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If I fit floats to my Senior Telemaster will I need a more powerful engine?

Planning ahead!

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David Davis09/06/2019 08:35:42
3463 forum posts
621 photos

My Barn Door Wing Senior Telemaster is starting to look extremely scruffy and I plan to strip off the covering over the coming winter, repair the glider tow release and anything else that needs attention and recover it. I like to plan ahead!

Senior Telemaster

One or two members of my club have got into flying from water over the last year or so and I thought it would be ubercool to fit floats to the STM and have a go. I built hard points for floats or skis into the fuselage when I first built the model and these floats seem to be value for money: **LINK** I have never weighed the model but as it's covered in Solartex and features extra servos for flaps and the tow release I expect it's rather heavier than most STMs. It is currently powered by a Thunder Tiger 91 FS.

Would a more powerful motor be advisable for float flying?

Denis Watkins09/06/2019 08:51:29
3926 forum posts
61 photos

Just the numbers David

A regular Senior Telemaster is around 6lb, and maybe yours is 7lb

Your floats are just over 1.5lb, so by weight a .90fs is adequate for a high winger

Nick Cripps09/06/2019 09:23:35
44 forum posts
17 photos

I agree with Denis.

I would imagine that the TT91 is more than adequate for your STM currently so the extra drag and weight of the floats would easily be coped with. Adding yet more weight with a larger engine just isn't necessary.

More important is to get the dimensions of the floats correct to support the weight of the model on the water and especially important is the positioning of the step so that the model can rotate and take-off successfully.

The Windermere Model Waterplane Flyers website is worth a look, this write-up by Phil Davies provides some good information:

Getting started

Also worth a read is Chuck Cunningham's article from RCM Magazine:

Float Flying

Levanter09/06/2019 09:47:47
881 forum posts
436 photos


All of the above.

If you have been pulling gliders you should have more than enough grunt to pull the floats.

The only thing I might add concerns longitudinal directional stability. Many floatplanes both full size and models have a vestigial fin under the existing fin to give a bit more area aft of the floats. This is because the floats sit well forward to prevent nose-overs (well that's the idea wink)


Don Fry09/06/2019 11:06:40
4116 forum posts
48 photos

Bloke who wrote the Windermere article has a knack off getting the subject covered in few words. If you are flying with a glow plug, fit a water rudder. They can be a bitch to direct and there is no reverse like a leccy floateur.

Levanter09/06/2019 11:28:27
881 forum posts
436 photos

Be prepared

This chap was.

Agree with Don on the water rudder(s)


Steven Shaw09/06/2019 13:36:05
333 forum posts
182 photos

When I bought the optional float kit for my electric powered Sport Cub it came with a new prop.

float prop.jpg

Edited By Steven Shaw on 09/06/2019 13:38:11

Nick Cripps09/06/2019 13:41:16
44 forum posts
17 photos

For those who are interested in trying out float flying, the British Waterplane Association organises 3 events a year at Colwick Park in Nottingham and have monthly meetings at Billing Lake near Northampton.

You'll be guaranteed a warm welcome and any assistance you might need with this fascinating branch of our hobby.

Dates for these and other events around the country can be found on the BWA website:


Tony Richardson09/06/2019 22:26:09
606 forum posts
25 photos

Your TT91fs will be more than enough power for the Telemaster on floats David, you should read the Chuck Cunningham article it is all good stuff, I would remind you once you have everything set up and you are good to go when you make that first takeoff once in the air you will most likely need a bit of pitch up trim due to the floats being low and causing drag, possibly pitching the nose down, I always like to have a buddy standing with me at such times to give me trim if needed, just for peace of mind.

Have fun flying from water is another aspect of this hobby that makes it so interesting..

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