2010 Thunderbee (1947 Republic Seabee)
The Charles Joy, Thunderbee, Serial number 001 is an incredible airplane.
It has won multiple awards (SUN 'N FUN Grand Champion Seaplane 2011 and
Oshkosh "Silver Lindy" for Reserve Grand Champion Seaplane 2011) and been
featured in magazine articles. The previous owner invested significantly
into building this plane and the current owner has invested significantly
bringing it up to the highest standards that could be
obtained on such an aircraft. Whether it has come to labour, parts, or
research no cost has been spared. The plane has been flying regularly
(average of 3 flights per month) and is ready for its next owner as the
current owner has moved on to an even larger airplane so he can accommodate
a growing family.
It began life as a standard 1947 Republic RC3 SeaBee. In 2010 the previous
owner began a complete bare-hull restoration. The primary modification was
the installation of the Robinson LS V8 engine conversion, incorporating a
GM LS-1 engine of 320HP, Freon air conditioning, and fully digital avionics
package, with a dual-channel autopilot, a dual battery backup system, and
dual fuel pickups, pumps and filters.
The baggage compartment door was enlarged and the compartment extended by
relocating the aileron cables. This gives us lots of room for gear and
luggage. 1000lb useful load off the water or land has been demonstrated.
The hydraulic system was removed and an all-electric landing gear system
was engineered to replace the original hydraulic rams. Additionally, the
rubber donut tail wheel suspension was replaced with an adjustable
hydra-sorb coil over shock.
Additionally unique to this aircraft is the billet aluminum machined
control column extensions and control knobs, featuring control wheels from
an Airbus A300.
Typical operation at 2,500ft with 23" MAP and 3300RPM results in 102 knots
TAS, using 11 gallons per hour with the economical option of premium
automotive, marine or 100LL fuel! Useable fuel is approximately 75 gallons.
This aircraft was Certified as 51% Amateur Bulit by Transport Canada MDRA.
This was achieved over 10 years by incorporating all new systems including
flight control changes, wing modifications, power plant, landing gear,
avionics, electronically, climate control, seating, flooring, firewall,
bulk heads, baggage compartment, wheels, tires, brakes, control wheels,
instrumentation, with dual battery system and dual fuel system.
The aircraft was then Imported to the USA under FAA Certified Experimental
Exhibition- Full USA practice area, no restrictions.
After several years flying in the USA it has been imported back into Canada by its current owner and being flown under the registration C-GVFF. The aircraft is flown often and maintained and improved upon at every opportunity.
Large Seaside Lighthouse in Kildare Capes, PEI with access to 3200 foot airstrip
March 30, 2023