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Fly and Drive
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca — May 2003
The Piston Engine Aircraft Committee says that 33 percent of pilots own a powerboat and 37 percent of them fish, while another 27 percent scuba dive. This information has prompted one company to combine flying and boating into one vessel called the Centaur.
This plane/boat comes from Warrior (Aero-Marine). Unlike traditional seaplanes that have an aluminum structure, the Centaur is built of corrosion-resistant carbon fiber and fiberglass. Warrior says this makes it more corrosion-resistant in a saltwater environment.
The craft's narrow hull is said to be based on those used by high-performance yachts and so should create less hydrodynamic resistance in boat mode and during takeoff. Warrior adds that the hull design allows for more fuel capacity, which should give Centaur long-range flying capabilities. Yet there's still room for six passengers and a 14-foot canoe, in case you want to do some paddling when you land. If not, you can just lay out and catch some rays, cast a line, or go diving. Pricing for the Centaur starts at $525,000.
Warrior (Aero-Marine) Phone: (207) 885-9920. www.centaurseaplane.com.
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This article originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.