Aircraft History, Specification and Information
Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey
SeaRey N48CJ Amphibian Aircraft
2006 SeaRey - N48CJ (sn 1MK291C)
Amphibious Airplane with a
Rotax 912 Engine.
Photo taken at Sun 'n Fun 2007
Lakeland, FL - USA (KLAL)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey is an American amphibious flying boat designed and manufactured by Progressive Aerodyne of Orlando, Florida, first flown in 1992 and sold as a kit aircraft.


Development of the aircraft that became the SeaRey began in the 1970s with the introduction of the ultralight aircraft known as the Hi-Nuski. In the early 1980s Stanley Richter, his son Wayne Richter, Wayne's wife Nina Richter and Wayne's son Kerry Richter established Advanced Aviation where they designed and manufactured a number of different designs. The company produced the Buccaneer XA, and two place Buccaneer II flying boats for Highcraft AeroMarine and designed the improved Buccaneer SX. The company was sold in 1992.

In June 1992, Wayne and Kerry Richter, along with Advanced Aviation employee Paige Linette, formed a new company, Progressive Aerodyne, where they designed the first SeaRey prototype. The SeaRey had its inaugural flight on 13 November 1992. The performance, including a speed of up to 105 mph (169 km/h) surpassed the design goals.

Between its introduction in 1992 and 2006 over 400 SeaRey kits were delivered to customers.

The latest variant of the Searey is the LSX of the US light-sport aircraft category. While retaining much of the look of earlier models, the wing chord and washout have been changed for improved slow speed handling.

Category eligibility

In the United States the SeaRey may be registered either as a light sport aircraft or as an amateur-built experimental.

The Canadian Aviation Regulations allow the SeaRey to be registered either as an amateur built, basic ultralight or as an advanced ultralight aeroplane. The SeaRey 115 is only eligible as an AULA if the carbon fibre hull is used, due to category empty weight limitations.


The SeaRey's high wing is tapered and swept back from the leading edge with a straight trailing edge. The wing, nearly 31 ft (10 m) in span, is strut-braced and covered with aircraft fabric.

Designed to be amphibious, the SeaRey has a semi-monocoque hull similar to that of a boat. The hull, nose deck, and "turtle" deck (the element which forms the top surface behind the canopy) are riveted together. In the basic configuration, these pieces are made of fiberglass; carbon graphite hull components are available at extra cost and reduce overall weight by about 70 pounds (32 kg). The wings feature rotocast plastic floats mounted on aluminum struts.

There is only one model of the SeaRey but different hull designs of increasing strength have developed over the years, designated as "A," "B" and "C" hulls. The latest "C" hull is available in either carbon fiber or fiberglass.

The windshield and the sliding canopies on either side are made of Lexan. The canopies are track-mounted, can be opened in flight and can also be locked closed on the ground.

The SeaRey's single engine is mounted above the wing, and drives a single rear-facing pusher propeller. The SeaRey can be equipped with the 64 hp (48 kW) Rotax 582, 80 hp (60 kW) Rotax 912, 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912S or the Rotax 914 turbocharged engine which produces 115 hp (86 kW).

The SeaRey's landing gear consists of two main retractable wheels and a tailwheel in conventional landing gear configuration. Originally the landing gear was retracted for water operations by means of a mechanical Johnson-bar lever that raises or lowers all three wheels simultaneously. More recent retraction options include: manual, hydraulic or electric. The electric actuator is the newest and most popular, but the manual is the lightest.

According to the factory construction time for an experienced builder to complete a SeaRey is about 400 hours, with 600 hours typical for a first time builder.

Specifications (SeaRey with Rotax 912)

General characteristics
Crew: one
Capacity: one passenger
Length: 22 ft 5 in (6.84 m)
Wingspan: 30 ft 10 in (9.39 m)
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Wing area: 157 ft² (14.59 m²)
Empty weight: 820 lb (372 kg)
Loaded weight: 1,370 lb (622 kg)
Useful load: 550 lb (249 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 1,370 lb (622 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Rotax 912 Warp Drive or IVO 68 inch propeller, 80 hp (60 kW)

Never exceed speed: 120 mph (194 km/h)
Maximum speed: 120 mph (194 km/h)
Cruise speed: 85 mph (138 km/h)
Stall speed: 42 mph (68 km/h)
Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3,700 m)
Rate of climb: 600 ft/min (3.05 m/s)
Wing loading: 8.73 lb/ft² (3.96 kg/m²)

Last updated June 15, 2011
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey".
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