(Boy, do we need answers!)

Seabee Home
Frequently we get questions from the members that we just don't know how to answer! Someone, somewhere does though. These are those questions. If you would like to submit a question, e-mail us and we will include your e-mail as part of the question. Your answer, in e-mail form, will automatically be forwarded to Steve and Jim at the Seabee website and will be posted in the right hand column so that everyone can benefit or add to it. Questions and answers will be posted for two months unless there is significant interest to keep it posted for a longer period of time. Don't be shy and remember, there are no stupid questions!

Comments from members:

"Well Guys this Q&A thing really works... Thanks a bunch"...Don Buck

What happened?...

Below is from Mr. Freeman (in Canada). He has uncovered another fascinating Seabee story. If anyone has information please forward it to us. The story is this...

"I am seeking information about the Seabee airplane for a book I am writing.  The book is nothing grand, it is on the history of lake in Canada (Grace Lake) where I own property.  The book will be self-published and not a best-seller(!).   But I have uncovered many interesting stories and photos that I look forward to sharing.
One of the stories is an aircraft accident in the summer of 1955.  A Seabee aircraft was taking off from the lake with passengers, when the propeller and parts of the cowling blew off.  The pilot was forced to make an emergency water landing, which he did successfully without fatalities or major injuries.  Attached are two photos of the damaged plane.
I am told that an “investigation” was undertaken, but I do not yet have a copy of any report.  I have hired an archivist to search for it in the Archives Canada (Ottawa), although it may no longer exist.  Local newspapers are not available for the mid-1950s, so I am trying to piece things together via other means.
Here are my questions...
1.       How many passengers + pilot could this plane carry?
2.       From the photos, what does it look like happened?  Clearly the propeller and part of the cowling are gone; was there an explosion?  Any idea what it would have sounded like?
3.       How difficult would it have been to control the plane with no propellor?  How difficult would it have been to make an emergency landing?
4.       Apparently the accident happened shortly after take-off, as the plane was just reaching tree-top height over the lake.  How long would it have taken to make the forced landing? 
5.       How rough would that landing have been?
6.       What would key gauges on the dashboard be doing?  I plan to present the accident in my book, in “graphic novel” format (i.e. through cartoon drawings), so I’d like to show the dash gauges as realistically as possible.
7.       Would there have been any kind of audible alarm?
8.       Can it be determined if this plane is still in active use?  I have confirmed that the aircraft is a Republic R3 Seabee, serial number 512, registered in the U.S. as N6299K and later in Canada as CF-HAG. It was delivered from the manufacturer on March 19, 1947.

I would be greatly appreciative of any help you folks can provide."
Dave Freeman
Burlington, ON  Canada
(905) 632-0678



(Ed note: Notice the prop is missing and cowling damage. Something obviously let loose and blew through the cowling.)

We got an answer to the Seabee accident! Mr. Freeman did his homework and dug up the accident reports. Here is what he said:


I have been successful at obtaining some of the official documents and reports related to the Seabee accident on Grace Lake Canada.  See attached.

A number of questions are answered – the accident happened on Sun Aug 28/1955, a loose prop blade caused the accident, there was a loud bang heard onboard, three objects were seen falling into the lake, there were three passengers plus pilot onboard, and no deaths or injuries.

FYI only.  But if anything in this report causes thoughts at your end, feel free to let me know.

Thanks again for your assistance!

Regards. ....Dave

Accident report

Page 1   Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5

(Ed note: The report makes sense to me. The prop let go along with a section of the propeller extension AND the right magneto! I think the magneto flew through the cowling after the prop let go causing the cowling damage. According to the report the distributor cap (on the left side) was also missing. What caused the damage is still a mystery as all the separated parts are still on the bottom of Grace Lake.
Looking for a Seabee!...

Hi Steve,

I would Like to find this airplane (C-GAJH) as it was the very first ever mod on a Seabee can anyone tell me where it is now. Seabees are forever.
Thank you

Member Mike Shay needs help fast!...

Hi Steve,
I'm stuck in a FAA paper chase.
The original battery in a Seabee was Auto Lite CF 129 Form 221 -- where can I get a picture, description, specifications? I have to show that I'm using an equivalent battery +/- 1 lb. I need to be able to show that these were truck batteries, not aviation batteries. Old ads, data sheets, specs, picture or whatever can be found -- three batteries were approved:
1. Auto Lite CF129
2. Mitchell 2SM-9
3. Exide 2SM
The Rochester Fisdo wants to help me but ASC is making him jump through hoops.
Contact Mike (and me) at

All questions have been answered to Mike's satisfaction. Thanks to the Seabee Yahoo  newsgroup. Thanks to all who helped!
Cross Tube Drawings and Specs...

Does anyone have the drawings and material specifications for the landing gear cross-tube? Please e-mail me. Thanks.
Chris Cameron (cc to steve mestler)

Answer: The tubes were made of 4130 steel with a diameter of 2.975". You can see a drawing here (JPG).
Looking for a Seabee...

Update! (July 8, 2011)

You have posted my note to you and Jim in your "Questions and Answers" section of your web site and I wanted to give you an update on where my search for my fathers SeaBee was.
I have been doing some additional searching and have came up with the serial number and N number for the SeaBee my father had. The serial number was 817 and the N number was N6551K. From my research, I believe that the plane is located in Niagara Falls, NY, and am going to attempt to contact the current owner in late July or early August 2011. I will update you on my search results in August.
Jim Poel was helpful in pointing me in the right direction before his death. He sent me a photo of the plane and that along with some other information allowed me to track the plane down.
Thanks again,
Richard Shaner"


    My father owned a SeaBee from 1947 until around 1958 or 1959. We are trying to track down the plane and the only thing we have is two pictures of the plane. The registration number does not show in either of the pictures. My father's name was Carol J. Shaner and he lived in Bolivar, New York. He bought the plane brand new and it was registered in his name. From what we recall, he sold it to someone in or near Buffalo, NY. He had told us that the plane was going to be used up in Canada for taking people into remote fishing lakes. 
    Is there any way to go back into any data base and see where the registered owners name is listed on a plane so that we could get the plane's registration number? I am not sure if this makes any sense, though I might give you folks a try.
    Thanks in advance for anything you can do to help us track down the plane's registration number and possibly where the plane is located today.
    As kids, we had many a fantastic day when our dad would take us flying in the SeaBee.
Dick Shaner"
Water in the fuel...

