Fighter Seaplane

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Ursinus fighter seaplane
Floats extended
Via Chris Bolger

This unusual German fighter prototype of 1916-17 was designed by Oskar Ursinus. In an attempt to improve manoueverability and reduce drag, it featured retractable floats which could be raised and lowered manually. This also required that the propellor be mounted on an extension shaft to prevent interference with the floats. One prototype was built, and production by Gotha was planned. Unfortunately, the prototype was destroyed early on and development was halted.

Click to enlarge
Ursinus fighter seaplane


Specifications fighter seaplane
Designer(s) Oskar Ursinus
Mission Type Seaplane fighter prototype
Powerplant 1 x 150 hp Benz BZ III
Span 29 ft 6.385 in (9 m)
Length 25 ft 6.5 in (7.77 m)
Height 9 ft 6.25 in (2.9 m) (floats extended)
6 ft 6.75 in (2.0 m) (floats retracted)
Wing area ?
Empty 1,649 lb (749.5 kg)
Loaded 2,205 lb (1,002 kg)
Max --
Max speed 124 mph (200 km/hr) (est.)
Cruise speed ?
Initial climb rate ?
Service ceiling ?
Range ?
Endurance ?
Armament unknown
Crew One
User Germany (not operational)
Number built One
Construction Numbers ?
Serial Numbers ?

Click to enlarge
Ursinus fighter seaplane, floats retracted

Click to enlarge
Ursinus fighter seaplane. Based on line drawing from UNKNOWN! N.5, revised based on photos and the profile at Chandelle, but still not totally accurate; colors are speculative.

Web Links


  1. Bowers, Peter M. Unconventional Aircraft. Tab Books, Blue Ridge Summit, PA, 1984. ISBN 0-8306-2384-1.
  2. Miranda, J. and P. Mercado. UNKNOWN! N.5.
  3. Updated Information and other References:

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© 1997-2011, Robert Beechy
Originally posted 1998
Modified: 01/05/2011