About Lakes

About Lake Amphibians

A “Lake Amphibian” is the general term applied to the family of single-engine, amphibious flying boats, starting with the Colonial Skimmer in the late 1940’s, and continuing today through the Turbo Seafury and Seawolf.

Lake Amphibians have their roots in the grand tradition of flying boats maintained by the Grumman Corporation through the first half of the 20th century. The Lake’s basic design was created by former Grumman designers shortly after the end of World War II, and refined through the years.

Today, Lakes are the only certified production amphibious flying boat being produced (albeit at a modest rate.)

In many ways, a Lake is a true “all-terrain vehicle.” Able to access remote mountain and bush country lakes, otherwise inaccessible by motorized vehicle, Lakes bring the wilderness within reach. They also are used for personal transportation, wildlife study, and even military roles.

The basic Lake models are:

Colonial XC-1 Skimmer prototype
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The original amphibious flying boat design, by David Thurston
No. places: 2-3
Engine: Lycoming O-235 115HP
Gross weight: 2,150
Fuel: 40 gallons
Useful load: 700
This is the prototype XC-1 Skimmer in 1948 with less than 25 hours on her. There are many items that will be changed soon, namely the 115 horsepower engine, and the turtle-back and the rudder and water rudder, just to name a few. It is believed to be taken at the Aviation Country Club at Hicksville, LI, NY, shortly to become Levittown. David Thurston photo.

Serial number 1, N6595K, built 1948, presently under restoration

— John Staber, photo by David Thurston

Colonial C-1 Skimmer
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Initial production of Thurston’s design
No. places: 2-3
Engine: Lycoming O-235 115HP
Gross weight: 2,150
Fuel: 40 gallons
Useful load: 700
Serial number 13, N253B, built 1957

— John Staber

Colonial C-2 Skimmer
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Refinement of the original design; more oomph, more passengers
No. places: 4
Engine: Lycoming O-360 180HP
Gross weight: 2,350
Fuel: 40 gallons
Useful load: 825
Serial number 40, N281B, built 1959

— John Staber

Lake Amphibian LA-4-180
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The “classic Lake Amphibian”; lengthened fuselage, enclosed nose gear
No. places: 4
Engine: Lycoming O-360 180HP
Gross weight: 2,400
Fuel: 40 gallons
Useful load: 825
Serial number 426, N45L, 1969

— Bob Stebbins

Lake Buccaneer LA-4-200
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The “Buc”: the most popular (or at least populous) Lake; added HP
No. places: 4
Engine: Lycoming IO-360 A1B 200HP
Gross weight: 2,600
Fuel: 40 gallons (Note: optional sponson tanks bring total to 54 gal., gross weight to 2,690 lbs.)
Useful load: 1165
Serial number 1066, N8012D, built 1981

— Steve Whitney

Lake LA-4-200EP
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EP — Extended prop
(or extra performance, depending on your viewpoint); cargo door, fuel floats standard
No. places: 4
Engine: Lycoming IO-360 A1B6 200HP
Gross weight: 2,690
Fuel: 54 gallons
Serial number 1083, N41EP, built 1982

— Marc Rodstein

LA-250
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Renegade / (later renamed) Seafury— Stretch fuselage & more power
No. places: 4-6
Engine: Lycoming IO540 C4B5 250HP
Gross weight: 3,140
Fuel: 90 gallons
Useful load: 1,165
Serial number 53, N8401S

— Bruce Rivard, Team Lake

LA-270
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Turbo Renegade / Turbo Seafury — Turbocharged power at altitude
No. places: 4
Engine: Lycoming TIO-540-AA1AD 270HP
Gross weight: 3,140
Fuel: 90 gallons
Useful load: 1,065
Serial number 91, N8423Q

— Bruce Rivard, Team Lake

Military versions
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Sea Wolf
A militarized version of the Turbo Seafury, complete with 290 HP turbocharged engine, a higher gross weight, and 6 NATO standard hard points under the wings for mounting rockets, guns, night vision equipment, radar, and infrared and visible spectrum cameras.
Ranger
Similar to the Sea Wolf, with the 290 HP engine and higher gross weight, but without the military bells and whistles.

Serial number 129, N59CA

— Paul Furnee, Aircraft Innovation