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Quiz about Fighting Floatplanes and Flying Boats 19301945
Quiz about Fighting Floatplanes and Flying Boats 19301945

Fighting Floatplanes and Flying Boats 1930-1945 Quiz


For seafaring nations, coastal defence and air/sea rescue services have always been an over-riding priority. This quiz examines some of the floatplanes and flying boats that were operated by the major powers before and during World War Two.

A multiple-choice quiz by SisterSeagull. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
378,849
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
8 / 15
Plays
171
- -
Question 1 of 15
1. It is the number of an aircraft's engines and its wing configurations that differentiates a flying boat from a floatplane. True or false?


Question 2 of 15
2. Flying for the first time in 1938, the US Navy-operated Vought OS2U floatplane which was standard equipment on-board all US Navy battleships and heavy cruisers, was known by which of the following nicknames? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. Many a stranded seaman or airman would be pleased to see the small aircraft known as the Walrus flying toward them. Which British manufacturer, renowned for an iconic single-engined fighter design, was initially responsible for the design and manufacture of the Walrus? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. In 1938 this aircraft was adopted by the German Navy and became the Kriegsmarine standard catapult launched floatplane. Which small two-seat aircraft was this? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. The Beriev MBR-2 was a short range, coastal flying boat operated by the French Navy during the early years of the Second World War. True or false?


Question 6 of 15
6. The Italian floatplane known as the Airone (Heron) was an aircraft designed and built by which of the following manufacturers? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. This aircraft became famous for its role in the detection of the German battleship, the KMS Bismarck. Which aircraft, a product of US manufacturer Consolidated, was this? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. On the 26th of September 1939, this aircraft gained the unenviable distinction of being the Luftwaffe's first ever combat loss of the Second World War when an example was shot down by three British Fleet Air Arm fighters. Which aircraft was this? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. The Kawanishi H8K, a large four engined flying boat operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy had, like all other Japanese aircraft, an allied reporting name. Which girl's name was allocated to this type?

Answer: (One Word - First name of author of 'Wuthering Heights')
Question 10 of 15
10. Introduced in 1938 as the US Navy's scout and observation floatplane, the Curtiss SOC-3 Seasmew proved to be an unsatisfactory replacement for its predecessor. Which floatplane, also designed and built by Curtiss, was the SOC-3 Seasmew intended to replace? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. The Japanese Aichi M6A Seiran was a parasite fighter that was designed to be launched from beneath the wing of a larger flying boat. True or false?


Question 12 of 15
12. This large flying boat, operated by the RAF, was designed and built by the Blackburn Company and was named for a city found in both Scotland and across the world in Australia. Which city was this aircraft named for? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. The Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe floatplane was a development or customisation of which famous Japanese fighter aircraft? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. First flown in 1936, this German flying boat gained an affectionate nickname given to it by its crews because of the shapely design of its hull. Known as the Flying Shoe, this aircraft was designed by a company well known for their unusual types. Which manufacturer produced the Bv.138? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. Operated by the RAF Coastal Command with squadrons based in south western Wales, the Short Sunderland flying boat (certainly one of the more heavily armed flying boats of the war) was known by the German Navy and the Luftwaffe as the Stachelschwein or Flying ____?

Answer: (One Word - A large rodent with a prickly defence mechanism!)

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. It is the number of an aircraft's engines and its wing configurations that differentiates a flying boat from a floatplane. True or false?

Answer: False

The fundamental difference between a flying boat and a floatplane lies in the fact that the flying boat is designed from the very outset to be a waterborne aircraft. The flying boat has a shaped and sculpted hull that enables it to move easily through the water.

A floatplane, in all but a very few cases, is simply a land-based aircraft design that has been modified to be fitted with two or more floats.
2. Flying for the first time in 1938, the US Navy-operated Vought OS2U floatplane which was standard equipment on-board all US Navy battleships and heavy cruisers, was known by which of the following nicknames?

