Thurston TA16 Trojan

Last updated
TA16 Trojan and Seafire
RoleUtility amphibian
National originUnited States
Manufacturer Homebuilt
Designer David Thurston
First flight1975

The Thurston TA16 Trojan was a light amphibious aircraft developed in the United States during the 1970s for homebuilding. During the 1980s and again in the early 2000s, efforts were made to certificate the design for series production under the name Seafire. It was a four-seat all-metal flying boat with a shoulder-mounted cantilever wing and a T-tail. The engine was mounted tractor-fashion on a tall pylon above the wings, and the aircraft was equipped with retractable tricycle undercarriage for alighting on land.

Sales of plans to homebuilders were suspended after 32 sets had been sold while initial efforts were made to certificate the design. These proved fruitless but a second attempt in the early 1980s resulted in the flight of a prototype Seafire (registered N16SA) on 10 December 1982. The new entity created to handle the certification and production, International Aeromarine Corporation (IAC), expected the process to be complete by 1987, but this too fell by the wayside, and rights to the design reverted to Thurston with 85% of the process complete. In the meantime, refinements made to the design during the certification trials were incorporated into the plans for homebuilders.

In 1998, a new company, Aquastar Inc was formed to revive the certification project. The Seafire prototype was refurbished and re-registered in 2000, recommencing certification trials in 2002. The Seafire was publicly re-launched at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh that same year, but the project stalled again in mid-2003.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Annual airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is an annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States. The Southern part of the show grounds as well as Camp Scholler are located in the town of Nekimi. The airshow is sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), an international organization based in Oshkosh, and is the largest of its kind in the world. The show lasts a week, usually beginning on the last Monday in July. During the gathering, the airport's control tower is the busiest in the world.

Specifications (TA16 Seafire)

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–94 [1]

General characteristics

Lycoming O-540 family of flat-six piston aircraft engines

The Lycoming O-540 is a family of air-cooled six-cylinder, horizontally opposed fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter engines of 541.5 cubic inch displacement, made by Lycoming Engines. The engine is a six-cylinder version of the four-cylinder Lycoming O-360.


  • Maximum speed: 175 mph (282 km/h; 152 kn) at 7,000 ft (2,100 m)
  • Cruise speed: 155 mph (249 km/h; 135 kn) (67% power)
  • Stall speed: 60 mph (97 km/h; 52 kn)
  • Range: 1,000 mi (869 nmi; 1,609 km) (max fuel)
  • Service ceiling: 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,060 ft/min (5.4 m/s)

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  1. Lambert 1993, pp. 575–576.
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