Airborne Awesomosity

On a Float!

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In the late 1940s, one of many US Air Force research projects was being conducted by the EDO company, attempting to modify an aircraft such that it could be operated from ice and snow as well as from water. The testbed was a Grumman OA-9 Goose, modified with a hydro-ski configuration consisting of 4 parts, a main ski, tail ski, and two wing float skis. The concept worked, but was only beachable with the use of a bulky cradle. The flight tests also demonstrated that the primary hydro-ski was the only component required for a successful aquatic takeoff, and this fact attracted US Navy interest in further research and development, to explore the hydro-ski as a means to improve the rough water handling of seaplanes.

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