Answer: Kingfisher

With just over fifteen hundred examples built, the Kingfisher was the United States Navy's principal catapult launched floatplane. It was a small aircraft which showed promise but was let down by its underpowered engine, a Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior radial engine developing 450hp.

The OS2U was relatively lightly armed (having just two .30 calibre machine guns) but was also capable of carrying a small bomb load or depth charges. The Kingfisher also saw service with the navy of the Soviet Union, the British Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Australian Air Force.

The last Kingfisher in active service was retired by the Cuban Navy in 1959.
3. Many a stranded seaman or airman would be pleased to see the small aircraft known as the Walrus flying toward them. Which British manufacturer, renowned for an iconic single-engined fighter design, was initially responsible for the design and manufacture of the Walrus?

Answer: Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd

Supermarine Aviation Works Limited headquartered at Woolston, a small town on the eastern bank of the River Itchen in Hampshire, was better known for its Schneider Trophy-winning seaplanes of the late 1920s and, of course, a certain aircraft known as the Spitfire! The Supermarine Walrus was a very rugged and totally reliable biplane flying boat that had been developed under Specification 2/35 for the British Fleet Air Arm.

A total of 288 aircraft had been built by Supermarine before production was switched to the Saunders Roe Company. With a leisurely top speed of just 136mph from its Bristol Pegasus VI engine and an armament of two .303 machine guns in bow and dorsal positions, the Walrus was a familiar and very welcome sight in the skies over British home waters; especially if you were a downed airman in the cold waters of the English Channel!
4. In 1938 this aircraft was adopted by the German Navy and became the Kriegsmarine standard catapult launched floatplane. Which small two-seat aircraft was this?

Answer: Arado Ar196

Designed by Walter Blume, flying for the first time in 1937 and being introduced into service in 1938, the Arado Ar196 could be seen wherever German capital vessels were encountered. This small aircraft became the German Navy's principal reconnaissance tool with some vessels carrying up to as many as four aircraft.

The aircraft was immensely popular with its crews having both excellent flying and sea handling capabilities. The Arado Ar196 was powered by the reliable BMW 132 radial engine which gave it a top speed of around 195mph, which meant that although it was no match against dedicated fighter opposition, it was more than capable against any allied aircraft in a similar role to its own. For a reconnaissance aircraft the Ar196 was very heavily armed, being equipped with one 20mm cannon in each wing, two 7.92mm machine guns in a dorsal position and a further 7.92mm machine gun firing forward.

By the time the production of this excellent aircraft ceased in August 1944 a total of 541 models had been produced and of these only three complete examples have survived.

Incidentally, the Blohm und Voss Bv238 flying boat was the heaviest aircraft ever to have flown when it took off on its first flight in April 1944. The only completed example of this aircraft was destroyed in a raid by allied aircraft in September of that same year.
5. The Beriev MBR-2 was a short range, coastal flying boat operated by the French Navy during the early years of the Second World War. True or false?

Answer: False

The Soviet designed and built Beriev MBR-2 flying boat performed a similar function for the Soviet Navy as did the Supermarine Walrus for the British Royal Navy and its Fleet Air Arm. The MBR-2, which first flew in prototype form in 1931 was a high-wing monoplane design powered by a single 750hp Mikulin engine derived from a BMW design and which propelled it to a top speed of around 170mph.

The aircraft became the standard Soviet naval type in 1935 and saw service throughout the Great Patriotic War and for many years afterwards with various Soviet state departments. Like many Soviet aircraft, the Beriev MBR-2 could be fitted with wheeled landing gear or a ski type arrangement that enabled it to operate from land bases or from frozen lake surfaces.
6. The Italian floatplane known as the Airone (Heron) was an aircraft designed and built by which of the following manufacturers?

Answer: CANT

Before being adopted by the military, the Cant Z.506 floatplane first appeared as a large commercial passenger transport which could carry up to twelve passengers. The design first flew in 1936 and was powered by three Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial engines; these endowed the aircraft with a top speed of around 220mph.

