Rockwell International flying boat studies late 1970s


Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
14 August 2009
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During the late 1970s, the US Navy's David W Taylor Ship Development Center requested sea-based aircraft studies. Rockwell International Columbus Aircraft Division developed three C/STOL and three V/STOL sea-based aircraft configurations. One of these, a blended-catamaran C/STOL design, resembles the Lockheed "SeaStar" or "Sea Sitter" design that we have been discussing in other topics.

I found the attached Rockwell International Columbus Aircraft Division report presented to the DWTSDC on January 15, 1977 on the DTIC web site:


This report presents an on-water head seas motion analysis of three C/STOL and
three V/STOL, sea based aircraft configurations. Heave, pitch, acceleration, and
slarmming/wetness conditions are determined. Different forward speed conditions
were studied. The effect of various configuration parameters (length, inertia,
c.g. location, water plane area, etc) on head seas motion parameters was established
Sea state conditions from one to seven were studied. Fundamental sea state relation
ships and their effect on sea basing of aircraft are presented. Recommendations
for subsequent model tank testing are indicated.

Roclkwell International Report NR717-113, "Sea Based Aircraft Habitability
Criteria" dated 15 October !976, provides a definition of the human limits
for sea based aircraft. habitability criteria including vertical, lateral
and roll limits for on-water operation are included. Motion sickness
limits are presented. No serious habitability limitations were uncovered
for the surface following sea based aircraft concept.

Perhaps someone with image editing skills can stitch together and edit the line drawings of the aircraft concepts and attach them?
Here's the first one, a clear copy of the Lockheed Sea Sitter (or could it have been the other way around?).

A note on the image quality: this report is one of those wretched files where the foldout drawings were scanned in sections.... that's not so bad, but it becomes damned annoying when the sections are not only scanned at different angles, but at different *scales.* Couple that with bad image quality to begin with, and the results are something that should probably be simply re-drawn from scratch.


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Configuration 3. The original drawings were in very poor shape, most text was below resolvable size. looks like a simplified wind tunnel model.


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