Latest aviation project

One major headache I’ve encountered while living in Brazil was the importation of some aluminum floats. We asked for much prayer and after thousands of dollars and 18 months of waiting they confiscated them. HOWEVER we were able to purchase them “back” at an auction (I know if sounds frustrating, but this is Brazil). I had a few spare days this last week and utilized my brother’s visit to mount them.

Rebel with 25 year old Full Lotus floats

One of the reasons we wanted these aluminum ones is everytime I complained about our slow plane, experienced pilots told me the biggest problem was these floats. They have advantages (able to hold up to rocks, etc) but they are also the opposite of aerodynamic and (we found out since) weigh 20 pounds more than aluminum.

It was a big, expensive project but we felt worthwhile. Here is the progression of removing the floats and then installing the new ones.

Luke, not THAT excited about being there-- but a big help!

We had a block and tackle to lift up the wing attach points. then things under each wing to stabelize it

Aluminum floats set up to go under the plane


Old floats disconnected





Here is a video of me pulling out the old ones (click here).

We also weighed the airplane during the process to verify the weight and balance


The cart it sits on when not in use also had to be modified


and finally in the water!!!


It was a great ending to the story. As mentioned, the aluminum ones are 20 pounds lighter (that’s 20 more minutes of fuel I can take) and we gained over 10 knots in airspeed (more than 10%!).


Thank you everyone for all your prayers and support for this project!


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