The L-65 is originally developed from the Russian Chaika L-4 (Seagull)
The most unusual feature of the L-65 is the empennage arrangement: it has twin vertical stabilizers, mounted slightly at an outward angle on the fuselage and extended forward with long, curved dorsal fillets, separated at the base by the full fuselage width. The vertical stabilizers carry conventional rudders, with the single horizontal stabilizer mounted on top. There is a trim tab at the centre of the elevator.
The reason for this design is that the spine serves as a walkway to access the aircraft from behind, when moored.
The L-65 has conventional gear for land use, with all three wheels and the water rudder being retractable.
The new 4-seat amphibious L-65 uses two turbo charged Rotax 915iS engines of 141hp each, with variable pitch propellers. Seabear can use both automotive fuel or Avgas 100LL. The difference between the L-4 and the L-65 is the new composite increased volume fuselage, which gives the aircraft excellent seaworthiness characteristics.
Pilots will feel right at home with new state of the art glass panel and the designer control yokes.
The L-65 has a cruising speed of 120kt and a range of more than 1200 nm. The twin engine design ensures safety in case of engine failure. Single-engine climb is about 300 ft.min. Payload has been increased to 1550lb, and the aircraft is certified to fly over 12000ft. The SeaBear L-65 has outstanding short take-off and landing performance.
The Seabear can land almost anywhere, whether on fields, rivers, beaches or snow. The entire airframe, especially the landing gear and the large hull, is strong and designed to operate in severe conditions. The SeaBear is easy to handle both in flight and on water due to the twin-engine design and low landing speed. The twin-engines allow the pilot the ability to turn very sharply, on and off the water.
The cabin is very spacious and comfortable for long flights, even for tall pilots and passengers. The cabin offers a very low noise signature, so that conversion is easy without headsets. The cabin interior is well designed with comfort in mind for both passengers and pilot with small items like cup-holders and storage space aplenty. Provision has been allowed for baggage and packing space between the seats and behind the passengers.
This is a truly modern, stylish and practical aircraft for travellers and water based recreational lovers. This practical amphibious aircraft has an appeal to fishers, hunters, divers, travellers and water based recreation lovers. This aircraft is also intended for instructional and training flights, aero tourism, patrolling, aerial photography and other purposes.
With South African water regulations slightly relaxed, when will we see one of these aircraft in our skies?