The United Consultants Twin Bee is an American twin-engined, five seats, light amphibian aircraft remanufactured from components from Republic RC-3 Seabee single engine amphibians in 1960s.
The Republic Seabee (built between 1946 and 1948, with over 1000 aircraft being sold) was rather underpowered. In 1960, former Helio company engineer Joseph W. Gigante (1916-2012) designed a twin-engine conversion of the Sea Bee and founded United Consultants Corp in Norwood, Massachusetts, to undertake the manufacturing work on the UC-1 Twin Bee.
The first aircraft flew in 1962 and the type certificate was awarded on 25 June 1965. 23 production examples were delivered between 1965 and 1987.
The UC-1 is a major conversion of the RC-3 Seabee airframe:
- the single pusher engine was deleted and the twin 180 hp (134 kW) Lycoming engines, mounted in tractor configuration, fitted in the wing, fairly close to the cabin.
- and this allows an additional fifth seat to be fitted beneath the old installation,
- the rear cabin windows to be reduced in size, supplemented by a porthole-type window each side of the rear of the enlarged cabin,
- Wing span is increased by 6 ft. A three feet wing section with engine mountings is installed at each side of fuselage. Original Seabee wings are used for outer wing sections,
- hull length increased by 3 ft with the addition of a plug aft of cabin,
- rudder area increased for better directional control. Rudder trim-tab area increased,
- an auxiliary 16 US gal fuel tank installed in the tail, just below tailplane.
The rights to the UC-1 design were transferred to the STOL Aircraft Corporation. J.W. Gigante advertised the rights for sale during September 2006.
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 5
- Length: 31 ft 4 in (9.55 m)
- Wingspan: 43 ft 3 in (13.18 m)
- Powerplant: 2 × Lycoming IO-360-B1D, 180 hp (134 kW) each
- Height: 3.1 m
- Wing area: 20.9 m²
- Empty weight: 1’134 kg
- Gross weight: 1’724 kg
- Fuel capacity: 382 l (101 gal)
- Propeller: 2 x Hartzell HC-C2YK-2RB/7666A-2 72 in CS feathering
- Maximum speed: 147 mph (238 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 113 kts (210 km/h)
- Stall speed: 33 kts (61 km/h)
- Range: 900 miles (1,448 km) [55% power, no reserve]
- Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,791 m)
- Take-off distance (land): 114 m (375 ft)
- Take-off time (water): 11 s.