Flyingboats/Seaplanes - starting from a waterway

Pro Member Trainee
Tony (Laverda) Trainee

Does anyone know of a way to start a flight from water in the UK or Europe? It's REALLY hard getting the Sunderland airborne from a runway!

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello there,

From my knowledge, there's an elegant solution to your dilemma. Your Sunderland seaplane or 'Flying Boat' is longing for the waves, not the runway! Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) is designed with the flexibility that allows starting your flight from the serene waters of the UK or Europe, not just the bustling runways.

Let's get into the nitty-gritty. First off, you'll need to access the Free Flight mode (this is the mode where you can customize your flight's starting point, among other things).

Next, you'll want to focus on the Current Location pane which is to the right of the aircraft selection screen. This is where you have the option to change your starting position.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Launch FSX and select Free Flight from the left menu.
  2. Under Current Location, click on Change.
  3. In the pop-up window, select the Airport tab.
  4. In the Airport ID field, type in the identifier of your preferred water aerodrome.

The tricky part here is that FSX uses ICAO codes (International Civil Aviation Organization airport codes) for location identification. For seaplane bases, these codes often start with 'EG' for UK locations or 'EB' for Belgium as examples. But the conundrum is that not all waterways or water aerodromes might be available in the simulator.

The good news is, many users have catalogued and shared their favourite waterways in the simulation community. From my research, one recommended location is Loch Lomond in Scotland, with the identifier EG32. I've personally enjoyed taking off from the serene waters of this loch in a Sunderland. It's a truly magnificent experience, with the picturesque landscapes surrounding the waterbody enhancing the virtual flight journey.

So, in essence, pop in 'EG32' into the Airport ID field and there you are, ready to feel the mist of Scottish waters as your Sunderland takes off.

A final point of attention is to make sure you have a seaplane or amphibious aircraft selected. If you select a standard airplane and try to start it on the water, the simulator might object, and I wouldn't blame it!

I hope these steps guide you to new and exciting seaplane adventures. Remember, the virtual sky is not your limit, but just the beginning of your journey!

Enjoy the flight!

Ubowi Guest

Hi alltogether,
it seems typing EG32 for Loch Lomond Seaplane base doesn`t work in FSX STEAM.
Alas, i found no seaplane bases n the whole country.
Any idea?

Pro Member Trainee
Tony (Laverda) Trainee

A bit of a chew, but it's a workaround:
Use an amphibian, pick an airport near the water that you want to use, take off, land on the water and taxi to where you can take off again, save the flight as, for instance 'Loch Ness Water' so that when you've built up a library you can get back to them. Bear in mind that if your aircraft of choice is the Sunderland it has the turning circle of a supertanker, hence the positioning for take off. Use the saved flight with your aircraft of choice.
Not elegant, but it works for me.

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