OK, as this is the first post in this blog, I'd just like to say to whoever looks at it that I'm going to use my fairly quaint knowledge of aeronautics to examine some of the aircraft in the Studio Ghibli films. I know about the designs of airfoil, balance characteristics of aircraft, time period technology, materials, and other such things. I also know that the Ghibli films are only films, and that the aircraft were most likely just drawn down on a piece of concept art paper, but hey, I'm gonna do this anyway. But that's enough of that.
You can see in the film the aircraft having a middling wing camber on the aerofoil. There aren't any surprising deep camber designs in it, so it would produce a middling lift wing middling drag. For a seaplane, this isn't the most fantastic idea, as it requires plenty of lift to get one off of the water. There are also no flaps on the airplane which would again make it difficult to take off and land. But of course, we have to include that high angle of incidence on the wings. This generally helps jet aircraft be more aerodynamic in the air and help it to maneuver more easily, but on a 1930s seaplane I think that it might have a detrimental effect on the lift produced and the ability to move about at the comparatively low speeds that the plane would be able to achieve. Even in flight, it would stall fairly easily because of the angle of incidence. Also not helping the stall characteristics would be that enormous engine sitting on top of the wing. Let's put this together - the wing is supported above the fuselage by several metal rods, and then the engine is mounted on top of the wing using several more. Whilst having a smaller, lighter engine all that way up would maybe be alright for it's centre of gravity, a big, meaty racing engine would weigh the plane down, pull the nose down when the throttle is touched, and make the centre of gravity somewhere thirty miles above the where it should be. Although, it must be said, having all of these characteristics with enough lift would produce an extremely agile aircraft, but I think that the high angle of incidence on the wings would make the S. 21 overweight even at the highest of speeds. Perhaps if it had a lower centre of gravity and more powerful engine then it would be a little more feasible, but certainly still an... interesting thing to fly.
So, would-be stats:
Handling: Unbelievably difficult to not stall, take off and land, but would probably handle veyr well in flight because of the instability
Speed: Very fast, with that angle of incidence and that enormous engine sitting on top
Ok, so Porco does say it's difficult to take off in the film, and a wonder to handle in the sky. So, I suppose, it's more or less feasible. I'd like to at least see a higher camber and angle of attack on the wings to generate extra lift, and perhaps a lower centre of gravity.
So, an all metal construction would make the Dabohaze extremely strong, but very heavy, needing that extra engine. As can be seen in the film, the wings have a high camber and angle of attack and high aspect ratio, which would produce plenty of lift to haul all that metal up into the sky. Those tandem engines, popular on 1920s and 30s Italian flying boats, would create a contra-rotating effect that would cancel out rotational air flow. Oh, but obviously, not very well, because of that huge gap between the propellers. In any case, they would produce quite a lot of power. The floats on the bottom of the aircraft are a bit of a strange addition, and would probably produce more drag than anything else, and probably not do much to stop the ends of the wings from dangling dangerously into the water. But, with all that weight down below, the centre of gravity should be nicely in place near the epicenter of the wing camber, and inside the feuselage, producing stable characteristics when in flight. The tailplane mounted rudders and t-tail configuration empannage is an interesting development, which would produce fairly good pitch and yaw movement. The cockpit, whilst strangely shaped, would give quite good visibility and protection from the elements.
Handling: Slow, difficult to take off and land from the primitive aerolons, but sturdy with good protective ability.
Speed: Slow, as the engines would have to haul all that metal up out of a lot of draggy water, with those big floats weighing it down.
Well then, it doesn't look entirely impossible, but I'm not convinced that the tail is far enough away from the wing to create a stable platform. Assuming that was alright, it would be a lot like any other seaplane of the era. A bit slow, but reliable. Of course, the wings would continuously be dipping into the sea when moored up or taxiing, which would create some big problems.
Interestingly, all the other aircraft on Porco Rosso are modeled off of real life aircraft. With a little poking around on the internet, I'm sure you can find out what they are. I'm not giving off any hints :D