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This page introduces the viewer to the Thurston Teal amphibious airplane and provides some technical knowledge. An example aircraft is shown to provide visual re-enforcement.

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Original Page: 11/15/00

Last Improvement: 07/12/02 08/29/03 11/07/03 11/11/04
[Teal 1]

In our little circle of friends the Teal was known as the SNA. That stands for "Soft Nosed Airplane." The black nose of the airplane is a pillow used to cushion any bumps when docking. The airplane is large enough to hold four people, but with the propeller facing forward it would not be safe to have back seat passengers as they would be in line with the propeller arc. If the propeller threw a blade it might pass through the back seat area there by disturbing the passengers. The propeller is of the constant speed type.

[Teal 2]

A good view of the "T" tail. This keeps the horizontal parts out of the water. A dorsal fin is present to provide in-flight stability. The ruggedness of the design is obvious in this picture. Rigging in this airplane is more complex than that required by a Cessna 152. The water rudder is in the up (stowed or land) position. The complexity required to operate the water rudder can also be seen.

[Teal 2]

With the engine mounted on pylons above the airplane it is not practical to pipe vacuum from an engine driven vacuum pump to the instrument panel to power the gyroscopic instruments. An electrically driven vacuum pump could be installed, but why not just install electrically driven instruments. A bit more costly, but a very sensible solution. Note that most of the gyro instruments are missing from this airplane while at the same time there is a good stack of radios that look IFR capable.


This pilot is flying with the wheels down. A strange fact about the Teal is that it is slightly faster with the landing gear down than it is with the gear up. The wheels do not retract as they do on most airplanes. The main gear rotates backwards until the gear is nearly horizontal and is above the water line. The drag created by the landing gear is slightly more gear-up than gear-down and of course airspeed is effected. Do not have the wheels dragging in the water during take off and landing operations.

The Teal has spread across the world. They are useful and dependable.

The following is an excerpt from a note written by a long time Teal owner to a new Teal owner.

      As for TEAL parts, I do not have any parts and do not know where there are any available. I sold my Teal in 1989 and one of the reasons I sold it was that any parts needed I had to custom make myself.
      When you have finished with the repairs and start flying it, you will have a great airplane that is fun to fly, but challenging. It is not an airplane for the "faint-of-heart." It requires pretty much constant attention, especially on the ground. BUT, worth every hour you will spend in it. Good luck. I'm sorry I can't be of any help.

(Edited by Frank)

The reply.

Dear Gordon ;

Thanks for taking the time to reply. As I feared, parts appear to be non-existent, and will have to be fabricated where necessary. I have all the damaged items so taking patterns should not be a problem. I also understand from the previous owner that Mr. David Thurston has drawings available if required.

I am looking forward to getting it back in the air again. I currently share both a Maule MX7 235 and a RV6 with a friend, and hope that the spread of handling experience gained with these two (one that can bite on the ground, and the other very directionally sensitive) will stand us in good stead. I expect that the thrust line from the pylon mounted engine will give the Teal a handling all its own.

I appreciate your encouragement and wishes.

Kind Regards ;;; Rodney
(Edited by Frank)

  • Total time approx 1200 hours Since New
  • Prop 4 hours since overhaul with new hub
  • Fresh annual, new mags, overhaul carb, prop governor
  • fresh transponder with mode -C 9/99, Loran, GPS, ELT
  • Certified, Air worthiness fresh, registered N713CC,
  • Two place with intercom, NDB, toe brakes.
  • New plugs, wires, hoses, fuel pump, everything up to par!
  • All AD's complied with.
  • No corrosion, factory Zinc chromated, corrosion proofed.
  • Truck load of spare airframe parts.
  • Two spare wing sponsons.  Spare windshield (new).
  • Operator's handbook and logs included.
  • Spare alternator and prop governor.
  • Fresh water use, hangored. No Hail damage.
  • Newer interior, three year old paint.
TEAL AMPHIBIAN - Aircraft features
Teal TSC-1AType Certificate A15EA Gross 1900 pounds
Span 31' 11" Length 23' 7"
Cruise 116mph max level IAS Cruise 75% at 5000ft 106mph IAS
Range 250 miles Rate of climb SL- 1050 fpm
Take off land 500', water 600' Landing 450', water 400'
Fuel 24.5 gallons, 24 useable Lycoming 0-320-A3B 150HP
Hartzell HC-C2YL-1B/7663-4 72in dia.  
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Web Page Created By Frank C. Odell
Merritt Island, Florida, USA