    I would appreciate it if you could post a question on your sites regarding Weldon 8120G fuel boost pumps used in the Simuflight conversion:

    Has anyone had problems with pump failures of the 8120G pumps?   My recent experience is that they are (or have become, in recent rebuilds) extremely sensitive to rust caused by any water in the fuel, even if no water is obtained when draining the tank sump.  Apparently the pump pickup can pick up water when the tank sump drain does not, and in my experience recent pumps have failed within a few hours of use (and a few weeks of installation) due to rust caused by very small amounts of water suspended in the fuel; water in amounts that does not affect engine operation.

    I would also like to know if anyone has experienced water infiltration into the fuel bladder that was unexplained.  That is, water that did not come from the fuel source, the fuel tank vent, or from the bottom of the fuel compartment.

e-mail Steve with any answers to this at

So, (from an anonomous member)

    Today I installed the new boost pump (the fourth one after three failures), being quite confident that there is no water in the fuel system.  I then pumped the 49 gallons of fuel that were in the airplane out through the gascolator drain using the pump.  I sampled the fuel with a 16oz sample jar at the beginning and after that settled out (it was slightly cloudy), I found there was the equivalent of a few drops of water in that 16 ounces.  After about 15 gallons had been pumped, I took more samples (about 2 quarts), which were completely clear and had no water at all.  After about 20 more gallons I did the same with the same results.  When the pump started sucking air along with fuel I took another sample and got about 1/4 teaspoon in a quart of gasoline.  Prior to each sample I shook the airplane vigorously to slosh the fuel around and get things out of creases.  The last sample, with very little fuel in the tank was of course the most effective in sloshing, as the currents would be stronger.  After shutting the pump off I took a sample from the tank sump drain (only about 16 ounces came out at that point), and that fuel was slightly cloudy, with perhaps a few drops of water in it.  However, just as I was unhooking, there was a brief rain shower that was probably the source of the water, as the jar was exposed to that and the fuel in the jar originally looked very clear.

    I then screwed up my courage and tasted the water that I had collected over the last couple of months.  I was pleased to find that it does not taste salty, though the small amount of residual fuel made me gag.  That means that the water that splashes in over the door sills (which is salt, of course) and runs back over the top of the tank cover is not the water that was getting into fhe fuel.  I am quite confident now that the source of water was the fuel tank vent, and that it happened when I washed down the airplane.  Now I have a cap on that vent line except when I am flying, so I am confident that there will be no more water intrusion unless it can somehow find its way down backwards via the air filter and fuel injection servo, which I don't think is possible.

    As I said previously, I sampled about a half gallon of fuel from the sump drain yesterday and got no water at all.

    I figure the hour and 15 minutes or so of pumping that fuel out helped to break in the boost pump, and I will continue to use it almost steadily when I fly for some hours to complete the break-in on the chance that the pumps are initially more sensitive to any rust on the vanes of vane slots due to tighter tolerances after overhaul.  I am disappointed that the pumps seem to (initially at least, and compared to my original pump) be so sensitive to water and rust that the vanes get stuck after a few days of disuse with very minimal amounts of water in the fuel.

    I will let the fuel in the trailer settle for some hours to see if I can see any residual water in it.  Then I will pump most of it back into the airplane, picking it up from a higher level in the tank so that if there is any water, the pump will not pick it up.  After the trailer tank is nearly empty, I will inspect it again.

(Ed note: If any of you have had the problems with the fuel pumps failing at an alarming rate, please let us know. steve for the IRSOC)
Seabee tail wheel...
How can I convert the 3" wheel to a 4" wheel? I have heard of a guy named "Russ" that sells a conversion kit. Does anyone have his contact information? Is there another way to make the conversion? Thanks.

Steve Mestler (
Answer from Dr. Henry Chapeskie...

(Ed. Note: Evidently there is now no need to convert. As Dr. Chapeskie mentions, Desser Tire makes a 3" replacement. SM, for the IRSOC)

"Thanks for the info but I spoke to Brian Robinson and he informed me that Desser Tire was now selling a direct tire (round or square profile) and tube for the original 3" SeaBee tailwheel rim.  I ordered it and received it from California in 22 1/2 hours by FedEx!
It was installed it 10 minutes ( I ordered the square profile tire) and I have been up and running since. I have not been given a direct #, etc for this "Russ" individual and the members should know they can call Desser Tire and have the real deal in less than 24 hours - no hassle, no issues and proper equipment. You should put this info on the Q&A page."

Another answer from member Bruce Hinds:

"Hey Steve,
    The top question on the Seabee Q&A page regarding the tailwheel tires.....
Yes, Desser does now make a big replacement for the Channel Tread for the 10SC wheel so you don't have to use the adapter rings from Russ Aircraft, but the tire is $225, the tube is $95 and it's a bitch to change.
For $250 (now $300 as of 03-25-2017) from Russ Aircraft you get the adapter rings, tire, tube and STC.  When it's time to replace the tire, it's $39 and the tube is $13.50.  Or you can get the slightly larger tire which is better than the channel tread for $43.
(See the adapter rings here
When I talked to russ, you could order the rings without the tire, but I didn't do that, I used his, which is the smaller one, and it worked just as well or better than the original 10SC!


