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- colspan="2" style="text-align: center;" {{#invoke:InfoboxImage|InfoboxImage|image=File:Grumman HU-16D Albatross Chalks MIA 03.87.jpg|size=|sizedefault=300px|alt=}} </div> - ="2" style="border-bottom: 1px solid #aaa;text-align:center;" A Grumman G-111 Albatross amphibious flying boat landing -

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A seaplane is a powered fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing (alighting) on water.<ref name=g>Gunston, "The Cambridge Aerospace Dictionary", 2009.</ref> Seaplanes that can also take off and land on airfields are in a subclass called amphibian aircraft. Seaplanes and amphibians are usually divided into two categories based on their technological characteristics: floatplanes and flying boats; the latter are generally far larger and can carry far more. These aircraft were sometimes called hydroplanes,<ref>de Saint-Exupery, A. (1940). "Wind, Sand and Stars" p33, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.</ref> but currently, this term applies instead to motor-powered watercraft that use hydrofoils to levitate their main hull above the water when running at speed.<ref name=g/>

Their use gradually tailed off after World War II, partially because of the investments in airports during the war. In the 21st century, seaplanes maintain a few niche uses, such as for dropping water on forest fires, air transport around archipelagos, and access to undeveloped or roadless areas, some of which have numerous fresh-water lakes.

Seaplane sections
Intro  Types  History  Uses and operation  See also  References