Other early examples of the aircraft were supplied with engines manufactured by Alfa Romeo which promptly established new records for speed, distance and payload carrying capacities.

In July 1938 a prototype was supplied to the Italian Air Ministry which led to the development of a torpedo bomber version. Despite its wooden construction, the type was very robust and had excellent sea-handling characteristics; in fact the Z.506 has been judged as being, arguably, the best floatplane ever developed.

The aircraft carried a crew of five with two pilots sitting in tandem positions, had a range with a 1,000 kilo bomb load of around 1,250 miles. For such a large aircraft the Heron was relatively lightly armed carrying a total of just four machine guns; a 12.7mm gun in a dorsal position and a single 7.7mm machine gun in each of the ventral and two beam positions.

After the Italian surrender in 1943 a number of these aircraft saw service with the Luftwaffe and the last of the type as withdrawn from Italian Air Force service in 1959.
7. This aircraft became famous for its role in the detection of the German battleship, the KMS Bismarck. Which aircraft, a product of US manufacturer Consolidated, was this?

Answer: PBY Catalina

The Consolidated Model 28 was the United States Navy first flying boat with a cantilever wing design and was known to the military as the PBY; the name Catalina was applied to those aircraft in British service but the name was soon adopted for all aircraft of the type.

The Catalina was actually an aircraft of a type known as an amphibian as it was also equipped with retractable wheeled undercarriage which allowed it to operate from both land and sea bases. Besides being operated by the US Navy and RAF Coastal Command, the Catalina saw service with the forces of Australia, Canada, France and the Netherlands East Indies.

The Catalina as powered by two Pratt & Whitney 1,200hp Twin Wasp radial engines, a wingspan of one hundred and four feet and a service ceiling of 24,000 feet.

It was on the 26th of May 1941 that a Catalina operating from its base in Northern Ireland located the damaged KMS Bismarck and which led to her eventual destruction. An aircraft of this type was also involved in the rescue of a number of US sailors from the USS Indianapolis after the vessels sinking in the latter stages of the war in the Pacific.
8. On the 26th of September 1939, this aircraft gained the unenviable distinction of being the Luftwaffe's first ever combat loss of the Second World War when an example was shot down by three British Fleet Air Arm fighters. Which aircraft was this?

Answer: Dornier Do18

The aircraft that was to become the Dornier Do18 began life in 1935 as an oceanic mail carrying flying boat. Production began in 1939 with the Dornier Company completing a total of 46 examples before production was transferred to Weser-Flugzeugbau where a further 122 examples were constructed under licence before production ceased in 1940.

The Dornier Do18 was a fine aircraft and in March 1938 a single Do18 set a new non-stop distance record for a flying boat after travelling from Start Point in Devon, England to the Brazilian village of Caravelas, a total distance of 5,214 miles.

Although obsolete at the outbreak of the war in 1939 the Dornier Do18 provided good service to the Luftwaffe before it was superceded by a more modern Blohm und Voss aircraft by the summer of 1941. Powered by two Junkers Jumo 205 engines in a push-pull configuration, the Dornier had a cruising speed of 150mph and a service ceiling of just under fourteen thousand feet. Protection was provided by a 13mm machine gun in the bow position and a 20mm cannon in a powered dorsal turret in the Do18'G' version.
9. The Kawanishi H8K, a large four engined flying boat operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy had, like all other Japanese aircraft, an allied reporting name. Which girl's name was allocated to this type?

Answer: Emily

With a total production run of 167 examples, the Kawanishi H8K flying boat is arguably considered to be the most advanced flying boat of the entire war. Built to a specification that demanded that this aircraft should be superior to the British Short Sunderland, early prototypes displayed disappointing sea handling qualities but, after a redesign and some extensive hull modifications, the Emily became an adversary in the air that allied pilots held in great respect.