UPDATE from Briuce:

I had a call from a member having trouble with the small tubes supplied by Russ for the 4"� tire and I'd had the same trouble with a second SC wheel that I have.  The first one is on a Bendix wheel and that was fine, it has a large rubber grommet that supports the stem that was in there from the old SC tire and tube. It looks like it's been there for ever. The other wheel (Goodrich maybe ?)didn't have that rubber wedge shaped grommet and I kept having the tube leak problem as this other member. The trouble is that the 4"tube has to expand too much to fill the void around the small hub and ends up being pinched between the stem and the wheel hub.
My solution was to "pop"� for the expensive SC tube which is much more robust and also designed to fit around the small hub. Since the over all diameter is about the same as the SC tire the tube works well.
Bruce Tail Wheel
Looking for a Seabee tail number...

I am working on my father's autobiography. He was an artist who owned 
two Seabees. He gives their model numbers as 6015K and a later 6121K. 
Internet research doesn't pull up anything for these model numbers.

I'm wondering if he got the numbers correct in retrospect, later 
confusing them with the registration numbers. The only aircraft I have 
photos of has a tail number of N6121K.

Pictures of his Seabees can be found (temporarily) at:

Can anyone help with this? Many thanks!

All the best...

John Etnier
None yet...
GO-480 power settings...
Bruce Hinds (and alot of other Seabee owners) wonders what power setting YOU use and what fuel burn/airspeed you get. Read his inquiry below:

"Let's start with normally aspirated G0-480 types, cruise speeds and power settings.  What do you see?
Tim (Sutton) says... Mine will "cruise at 115+ mph" if I increase the power setting up to 26 square but the fuel burn goes up of course. I usually keep the rpm 100 or more above the manifold pressure, the engine sounds better to me.  He suggests.....Ask a good cross section of people to give you speed vs power setting, see if we can determine what might be going on between the different planes. If anyone has a fuel totalizer that info would be helpful.
       I'll go out and try 26 square and see what I get, I don't think it will show 115, what do you normally run as power setting and the resultant speed?  Extended wing? What about your weight? 
    I'm usually close to 3000 lbs. which is 2-3 hours of fuel my wife and dog.  25" and 2550 will show 11-12 gph when leaned and indicate 105 mph with the piper style heated pitot out on the wing with short extensions.  Tim elaborated with:  I don't remember exact power settings. Weight is usually 1/2 to 2/3 fuel, 2 people, some fishing gear, lunch, so probably 3000 lbs. Original wings with Daubenspeck tips. Power around 2600 to 2700 and 24 inches, 105 - 115 mph with the original pitot tube on the cabin roof, elevation 2500 ft. We put the piper pitot tube on Bob Gould's plane and the indicated always seems to indicate a little low. I don't have a fuel totalizer. I have done a few really long cross country flights and I get about 13.5 gph airport to airport. Engine is GO-480-G2D6 with pressure carb. I never lean because it is an automatic altitude compensating system, plus I don't have full EGT setup. As I remember with mine if I set power same as you I get a little more indicated (5 mph or so).   Cheers   Tim
    Scott from Simuflight wrote:  In the last couple of years I have had 3 very long ferry flights 5+ hours each.  I have a JPI and with nothing better to do with my time I was able to find some good cruise numbers on a IGO-480.  Typically I found the most efficient cruise at approx 6000 ft and 24 squared.  I was able to lean (Rich) to between 11.3 and 11.5 gph.  Cruise was typically 105 Knots.  These numbers were typical of all 3 ferry flights.  Going lower or higher didn't really help this was the sweet spot. 
    I don't know that our Beast would even fly at 24 squared! Sure it will, but it won't break 100 mph, no where near 105 Knots?  It's light and cold I'll give it a whirl, maybe I'll be surprised.  But, I don't think Scott is talking AK numbers.  Let me know what you see, I think everyone is curious.  Of course, flying together is the key.  How about you guy in the East.  I see all these bees together, what kind of comparisons have you seen?  Steve, Jim, Ritchie, Henry?"

If you have a theory on the most economical/efficient power setting, let Bruce and Me know. e-mail us at or
I (Steve) say...

"Early on, right after we purchased the "Ol' Marty B", I was amazed at the lack of power setting information on the Lycoming GO-480-B (pressure carburetor, normally aspirated). I had all the Lycoming books and graphs but I decided to call Lycoming directly.

They said, "You can use any power setting on the Partial Throttle Fuel Consumption Curve". 
Well, that narrows it down. Evidently it is up to the airframe manufacturer to determine which power setting(s) provide the most efficiency with the least amount of adverse effects (vibration, noise, etc.). Since the GO-480 wasn't around for Republic to determine the most efficient settings, we have to do it all ourselves.

When we got checked out with Jim Poel years ago we used 2700 RPM and 22" MP. This resulted in about 14 GPH and about 100 MPH. We were quite heavy as we had three on board and about 35 gallons of fuel. Henry Ruzakowski recommended 2625 RPM; 24" MP which resulted in about 70% power, 105 MPH and a burn of 13.5 GPH. This is the power setting I use when going cross country. When I am just cruising for fun I use 2600 RPM, 22" MP and that results in about 95 MPH and a burn of 12.5 GPH.

Let us know what YOU use! This is not limited to just the normally aspirated GO-480's send us information on any Lycoming engine on your Seabee.

E-mail us!! (Bruce and Steve)

Member Miller Monarch says:


In the March 1988 Seabee newsletter Ted Lissauer charted the power settings per the Lycoming Operating Guide for "B", "G1", and "G2" series engines.  Using the book's graphs he compiled the charts at various power settings and pressure altitudes. 

I've studied them and learned that the settings are different for the splined prop shaft engines and the flanged prop engines.  I thought the engines were the same except for the gear box prop shafts but looking at the operating guide there are different settings according to lycoming.

I have a GO480-G1D6 with the pressure carb and just recently installed an EI fuel computer along with an EI engine analyzer and look forward this summer at experimenting with different settings to see the performance.  


Miller Monarch"

Looking for Seabee Anchor Bags...

I'm looking for a Seabee anchor bag in excellent or new condition. Do you know

of anyone who has one for sale, or who makes new ones?

