Reddig|
|Number built||1 prototype; 5 production|
The Sea Bird was an amphibious utility aircraft designed in 1934–1935 by James C. Reddig for Fleetwings, Inc., of Bristol, Pennsylvania. While the aircraft's basic configuration had a precedent in the design of the Loening "Monoduck" developed by the Grover Loening Aircraft Company as a personal aircraft for Mr. Loening (for whom Reddig worked from 1929 to 1933), the Sea Bird was unusual because of its construction from spot-welded stainless steel. It was a high-wing, wire-braced monoplane with its engine housed in a nacelle mounted above the wings on struts. The pilot and passengers sat in a fully enclosed cabin. Fleetwings initially planned to manufacture 50 production units, but at a price approaching $25,000 during the Depression, there proved to be no sustainable market.
The Sea Bird found use with private pilot owners and saw service with the oil support industry in Louisiana, including operation by J. Ray McDermott & Co.
Data from Specifications of American Airplanes
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