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A floatplane has slender pontoons, or floats, mounted under the fuselage. Two floats are common, but other configurations are possible. Only the floats of a floatplane normally come into contact with water. The fuselage remains above water. Some small land aircraft can be modified to become float planes, and in general, floatplanes are small aircraft.
In a flying boat, the main source of buoyancy is the fuselage, which acts like a ship's hull in the water because the fuselage's underside has been hydrodynamically shaped to allow water to flow around it. Most flying boats have small floats mounted on their wings to keep them stable.
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