In the early days of flight, most planes were flying boats. Lakes, rivers, bays and oceans provided ready made run ways. But by the time WWII started these runways were not always located where runways were needed. So a shift to made runways and planes with landing gear became the usual configuration for aircraft. However there was one seaplane that continued through out the war and excelled in areas that other aircraft simply could not operate. Even though the plane was dated before the war started - it overcame it's age to go on to be one of the most famous WWII planes in history.