If none are available, I may have a source that can make them for members if
enough of us need one. I have no price yet, since it would depend upon the
quatity. Could you check with the membership to see if anyone has one for
sale, or how many might be interested in purchasing a new one.

John Haffner

January 18, 2007
None yet...
Looking for Film (tapes I guess would work too) on any Seabee...
Hi Steve,
I met with mr Paras last week in Manila, and it looks that we are going to film his Seabee next year. Thanks a lot for your tip!

We are also looking for existing filmmaterial of a flying Seabee, preferably a one engine Seabee, without striping. We could then edit this material to make it look like old filmmaterial, and use it in the documentary. If you would know of someone willing to share his filmmaterial, I would be glad to hear!
All the best,
Carel Erasmus (e-mail:

None yet...
Looking for a lost Seabee...



LOU STRYKER (pooobah)
(Contact Steve Mestler at and I will relay the message. Thanks!)

None yet...
Elevator Torque Tube Problem...
Both of our torque tube fittings on Bob Gould's elevators were cracked, so we acquired new used units from a source. After the fittings were installed we noticed that the left fitting was incorrect.
Torque Tube
This picture of the elevator torque tube fitting located on the torque tube with the through bolts show that the four large holes are 90 degrees off from were they should be. We were assured that this fitting came from a left elevator. Unfortunately there is not another SeaBee within hundreds of miles for comparison. Any help would be appreciated.
Tim Sutter                     or  Bob Gould
Sort of an answer...

I understand that the torque tubes were all drilled by hand. So consequently, no two are the same!! If anyone can shed light on this "urban legend" please let me know!

Steve for the IRSOC
Strut Quick Disconnect...
Question: Removal of sponson and supports.
Hi fellow Seabee'ers:

I was wondering if anybody had come up with a quick disconnect to remove the sponson's on a Bee at or close to the wing??  I am trying to figure out how I can share my hanger space with a couple of experimentals to keep my hanger cost down.

The sponsons are in the way of the experimentals going under the wing. Also how much work is it to just remove the sponsons at the wing in there normal configuration and put them back on when I go flying??

Thanks in advance!  Dan Staton  (N950TB)
Jim Poel writes...

Hi Dan.
In answer to your strut removal, I used to share my hangar with another aircraft and would pull the strut after each flight. I just unbolted the bolt near the wing and pulled the strut out. It sometimes took a little wiggling, but it slid out fairly easily. You may try using those ball lock clevis pins that have the push button release with a washer instead of a bolt to eliminate undoing a bolt. You can get them on line at  Of course check with an IA for compliance to FAR's and whether you need a 337 or log book entry. Let us know how you make out.

Need Windows...

Bob Gould writes:

I have been unsuccessful in finding window plexiglas to fit the SA395NW enlarged rear windows.  Does anybody have a source?  I am also looking for 3/16" left windshield, and overhead window material that is oversized enough for flush mounting.

Maybe you could post this on your Q&A page.



Jim Poel answers:

HI Bob.

I'm not sure which manufacturer it is, but there is one who will make whatever shape you want by sending the outline. They will even put in the amount of bubble. Try Linda Lou (901-365-6611), or Cee Bailey (323-721-7888), if you haven't already. Let us know how you make out.


Starter for Lycoming GO-480 engines...

Subject:  GO-480 Starter

I had my starter overhauled 4 years ago because the clutch started to slip excessively when starting a hot engine.  This problem showed up over a period of several years.  The FAA licensed shop that rebuilt the starter stated that there was a missing clutch disk in the pack and added the additional part.   The starter worked fine.

Now, I am having major engine work done and an engine shop checked the starter.  The clutch slipped at 400 ft-lbf which they stated is substantially over the manufacture’s recommendation.  The engine rebuild shop used the correct equipment to check the dynamic slip of the clutch.  The engine shop said they do not rebuild these starters because they did not have all of the necessary technical data to ensure compliance with manufacture’s specification.   This engine shop seems to be a top-notch engine repair facility. 

Now the questions, who does a good job overhauling these starters?  My crankshaft had a crack on the starter-drive end from the excessive loading from the starter.  I spoke the shop that overhauled the starter, and they told me these starters tighten up from use.  The lubricant is thrown out from the clutch pack from normal use and the friction increases.  This sounds questionable.  Can anyone give me advice regarding this statement from the accessory rebuilder, “the clutch normally tightens up from use.”  If this is true, then every owner of a GO-480 should periodically remove the starter and check the dynamic friction of the clutch.


SeaBee SN# 871

Starter Answer...

This is where I had my starters serviced.


Accessories Inc. (Wayne)

4123 May Street

Wichita, KS  67209-2838

(316) 946-0701

FAX (316) 946-5801




Clutch set to 325 ft lbs.



Stainless Steel Brake Discs...

Steve and Jim,

I have another question.  Out here, stainless disks for the Cleveland brake conversion would be really nice.  Cleveland says DON'T USE THEM!  (Heat dissipation being the issue)   However, there are stainless rotor kits for cars, and they certainly get more braking workouts than a Seabee does.  Does anyone have experience with this issue, and has anyone used stainless disks with the Simuflight STC'd conversion?  If so, which maker and part number was used?

Bob Gould
Answered the next day!...

