Ahunt / Public Domain
It’s not often we come across aircraft we didn’t know about so it’s a nice surprise when we do. The Republic RC-3 Seabee is one such plane but the reason for it being not well known is that it was only produced for a year.
Republic, the makers of our beloved P-47 Thunderbolt, are the culprits behind this design. Back on December 1st, 1945, they test flew their first production Seabee with great success fulfilling the military’s need for an amphibious aircraft for air-sea rescue operations.
As of 2006, there were 250 airworthy Sebees registered in the United States.
Unfortunately for Republic, the war ended before they could start mass production but they made due with producing the aircraft for civilian use. Between 1946 and 1947, they produced over 1,000 Seabees but at the end of the following year, their sales came to a halt.
At that point, the CEO of Republic came out with the following statement, “Due to the need of all Republic’s production facilities for the manufacture of other types of airplanes, the company has decided to discontinue production of the Seabee.”