Addems Seaplane Model

The Walter Addems seaplane model in the museum gives us the opportunity to view and to learn about the use of “sponsons” on aircraft.

The sponsons on the Addems model are the short stubby wing-like structure that sticks out at the water line of his seaplane. Sponsons are projections extending from the sides of aircraft to provide protection, stability, storage, mounting points and/or equipment housings for armament.

Among their uses sponsons can be used for one or more of the following purposes:

--Extend a watercraft hull at or below the waterline to increase flotation and add lift when underway.

--Serve as a mounting or enclosure for a gun projecting in part or whole beyond the airplanes fuselage.

--Take the form of a short wing on the fuselage of flying boats, providing hydrodynamic stability when travelling through the water during takeoff and landing, as pioneered by German aerospace designer and engineer Claude Dornier on the Zeppelin-Lindau Rs.IV during World War I.

--Provide storage for fuel or housing for the landing gear on larger helicopters such as the Sikorsky S-92 and Bell 222.