As testament to its qualities a report from northern Australia in 1942 tells of a pair of H8K's coming under attack from a flight of US Navy F4U Corsair fighters which resulted in the loss of three of the allied aircraft and both Emily's making good their escape.

The Emily had a crew of ten and, like the Short Sunderland which it resembles very closely, the aircraft was very heavily armed with the H8K2 version being equipped with three cannons, four machine guns and the capacity for two torpedoes or a two thousand kilo payload of bombs.
10. Introduced in 1938 as the US Navy's scout and observation floatplane, the Curtiss SOC-3 Seasmew proved to be an unsatisfactory replacement for its predecessor. Which floatplane, also designed and built by Curtiss, was the SOC-3 Seasmew intended to replace?

Answer: SOC-1 Seagull

The Curtiss SOC-3 Seasmew was an aircraft that bordered on being completely useless. So useless, in fact, that its predecessor the SOC-1 Seagull was retrieved from training schools to which it had been relegated and pressed back into service. The Seagull, like the British Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish biplane, was one of those rare machines that proved so effective in its role that it outlasted many of the designs introduced to replace it.

The Curtiss Seagull first flew in 1934 and was originally designated as the Curtiss Model 71, but this changed to SOC-1 when the type went into production as a scout/observation aircraft. Deliveries to the US Navy of the Seagull commenced in November 1935 and the type proved popular with its crews immediately.

The Seagull was powered by a Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engine which provided the type with a top speed of 165mph and a cruising speed of a little over 130mph. The Seagull had an effective range of 675 miles. By the time production came to an end in 1938 a total of 322 examples of all versions had been produced.
11. The Japanese Aichi M6A Seiran was a parasite fighter that was designed to be launched from beneath the wing of a larger flying boat. True or false?

Answer: False

Parasite fighters were those aircraft that were carried into combat by another, larger aircraft. The Luftwaffe had carried out a number of unsuccessful trials but the Japanese had succeeded in delivering their Okha rocket powered suicide fighter by this means.

In the case of the Aichi M6A this aircraft, a conversion of the Yokosuka D4Y dive bomber, had been designed to be launched by catapult from one of the huge I-400 submarines that the Japanese had intended to use to carry out air attacks on the cities lying along the western coast of the United States.

The prototype aircraft first flew in October 1943 and production of the first batch of examples was completed a year later. It had been intended to introduce the type in the December of 1944 but an earthquake had delayed delivery.

Although each of the I-400 submarine was large enough to carry a full complement of three aircraft, the M6A had a complicated folding mechanism in which the wings pivoted and folded back along the length of the fuselage with the tail assembly folding down toward the ground; when the aircraft was folded for storage aboard the host submarine, the entire aircraft was contained within the diameter of its propeller. With the cancellation of the submarine carrier programme in March 1945 all Seiran production was halted after a total of just 28 examples had been built.

The Seiran had a crew of two and was armed with a combination of a single 13mm machine gun and a quantity of bombs or torpedoes. Powered by an Aichi Atsuta 12 cylinder engine, the Seiran was capable of achieving a maximum speed of 267mph.
12. This large flying boat, operated by the RAF, was designed and built by the Blackburn Company and was named for a city found in both Scotland and across the world in Australia. Which city was this aircraft named for?

Answer: Perth

The Blackburn Perth flying boat was the largest biplane aircraft of its type to see service with the RAF and is the only aircraft featured in this quiz that never saw military action. The Blackburn R.3.B.A Perth, to give it its full designation, first flew in 1933 and was built to replace the Blackburn Iris flying boat when it was introduced in 1934.

The Perth was an impressively large aircraft being just an inch short of seventy-one feet in length and having a wingspan of almost one hundred feet.

