The Charles Joy, Thunderbee, Serial number 001 is an incredible airplane. It has won multiple awards (SUN 'N FUN Grand Champion Seaplane 2011 and Oshkosh "Silver Lindy" for Reserve Grand Champion Seaplane 2011) and been featured in magazine articles. The previous owner invested significantly into building this plane and the current owner has invested significantly bringing it up to the highest airworthiness standards that could be obtained on such an aircraft. Whether it has come to labour, parts, or research no cost has been spared. The plane has been flying regularly (average of 3 flights per month) and is ready for its next owner as the current owner has moved on to an even larger airplane so he can accommodate a growing family.
It began life as a standard 1947 Republic RC3 SeaBee. In 2010 the previous owner began a complete bare-hull restoration. The primary modification was the installation of the Robinson LS V8 engine conversion, incorporating a GM LS-1 engine of 320HP, Freon air conditioning, and fully digital avionics package, with a dual-channel autopilot, a dual battery backup system, and dual fuel pickups, pumps and filters.
The baggage compartment door was enlarged and the compartment extended by relocating the aileron cables. This gives us lots of room for gear and luggage. 1000lb useful load off the water or land has been demonstrated.
The hydraulic system was removed and an all-electric landing gear system was engineered to replace the original hydraulic rams. Additionally, the rubber donut tail wheel suspension was replaced with an adjustable hydra-sorb coil over shock.
Additionally unique to this aircraft is the billet aluminum machined control column extensions and control knobs, featuring control wheels from an Airbus A300.
Typical operation at 2,500ft with 23" MAP and 3300RPM results in 102 knots TAS, using 11 gallons per hour with the economical option of premium automotive, marine or 100LL fuel! Useable fuel is approximately 75 gallons.
This aircraft was Certified as 51% Amateur Built by Transport Canada MDRA. This was achieved over 10 years by incorporating all new systems including flight control changes, wing modifications, power plant, landing gear, avionics, electronically, climate control, seating, flooring, firewall, bulk heads, baggage compartment, wheels, tires, brakes, control wheels, instrumentation, with dual battery system and dual fuel system.
The aircraft was then Imported to the USA under FAA Certified Experimental Exhibition- Full USA practice area, no restrictions.
It has since been imported back into Canada by its current owner and being flown under the registration C-GVFF.
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