Colonial Skimmer

The Colonial Model C-1 Skimmer was an American small single-engined amphibian flying boat built by the Colonial Aircraft Corporation. It was the start of a line of very similar aircraft designed by David Thurston.

C-1 Skimmer
Role two/three-seat amphibian
Manufacturer Colonial Aircraft Corporation
Designer David Thurston
First flight 1948
Primary user private owner pilots
Number built 43
Variants Lake Buccaneer


In 1946 David Thurston established the Colonial Aircraft Corporation at Sanford Maine to build his design for a small amphibian flying boat, the Skimmer.

The resulting design was an all-metal shoulder-wing cantilever monoplane with a single-step hull and stabilizing floats fitted under each wing. A retractable tricycle landing gear allowed land operation. The Avco Lycoming engine with a pusher propeller was pylon-mounted above and aft of the enclosed cockpit.

The cabin had side-by-side seating for a pilot and passenger with room behind for another passenger.


The prototype XC-1 Skimmer first flew on July 17, 1948, powered by a 115 hp (86 kW) Lycoming O-235 engine, but was later re-engined with a 125 hp (93 kW) Lycoming O-290 engine.[1][2]

24 examples of the C-1 Skimmer were built and these were followed by 18 examples of the higher powered four-seat variant known as the C-2 Skimmer IV,[3] which through a succession of companies became the Lake Buccaneer.

Specifications (C-1)

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1956–1957[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: two passengers
  • Length: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
  • Wing area: 150.6 sq ft (13.99 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,450 lb (658 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,150 lb (975 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 30 US gal (110 l; 25 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-320 horizontally-opposed air-cooled four-cylinder piston engine , 150 hp (110 kW)
  • Propellers: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 125 mph (201 km/h, 109 kn) at 500 ft (150 m)
  • Cruise speed: 112 mph (180 km/h, 97 kn)
  • Stall speed: 50 mph (80 km/h, 43 kn)
  • Range: 600 mi (970 km, 520 nmi)
  • Rate of climb: 700 ft/min (3.6 m/s)

See also

Related lists


  1. Bridgman 1951, p. 216c.
  2. "American airplanes: Cl – Cr: Colonial". Aerofiles. Retrieved September 13, 2013..
  3. Simpson, 2005, pp. 172–173
  4. Bridgman 1956, pp. 252–253.
  • Bridgman, Leonard (1951). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1951–52. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd.
  • Bridgman, Leonard (1956). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1956–57. New York: The McGraw-Hill Book Company.
  • Simpson, Rod (2005). The General Aviation Handbook. Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-222-5.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982–1985). Orbis Publishing.

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