Leisure Sports S.5
Airborne Designs Supermarine S.5
Ray Hilborne of Leisure Sports designed and built a full-scale S.5 replica, G-BDFF. Construction took place at Thruxton Airport, Hampshire, over a 2.5 year period, and registered G-BDFF on June 13, 1975 the aircraft began preliminary water taxiing tests at Thorpe Water Park, Surrey, the same day.
The seaplane was not a true replica, although externally resembling the original S-5 it was basically an entirely different aircraft, while 50 % lighter than the original. The all-wood construction, loadings, systems and performance were different; other differences included a different wing section, smaller floats, water rudders, and a slightly wider cockpit and fuselage. Powerplant was a 210 hp Rolls-Royce Continental engine, driving a two-blade variable-pitch propeller. The replica had an overall weight reduction to an all-up weight of just 1,500 lb, less than 1/2 that of the
The first flight was made on Southampton Water, near Calshot, Hampshire by Captain Keith Sissons on August 28, 1975 and lasted 14 minutes.
The aircraft was wrecked on September 23, 1982, when due to an engine failure on takeoff it crashed into Thorpe Water Park, the wings and float supporting structure were destroyed. The remains were acquired by hotelier William 'Bill' Hosie of Newquay, Cornwall, who rebuilt the aircraft at Bodmin using only the rear fuselage of the original, and on April 17, 1985 the aircraft was registered to the Hosie family. Bill Hosie was killed May 23, 1987 near Falmouth when the rudder separated shortly after takeoff, followed by the tail surfaces.