|I know that this is probably the wrong forum for this question, but why don't we still use seaplanes? They seem so useful, both for the military and civil aviation. They could resupply ships at sea, be little sub tenders; perform major rescue ops at sea. An air tanker varient could fly into the theatre from CONUS during a big conflict, take on jet fuel directly from a supply ship and hugely enhance the Navy's tanker capabilities for like, no money. They'd also be great for SEAL and Marine Recon insertion. I can think of lots of other stuff. And they'd be a natural compliment to the Mobile Offshore Base concept. And for civil air, they'd do wonders for airport congestion anywhere near the ocean or a big lake. Here in NY we have a major airport congestion issue, despite having three major airports. But we've got a huge harbor and underused port facilities.
And anyway, when they're not being used as seaplanes, they can always operate from regular runways, so there's no tradeoff in capability.
What do y'all think?