Jim poel writes:

HI Bob,

I just spoke with Henry (Ruzakowski). He said he would not recommend SS discs, but rather to use Chrome ones. Cleveland part # 164-10700. If you want to Chrome yours, mill 2 to 3 thousandths off to make room for the chrome. Otherwise you will have trouble fitting them in the calipers. Good Luck,


(If anyone knows why you can use SS discs for cars and not airplanes, let me know and I will post the answer here, thanks - Steve for the IRSOC)

Another answer from member John Bambey:

Re: stainless steel break discs for Cleveland’s in the late Seventies my friend Pete  had built a Spencer that had Cleveland’s. Commodore SPB is on the SF bay and is of course salt water The brakes would corrode rapidly to such an extent that Pete was rebuilding them almost once a month.  Since he was experimental. that grew tiresome quickly and  he simply fabricated stainless rotors and then disassembled and hard anodized the pucks (He later turned SS pucks on a lathe) and cylinder parts on the calipers, then primed, painted and reassembled them, and red greased massively outside of the o ring grooves and also sand blasted and epoxied the steel parts,  Result, a permanent end of the problem,  If you try chrome discs and your are in salt a lot, the chrome is going to fail on you, because the salt works its way in through micro cracks and exfoliates the steel below, bubbling and cracking the chrome. Also you have to watch out for corrosion on the pucks and cylinder walls which can give you brakes that don’t apply, apply very unevenly or worse even lock up  at some very bad times on your rollout.  Of course my advice is dated and maybe in the last twenty years someone has come up with  a chromed brake rotor and corresponding caliper system that is salt water proof.  However If you are just occasionally in the briny stuff well I guess the chrome might work but be sure and hit your brakes with a pressure washer with a high phosphate soap  as soon as you get home,  As for the problems with stainless discs,Pucks and other parts, well lets just say their weren’t any.  Of course you understand that nothing in this post can be construed as a suggestion to modify a PMA’d  part.

Thanks John! Steve for the IRSOC
I Need a 337 for this mod...

Hey, guys,

        I installed an additional access hole above the tailwheel operation cylinder, in line with the two side access holes.  It's at STA 222.
In order to smooth the way with the FAA, I would like to know of any other field approvals or 337s that anyone has filed for this installation. (Photo below)

Access Hole above tailwheel
(Click on image for full size)

Bob Gould

He got it...

Bob Gould got his own 337 form approved for the Hand Hole mod. Below is a link to download it if you care to. Congratulations Bob!

Steve for the IRSOC

Hand Hole 337 form (1.2 MB)

What were the original Seabees painted with...

I am trying to find out the finish on the early production Seabees.  Were they all bare metal or did some have a painted finish?  We are restoring our aircraft and want it to be as close to original production as possible.  I am hoping there were a few painted versions.  If there are photos available I would sure like to obtain them.

Bob Peterman Evergreen Aviation Museum


None yet...
Need a data plate...

My question has to do with the location of the manufactures data plate on the Seabee. My mechanic asked me where it was, and I did not know. I remembered that somewhere I had read that it was above the battery box, but both my mechanic and I looked and looked and could not find it. Could you check and let me know just exactly where it is. My airplane is disassembled and it may be on a part that is off now, however I would assume it would be riveted to the biggest piece of the airplane, the fuselage.

If the data plate is truly missing, what do I have to do to replace it? My mechanic says it is not easy or inexpensive to do because the FAA has to get involved in trying to prove that the airframe is the serial number the records claim it to be.

I did find a notice by Dick Saunders, the editor of old Seabee newsletter, from back in the early 90's that mentioned that he had a few blank ones and could supply one to anybody building up a Seabee that did not have one. Do you know if any are still available?

John Hafner
N6353 S/N 587
None yet...

The data plates are in one or two places usually. One is on the vertical panel to the right of the instrument panel and the other location is under the left stabilizer. But, they could be anywhere after so many years with various owners. It must be visible and made of a fireproof material (aluminum). Also it must be firmaly attached. Rivets are the best way.

for the Seabee Club
Looking for N6322K...

Hi Jim,
  Just thought I would tell you how much I enjoyed reading the excerpt from your book A Plane For All Occasions.  I will certainly have to buy a copy as I'm sure it will bring back some old flying experiences in the lovely beast. 

  Back in the early 60's a friend asked me to find a Seabee for him.  I had flown them earlier out of a small airport (and lake) in Marstons Mills on Cape Cod.  I found a beauty (N6322K  #546) in Northampton, Mass (near Westover AFB) picked it up for $6000 and flew it back to Nashua, NH.  We were both Air Traffic Controllers at Boston Center and I had taught him how to fly... in my J3 Cub.  Let me tell you.. it was one heck of job transitioning a student pilot from a J3 to an RC3. 

   The story is too long to tell, but I'm trying to track down the location of  6322K if it's still around.  Something like looking up an old girlfriend ;-)  I flew that plane all over New England including a landing in Long Island Sound during a sailboat race on a Sunday afternoon.  I have checked the FAA records doing an N number search.. and hunted around some Seabee sites but can find no record of the plane.  The last time I saw it was when I landed in ALB in a DC-6 in the mid 60's.  There it was... tied down on the flight line with its nose on the ground and the tail high in the air. <grin>  Just wondering if you have any contacts that could help locate the aircraft...

Dave Johnson
Found it!!

Dave Johnson wrote back...

  I did locate 6322K after a little research.  The gentleman that bought it from me so many years ago passed away and the plane has remained in his estate for many years.  From what I gather, his son's do not fly and the airplane remains hangared at Barnes Airport in Westfield, Massachusetts.  But I'm sure that some day in the not to far future, someone will rescue the old bird and give her flight after all these years of waiting.

  Keep up the outstanding work...

(Note: Also one member (Art Munns) recommended the FAA site to seach for "N-numbers". It works realy well!)

Nose Skins?...

Hi Jim. I have had another successful flying season. We currently have over 1040 hours total time on our conversion. I am starting to plan my winter
maintenance program. The nose skin on our Bee is showing it's age & I would like to replace it. Randy Komo has a fiberglass overlay for it. Is this the only option, or are the original skins available? Any information on how well the Fiberglass skin works? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
The skin I need is the one above the bow skins (in front of the battery box)
Thanks for the help

Brian Robinson


None yet...
Can Cleveland brakes use the original Master Cylinders?...

James Babcock writes:
"Quick question on installing Cleveland brakes on the Seabee;  Is it possible to use the original Republic master cylinders?   
James (Seabee s/n 1001)


Jim Poel writes...

"No, James. The original Seabee brake cylinders are low pressure, High volume. Disk brake need High pressure, low volume."


