I just read about the Convair F2Y on the obvious encyclopedic site. It's a delta wing jet fighter from the 1950's, with hydroskis so it can take off and land on water.

Can such a landing be made reliably safe? What is the angle of attack, landing speed, and other techniques of such a landing? I'm concerned because it's such a small craft, and if the skis catch a wave the wrong way, it cloud flip over and disintegrate. It seems to me that even a tiny amount of waves on the high seas would make this thing very dangerous to land.

It looks like the Convair was canceled for a different kind of accident in mid-air. I could not find how many landings it performed safely. For all I know it could have been only 1 or 2 landings before it was canceled.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Maybe that's why there aren't any fighter jets on skis or floats? $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 7, 2017 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Ron Beyer: But there are numerous non-fighter aircraft that can land and take off safely from water, and the Russian ekranoplans show that jet engines can be used close to the water. Indeed, the Russians have developed a jet-powered amphibian, the Beriev Be-200: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beriev_Be-200 $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Oct 7, 2017 at 5:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @jamesqf Right, but they aren't supersonic or near sonic aircraft, they have large floats. I don't think it is a matter of engine placement, but high-drag structures that do nothing more than make the thing float. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 7, 2017 at 5:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Ron Beyer: But those are different issues. The question was about whether it was possible to take off and land safely. Nor do seaplanes necessarily need high-drag structures - the FY2 didn't have them - though I admit I don't know how well a hydrodynamic hull would function at near-sonic or supersonic speeds. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Oct 7, 2017 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf Could a fighter jet be made to take off/land on the water? Sure. It wouldn't be much of a fighter jet though. I guess the round-about point I was trying to make is that you can make it safe as a float plane, but not as a fighter, or you can make it safe/competitive as a fighter, but not as a float plane, at least not with techniques used today. Safest/most competitive way I can think of to do this today is to keep the two structures separate, have it land on the hull, basically an aircraft carrier... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 7, 2017 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


In the specific case of the F2Y, this video report from the US Navy and General Dynamics shows how it was done.

In the video: It lands on water the same way as any other amphibious aircraft. The only difference is that the engine intakes must be protected from water because too much of it will cause the engine to flame out and shut down.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .