A design concept for a C-130 with floats

(Last Updated On: March 26, 2016)

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.
retractable floats
From Tigerfish Aviation
retractable floats
From Tigerfish Aviation

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.

2 thoughts on “A design concept for a C-130 with floats”

  1. Does Wildfire Today still feature a L.A.I? Here is one for fish-down-under. (Tigerfish Co.)
    In the early 1960 a crop dusting company designed and successfully tested a probe that was lower into the water in flight while the airplane stayed at about ten feet above the water. Successful, the problem was the proper metering of chemicals. Think of the Ericson Air Crane with it probe skimming the water which I believe has been patented? A C 130 5000 U.S. gallon tank (max capacity) with two eight inch diameter Ram Induction Pipes (RIP) “don’t know if I like that acronym”. “Rams” lowered for scooping, aircraft altitude locked at fifty feet above the water (water is level) 140 knots, inject the gel, 3000 feet of water source, 20 seconds, 4500 U.S. gallons, back to the fire. This system would not only provide quick turn-arounds but would generate a savings in tires/brakes, events on powerplants, flight time revenue loss while on the ground, etc.

  2. Armed Forces Journal, Carlton Meyer and combatreform.org proposed Hercules amphibians years before FoxtrotCopycat “discovered” the idea. Air Cushion Landing Systems (ACLS) would be superior to floats offering land-anywhere on dry land as well as on the water. http://www.combatreform.org/c130.htm

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