Flap actuator bleeding procedure anyone?...

We had to remove a leaky flap actuator on the right side to install new 'O' rings and we also replaced both hydraulic lines from the wingroot outboard. Despite trying every trick in the book the right flap system acts like it has air in it. If anyone has a specific procedure that they follow to bleed the system, I would appreciate hearing from them.....Glen Latour


None yet...
Here is a very good question by a Seabee lover...

Hello Gentlemen,

I am impressed with your web site and in an effort to learn some more about this unusual airplane, I would like to introduce myself and my company and hopefully make use of some of your vast knowledge of the Seabee.  My name is Bob Meese and I am an engineering consultant for Munro & Associates, an engineering consulting firm based in Troy, Michigan.  We are currently working on a project for Michigan SATS (Small Aircraft Transportation System) that involves doing a very detailed analysis of the Seabee aircraft to better understand design, construction and production details.  This unique and very progressive design for its time incorporated design features that we (Munro & Associates) advocate to our clients like fewer parts, integrated functionality, simplification etc.
In reading the informative articles posted on your web site as well as the site, I have learned that the wings were automatically riveted.  The articles go into a little detail about the sequence and some of the design features that allow it to be automated but I have not seen anything that describes that automation.  I am extremely interested in knowing more details like:
  • Was the automation a large machine tool or a smaller assembly aid?
  • How “automatic” was it?  Did it punch the holes AND put the rivets in place?
  • Did they pre-drill or punch before clamping it up?
  • Were the rivets actually installed and upset en masse or individually?
  • Does the 8 minutes quoted for riveting the basic wing include all final assembly?
Additionally, I would love to see some old photos or sketches of this “automatic” equipment.  The more I learn about the Republic design, the more I believe they were way ahead of their time.

If you have any information or can direct me toward any enlightenment it would be truly appreciated.  If getting information requires joining the Seabee club, I am willing to do that as well.  Thanks in advance for any assistance.


Bob Meese
Munro & Associates
248-362-5110 ext.302  (Office in Troy, MI)

(Ed note: If I get enough information, I will dedicate a page to the construction history of our beloved Seabee so send in those pictures and articles!)


None yet...
Tail wheel collar welding...

Does anyone know of an approval to use a modified welded collar on a
steerable tailwheel installation on a Seabee?

Jean and John

None yet...
Elevator Trim Lock up...

Craig Woodbury writes...

I am having problems with the trim on my seabee, it keeps locking up and I am not sure why, has anyone had any similar problems?  Also does anyone know of an easy fix?  After pulling all the inspection hatches and removing my headliner, It looks like the cable only comes apart in the tail of the airplane.  Thanks for any information in advance.

Craig Woodberry


Jim Poel writes...

I'm not sure of what the problem is by your description. You are talking about the trim locking up, then about how it comes apart.You might try isolating the locking up part by disconnecting each side component and working each individually. Things that would lock up are usually the gears which may have too much lash. Or, the chain may be catching on something or be too loose on the sprocket. If you isolate the problem to a component and still have a question, let us know and we can go from there. Just rmember that the trim system is just as important a flight control as the rudder. I know that you know this, but an aircraft with a binding trim system should be considered non-airworthy. You cannot overpower the trim on a Seabee.

Good Luck, Jim Poel

(If anyone has more information on this problem, please let me know so I can post it here! Steve for the IRSOC)

Art Munns writes...

Steve, I have had the same problem with my trim system and finally determined by disassembly that the trim cable had multiple strands broken internally which were binding and preventing the hand trim crank from rotating.
If you read the last news letter by Grant Southerland he mentioned that I have designed a better and safer trim system. Any one interested may call me at home 804-452-3137 or at the office at 804-222-7494 ext. 274

Art Munns
Avionics Inspector (A/W)
Richmond FSDO

Bob Gould (Hawaii) writes...


    The output flex shaft that goes to the elevator puts a side load on the gears in the gearbox.  If their shafts are not completely clean and lubricated, they will bind with any (and sometimes no) side (up and down) load.  Mine had the same problem, and I finally got the bad one working again after putting the gearbox in a drill press and running it for a long time while washing it out with penetrating oil.  Lots of gunk came out.  It's kind of like the old Mercury outboard stearing swivel.  A little bit of rust and dirt gets between the shaft and the bushing and it binds.  Tim Sutter put some bearing races on his gearbox, and they seem to work fine.  He also added grease fittings, and I want to do the same.

    Another cause can be a poorly lubricated, rusty, or old chain at either end.  The chain will not bend and will lock up if it gets corroded.  You can get stainless chains, or just new regular ones and keep them well greased.

    If you want more info I can get a bit more detailed.


UC-1 engines request...

Mr. Roger Glazer writes:

Is there an after market installer of larger engines (for the UC-1 Twin Bee)?


Jim Poel writes...

Hi Roger. I haven't heard of any changes to the original engine configuration on the twin Bee. You might want to ask one of the owners directly. (Hardy LeBel for example)

Jim Poel
Bilge Pump paperwork requested...

Our co-webmaster, Jim Poel, has a request for anyone having the paperwork (337's, STC, etc) for the bilge pump system on our Seabees. Please advise Jim or Steve if you can help us out.
Thanks a million!

None yet...
Seabee Tailwheel Tire(s)...

I need a tail wheel tire for a Bendix 3 1/8" (10" OD ) wheel. Are there new ones available? What can it be replaced with? Anyone's input would be greatly appreciated.
(810) 434-6201

Jim Poel Answers...

To answer the tail wheel question on the questions page: Desser sells 10.5" x 4" channel tread tires, about $100. Dusters and Sprayers sells adapter rims, (about $60). Use the original tube. This combination is easier to get on and off the tailwheel hub and very good in soft ground as the tire is square. It needs a field approval. Also, a guy named Russ advertises the whole combination with paper work to put a 4" tire on your tailwheel. His is over $100 including tire, tube, and paper work. Either one of these will work well.
Looking for Electric Hydraulic Pump drawing...

