TYPE: Four-seat amphibian.

PROGRAMME: Designed by David B Thurston, noted for flying-boat/amphibian aircraft including Colonial Skimmer (Lake Buccaneer) and TSC-1 Teal. Prototype (N16TA) first flew 10 December 1981; development passed from International Aeromarine to Thurston Aeromarine, but FAR Pt 23 certification was only 85 per cent completed. Prototype re-registered on 28 July 2000 to Aquastar Inc as Seafire Trojan TA16; refurbished and refitted with current avionics and test instrumentation by Seagull Aviation Parts of Wisconsin; certification trials in 2002.

CURRENT VERIONS: Initial certification planned with SMA 230 turbo-diesel and Lycoming O-540; Continental O-520 to be later option.

CUSTOMERS: Thurston originally sold 70 sets of plans; by 2002, seven completed by private individuals as Experimental category homebuilts; two gained first and second places in Custom Plans-Built category at AirVenture 1998, Oshkosh. Marketed by Aquastar in complete form or as kit.

COSTS: US$300,000 complete; kit US$65,000, or US$130,000 including builder's assistance programme (within '51 per cent rule') at Deland lasting two weeks (2002).

DESIGN FEATURES: Originating requirement was 434 n mile (804 km; 500 mile) outward journey, collection of 227 kg (500 lb) load and return without refuelling or other support. Typical Thurston design featuring cabane-mounted single engine with (in this instance tractor) propeller; single-step flying-boat hull; and retractable landing gear for land operation. Mid-wing and high-mounted tailplane; upturned wingtips. Diesel option introduced to give 35 per cent increase in range. Steep 'V' hull and strakes improve handling on water; shear pins on floats protect wing structure from damage if floats strike waterborne debris.
Wing section NACA 642A215 laminar flow; dihedral 3° incidence 4°.

FLYING CONTROLS: Thurston ailerons (US Patent 3,598,340) each with ground-adjustable trim tab; single-slotted triling-edge flaps; two-piece (laterally divided) elevators with bungee trim system; conventional rudder with flight-adjustable tab. Dual controls.

STRUCTURE: All-metal constant-chord wings; all-metal single-step planing hull with retractable water rudder; cantilever all-metal tail surfaces. Wingtips and outboard floats of composites.

LANDING GEAR: Hydraulically retractable tricycle type. Main units retract inward, into wings; steerable, self-centring nosewheel retracts forward to close opening in hull, which needs no closure doors. Oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers. Parker-Hannifin aluminium alloy wheels, all three with tyre size 6.00-6. Tyre pressure, mainwheels 2.76 bar (40 lb/sq in), nosewheel 2.07 bar (30 lb/sq in). Parker-Hannifin dual-pad disc hydraulic brakes. Toe brakes. Parking brake. Wheel landing gear designed to meet Canadian DoT snow-ski load conditions.

POWER PLANT: One 186 kW (250 hp) Textron Lycoming O-540-A4D5 flat-six engine driving MT-Propeller (recommended) or Hartzell two-blade, constant-speed (hydraulic), fully reversing, metal propeller. Alternatively 169 kW (227 hp) SMA 230 turbo-diesel or Teledyne Continental IO-520 of 224 kW (300 hp). Fuel tank in leading-edge of each wing, with combined capacity of 340 litres (90.0 US gallons; 75.0 Imp gallons). Refuelling point on upper surface of each wing. Oil capacity 11.5 litres (3.0 US gallons; 2.5 Imp gallons). Engine air intake incorporates filter and automatic inlet door which opens if main duct becomes blocked by ice or debris.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and three passengers in pairs in enclosed cabin, with two-section canopy. Forward section sliders aft over rear canopy, and both can then be hinged and raised on either side of hull, or removed, to facilitate loading/unloading of bulky items. Space for baggage or freight at rear of cabin. Accommodation heated and ventilated.

SYSTEMS: Electrical system powered by 24 V 70 A engine-driven alternator; 24 V 37 Ah battery. Electrically driven hydraulic pump provides system pressure of 69 bar (1,000 lb/sq in) for actuation of landing gear.

AVIONICS: To customer's requirements.