Tigerfish Aviation has design sketches for a retractable float system that they say can be retrofitted for a variety of aircraft, including military transports. They have an illustration of a C-130J outfitted with floats. We’re not sure how serious Tigerfish is with this idea, but it’s interesting to picture a C-130 air tanker landing on a lake, or scooping water to refill the tank.
Here is an excerpt from the company’s website:
Drag reduction has been one of the key development aims in the design of transport aircraft. Seaplanes are inheritably of high drag due to their boat-like shape and exposed floats
Tigerfish has sought to reduce the drag of floatplanes by retracting and morphing the floats into a streamline shape below the fuselage. This reduces the drag by
- Concealing the boat-like shapes from the airstream.
- Reducing the surface area exposed to the airstream.
This is not the first time floats on a C-130 has been proposed. FoxTrotAlpha had an article in July of 2015.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Leo.