The days of the great flying boats seem to be well past. The unexplored potential of the Spruce Goose, the might of the PanAm Yankee Clippers, the sturdy service of PBY’s and Sunderlands all seem to be from the history books.
However, as we look at the new challenges of the future there are reasons to think that the second age of the flying boat may be coming about. We hear, for example, about congestion at hub airports, and we know the opposition that is raised to any airport extension. We know also that these reactions are set to get worse and not better.
New technologies could be applied to new designs of flying boat and might include better resistance to corrosion, more controlled approach and landing, and more convenient entry and exit arrangements when compared to their forebears. Very large aircraft could be considered given the space and water surface for landing.