Paul Teremy is looking for the drawings and/or overhaul manual for the Simuflight (I believe) Electric Hydraulic pump (HYB-5005).

Paul writes:

I need the assembly drawing on the gear pump which is attached to the "power -pack" ( 12 volt DC motor). I needed to have some welding done on the gear pump and the welder separated the two assemblies of the gear pump which has springs, washers and ball-bearings. I don't know where these parts go back, so an assembly drawing would be helpful.

Thanks, Paul

From Bernie Nolen...

The Electrol hydro pump from Simuflight came from the tilt outdrive actuator off a boat. Most of the ski boat runabouts use this to control the tilt and trim of the out drive in an I/O installation. Try the local boat repair shop.  

Bent Wing Floats...

Bob Bastin writes,

I need some info on people or places that can help smooth a lightly bent pair of floats.


Jim Poel answers...

Depending on where you are, most body shops can do something like that. The other choice is a good sheet metal man who will take them apart, pound them out, and put them back together. Jim

Door Handles...

Greg in Dallas writes,

Hey there, Hi there, Ho there, does any one have a source for the entry door handles? There is a jeep one in JC Whitney, but it doesn't have the interior handle.

Thanks,  Greg in Dallas


Ralph Buter writes...

I have some door handle hardware available. Let me know what you need and I'll see how I can help.

Ralph Buter

Bill Lawson (N6201K
) writes:

If you need Door handles, I have found that WAG AERO has a door handle set
Cat. No. H-815.003 that fits and looks similar to the original. Go to to see it of call 1 800 558-6868 to get a catalog.

Bill Lawson writes again:
There is a good source for all sorts of handles.
The ALH20072 1/2 looks like the same one. Just click on "Handles" and then  "L handle locking".

Bill Lawson


Wing Skins...

My uncle and I are trying to start the restoration of 2 Sea Bees, that's why we would like to know if anyone has some information about "wing skin" for the  Republic SeaBee, or if someone still make it, or has the pattern to mould it...
Thank you in advance for your help.

Esteban Cuadrado.


Jim Poel answers...

Hi Esteban,
There may be some wing skins around, but not many. To my knowledge, there is no one who has any method of constructing them either. The common method of wing repair, is to find a damaged wing and use the undamaged skins from it. There are still a pretty good supply of those around.

Good luck, Jim

Greg writes...

Dear Estaban,
I am also restoring a bee and am having the same problem (with wing skins) let me know if you find some one and I will do likewise .

 Greg ?

K.C. Ostronik  writes...

  The original alloy metal that was used to make the RC-3 wing skins was 14ST or 2014. There was a Reynolds version:
R301W that was apparently used as well.
  The dies used a 8'X3' steel blanket with the bead former. This original alloy used to manufacture these skins is no longer produced today. The closest alloy produced today is: 2024T3.
  2024T3 only has a 6% formation property as apposed to the 15% formation property of 4ST. 2024T3 can not form the beads without cracking. 2024T4 version would have better forming properties; even a heat treatment procedure might work to produce new wing skins. Unfortunately, this will not meet FAA guide lines and thus is not approved without extensive (read very expensive $$) testing procedure. I figured a production run of approximately 50 skins. Each skin would cost about $1,500.00 just to break even. These skins would not be FAA approved.

  As a note of further interest: the skins come in two different thicknesses, the out board skins were .025 (of which I have 6 to 10 bran new ones) and the inboard skins which are .032 in thickness.

  Republic used only the .032 skins near the end of production rather than form new .025 skins which were in short supply.

Hope this answers some of your questions.
Sincerely, K.C. Ostronik #129
Bill Lawson writes:
I made a set of press break dies to make ribbed flat pieces when I did my wing extensions. I currently can make them in any length but only up to 24 inches wide in the rib direction. I usually make them out of .032 2024. The trick is getting the spacing exactly right.

It would be possible to make them wide enough with the right dies to cover the full wing but some one that is an artist would need to make the smooth part that is the leading edge of the wing and then rivet the ribbed skins to it to form a complete wing skin.

I can make some up if you can let me know the sizes. They take a long time to make. The best solution is probably to take an old wing apart.

Bill Lawson N6201K

Scott Henderson writes:

I saw the questions about wing skins on the web site.  We have just begun work to manufacture new wing skins.  They are not cheep $1,595 each but they are new and they are made from the original Republic drawings just with modern tooling.

Right now we have to have a minimum production order of five skins and availability is about 4-6 weeks.

We are also open to the manufacturing of any other original parts as required.  Unfortunately they are not cheap once we have to pay for the tooling but they are available. Things are moving fast for us with the opening of the Fallon shop.  I am putting together a document package to have a number of keel strips manufactured this year so they should eventually be in stock.

Expect new STC's this year, Electric trim system, Landing light kit (yes I know this is an old kit but finally STC'd).  We just need to do the flight test and the paper work will be finalized.  We have actually flown all the testing the FAA just needs to verify our results.

Once I get caught up on things I will be converting a number of our kits installed with a 337 to STC's.  My work with the FAA is fairly easy, they like working with an ex-Boeing engineer and I did learn to do paperwork at Boeing so the STC's are going to move forward.

Scott Henderson


Where is Mr. Daubenspeck?...

We have had a few inquiries on the whereabouts of Mr. Daubenspeck and his STC's for the Lycoming Engine modification. If he has passed away, who does the STC's he once had belong to? Are the STC's usable? If anyone has any information, please forward it to us and we will list it here. (Some say he was last seen in the California area.) Thank you all for your input.

Steve, for the IRSOC


Bernie answers,

Jack was living in Oregon for a number of years and passed away about a year or two ago...don't know what ever happened with the STC's...

(Ed note: His son is in charge of the STC's. He has contacted the IRSOC and is in the process of providing additional information.)

What are the wing floats made of...