The aircraft was powered by three Rolls-Royce Buzzard engines which gave it a truly leisurely cruising speed of just 109mph. Perhaps not surprisingly this was compensated for by a relatively heavy armament consisting of a single 37mm cannon, a double .303 machine gun mounting and two additional singly mounted .303 machine guns. Total production consisted of just four examples of this aircraft; the first entering service at Plymouth, Devon in January 1934 although this was the second aircraft built, the first still undergoing testing! By April 1934 all Perth construction had been completed and all were in service in one form or another. One flying boat was lost in heavy seas in September 1935, two others were struck off in 1936 and by 1938 the last example had also been withdrawn.
13. The Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe floatplane was a development or customisation of which famous Japanese fighter aircraft?

Answer: Mitsubishi A6M Zero

With the failure of the experimental British Spitfire floatplane project, Japan was the only nation to introduce a float equipped interceptor fighter. The Nakajima A6M2-N fighter floatplane first flew in 1941 and was an adaptation of the impressive Mitsubishi Zero fighter.

The original Mitsubishi aircraft was fitted with a large centrally mounted float beneath its fuselage and two smaller floats mounted on struts beneath and toward the wing tips. Developed in line with the philosophy of war fought by hopping from island to island where a lack of suitable airfields would be available, the Rufe was one of a number of small, fast and agile floatplane fighters operated by the Japanese.

The Rufe was powered by a Nakajima Sakae-12 engine giving it a top speed of 270mph.

The aircraft was thirty-three feet in length and had a wingspan of thirty-nine feet. This type had a service ceiling of thirty-three thousand feet and was armed with two cannon and two machine guns. When production of the A6M2-N ceased in September 1943 a total of 327 examples of the type had been produced.
14. First flown in 1936, this German flying boat gained an affectionate nickname given to it by its crews because of the shapely design of its hull. Known as the Flying Shoe, this aircraft was designed by a company well known for their unusual types. Which manufacturer produced the Bv.138?

Answer: Blohm und Voss

Hamburg based manufacturer Blohm und Voss is possibly better known for the warships that it built for Nazi Germany; namely the heavy cruiser KMS Admiral Hipper and the battleship KMS Bismarck. Founded by Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss in 1877, the company began building aircraft for the state airline and the Luftwaffe in 1933. Blohm and Voss became well known for the range of unusual designs and the Bv.138 was no exception. Firstly the aircraft used a twin boom tail configuration. Secondly its engine layout proved novel being a tri-motor design with the central of its three Junkers Jumo diesel engines mounted above the high set wing whilst the remaining two were mounted more conventionally with their extended nacelles forming the twin tail booms.

The most widely used military variant was the Bv.138C-1 with a total of which two hundred and twenty-seven examples were completed. The aircraft was deployed in the North Sea and the north Atlantic operating from bases in Norway and in the Mediterranean Sea.

A very small number of these aircraft were designated the Bv.138MS and were fitted with a distinctive de-gaussing ring around its fuselage which was used to neutralise magnetic sea mines. By the time production ceased in 1943 a total of 273 of all versions had been completed.
15. Operated by the RAF Coastal Command with squadrons based in south western Wales, the Short Sunderland flying boat (certainly one of the more heavily armed flying boats of the war) was known by the German Navy and the Luftwaffe as the Stachelschwein or Flying ____?

Answer: Porcupine

In keeping with its mammalian namesake, it was a brave pilot that picked a fight with a 'Stachelschwein' or Short Sunderland! This large aircraft, which first flew in 1937, was built to the British Air Ministry Specification R2.33 and was, to all intents and purposes, simply a military version of the hugely successful Short Empire flying boat which had been developed just a year or so earlier. On its introduction into military service in June 1938 with Singapore based RAF 230 Squadron, it was the world's first all powered turret flying boat and was equipped, depending on the version, with up to ten machine guns in the later versions.

The Sunderland was initially powered by four Bristol Pegasus engines and by the time the last version, the Mk V, had entered service in February 1945 the aircraft was being powered by Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radials which endowed the Sunderland with a top speed of 210mph.

The Short Sunderland went on to become the RAF longest serving operational aircraft with the last being retired from RAF service in 1958.
Source: Author SisterSeagull

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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