The Convair SeaDart was the world’s first turbojet- powered supersonic, water based fighter/interceptor. The aircraft was designed by Corvair in the early 1950s in response to a United States Navy contest for a supersonic interceptor aircraft . Supersonic designs of that era typically required extremely long take-off distances, high approach speeds and were oft en difficult to control when in the landing approach. The Navy thus doubted the feasibility of operating their current inventory of supersonic fighters from the decks of aircraft carriers. With the majority of the Earth’s surface covered by water, a water based aircraft seemed the best answer to the dilemma. A set of retractable hydro-skis allowed the delta winged SeaDart to take-off and land from water. Though the aircraft unfortunately never made it beyond the prototype stage, it to this day remains the only seaplane to have broken the sound barrier. Four SeaDarts, in various stages of restoration, remain in existence today.
A small shop in the United Kingdom named “The Little Jet Company” has undertaken the design of a quarter scale flying model of this fabled delta winged seaplane. Some of the elitest modelers in Europe have pooled their talents in this ambitious project, with over 3000 hours invested thus far in historical research and consultation of the original SeaDart blueprints and archived project documents. Like the full scale aircraft upon which it is based, the quarter scale SeaDart model is being designed solely for water based operations. With a ? finished weight projected to come in at around 130 pounds (60 kilograms), the SeaDart is powered by a pair of military specification turbines capable of giving the model a 1:1 thrust ratio. The composite construction model comes in at a length of over 13 feet (4 meters) and has a wingspan of 8.25 feet (2.5 meters).
A model of this complexity and size requires a bulletproof, no compromise multi-channel telemetry-capable radio sys- tem. Weatronics, manufacturers of the pop- ular BAT series of radio transmitt ers used by many pilots in Europe, has been brought in as a technol- ogy partner on this project. Weatronic’s unique use of redun- dant ceram- ic hemi- spherical patch antennas and downlinked “live” telemetry in their 96 channel BAT 60 transmitt er give the SeaWind’s designers the ability to monitor an abundance of critical in-? ight data and control the variety of complex functions inherent to a large, twin turbine powered model. Modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike who are interested in following along with the impressive design and construction of this giant sized, turbine powered jet can tune into the Litt le Jet Company’s Facebook page at “facebook.com/TheLittleJetCompany.”