Would you post on the question and answer site what alloy the wing floats are made from? I have a set of floats of Bobby Bastins that I need to de-wrinkle a bit, but they seem to be heat treated. They are so damn tough that I can't seem to do anything with them for fear of cracking the aluminum. Possibly if I disassemble them I could wheel or planish them. Do you know any phone no. where I might get someone's experience with them on the other end?

Please & thank you in advance, George Rettberg

(Note: I am assuming George means what type of aluminum. i.e: 6061, etc.)
Steve for the IRSOC

Answer #1 from Ralph Buter...

Wing floats are R-301W .051 skins. They may be hardened because of age. Heating them somewhat may soften them.

All the best,
Ralph Buter 

Longest Trip in a Seabee...

I was wondering what the longest trip anyone has made in a bee and how long it took them?
Thank you kindly,
Lee Hunphreys

Here they are...

Don Buck says: Contact Henry Chapeskie. He and his dad made a wonderful northern Canada and Arctic trip. Don't know a lot of details but they left southern Ontario, were in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories and returned. Check a map. Thats a loooooooooong trip in a Bee at 100 mph!

Dr. Henry Chapeskie writes: I assume you are referring to the trip my dad and I had back in 1995 (written up in the ?Nov, 1997 Private Pilot) up to Inuvik and Victoria Island in the Canadian Arctic. That trip was 6,600 miles in length. It might be interesting to the readers if it were scanned in from the Private Pilot magazine - good reading and photos.

Jim Poel (336 NM)-My personal best in my Franklin is 4Hrs, 54min landing with 16 gallons. Kirk Airbase, SC (T73) to Spruce Creek, FL (7FL6). Headwind all the way.

I bought a SeaBee in San Antonio, TX. 4 year ago. I flew it home to Lake Louise Alaska. It took me 4 days at 105 mile per hour. I really enjoyed that trip. I flew through everything from extreme winds and rain to beautiful peaceful sunny skies.
Tim Sutter
Springs for Tailwheel Up/Down Lock...

Do you know if these springs are available? My bee came without one. If I just knew the tension specs (lbs) at 8.5 and 12 inches that would sure help. The spring that I need is the one inside the tail that keeps tension on the retracting linkage collar so that the gear will remain locked in place if you loose hydraulic pressure. I do not have the steerable tailwheel but I think that the spring I need would be the same in any case. the spring is probably about 6 inches long and the travel is 8.5 inches at the shortest point to 12 inches at the longest point.

Thanks, Bill Shaver


Answer #1 from Steve Mestler....

I don't have a spring for you but I attached a picture of the one on the Marty B. The steel wire it is made from measures .085". You could probably make one easy enough. It doesn't take much to start stretching it out (5-10 pounds). The long end of the spring goes into the tailwheel linkage. The short end goes to the airframe bracket in the fuselage. I hope this helps.
for the IRSOC

Answer #2 from Ralph  Buter....

Hello Bill,
I Have a spare spring that I can send you.

Ralph Buter


Continental IO-470 installation...

I have been thinking of installing a Continental IO-470 engine in my Seabee. I got the engine overhauled but I need the plate between the crancase and the extension housing. Also, I need to know the STC holder for that installation and if you can tell me someone to contact for information for the installation of the engine or if you know if a Seabee has been modified with the Continental engine and are they still flying or what came of them? Also if you know of any parts for the Continental engine? I hope to hear from you soon. Gudjon V Sigurgeirsson

Along the same subject Bjorg Gudjonsson writes...

More info needed on IO-470p. How was the pitch controlled on that installation and where was the oil pressure taken to control the prop? Does someone out there have pictures or a drawing of this installation?


Answer #1 from Mike Carey

RE: IO470P
It is my understanding that this engine (a pusher) was developed to power the Lane Riviera,  which was manufactured by Saia Marchette in Italy in the 1960s and assembled in Texas.  About 23 aircraft were imported and about four or five are still flying.  I have two of the engines and am attempting to install one in a Bee.

Unhappily, there is no STC, so you will have to go "Expermental". There is one plane with this engine installed and it is located at the New Haven McComb Airport (57D) northwest of Port Huron, MI. The owner is Gene Balon and his phone number is: (edited). He is very knowledgable about Bees and has informed me that he would be happy to share his information particularily about the IO470P.  So, give him a call.

With regard to parts, Continental has everything you need.


Mike Carey
Part Number for electric Hydraulic Pump...

Do you have a Part # for the electric hydraulic pump for SeaBee
Would appreciate your response on this. Thanks.

John Murphy & Dorothy Stringer
SeaBee N87570


Answer #1 from Jim Poel:  

Hi, folks, the only thing I have is from the twin bee, and I'm afraid it won't help much. The part number is from a drawing that is 3 ft. by 6 ft. in size, so I can't email you a copy. It is STOL aircraft Drawing # 67-058900. The pump assembly number is 67-058901-1. And the power pack is 67-058902.1. We'll put it on the questions and answers page and see if we get a response. Anyone with the system installed, should be able to help.   Jim

Answer #2 from Steve Mestler:
I had trouble finding the Part/Serial number of my pump. It may be underneath where I can't see it but I found this from the STC# SA 1158 NW paperwork:
Prestolite (Website) P/N: HYB-5005 (12v).     Steve

Okay, this is an easy one...O-ring size...

Does anyone know the size of the O-ring that fits the top inside bushing of the landing gear strut?

Lou Fitzpatrick


Answer #1 from Jim Poel:

Contact Richie Brumm. He sells the seals you need. brummrichkaren@ Jim

Answer #2 from Steve Mestler:

The part I show is AN6230-10. All O-rings are listed here. Some on the list may have changed. Richie Brumm (above) uses Quad-X seals and are very good. I re-did our Bee with Richie's seals and they haven't leaked yet (six years now).


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Updated December 3, 2022 (Added accident report for CF-HAG, Added CF-HAG propeller failure, Added link to landing gear cross tube drawing, Added tail wheel tire/tube info from Bruce Hinds)