The first amphibious light aircraft intended for private ownership took to the air in November 1944. With the end of the Second World War approaching, Republic Aircraft hoped that “everyman” would want to fly when the war was over.
The “Seabee” amphibian was their response, offering an aircraft as low cost and versatile as possible. The demand proved to be limited, and less than 2,500 “Seabees” were produced. Prices rose and production ended when it was found that they were being sold for about half of the production cost!
The Museum’s example is an RC-3 model, serial #710, built in 1947. It was originally the personal aircraft of the Manager of Alaska Coast Airlines, but was subsequently purchased by Norie Brothers Logging. Henry and Frank Norie donated it to the Museum in 1991.