In 1946, Republic temporarily left the field of military contracts to produce the Republic RC-3 Seabee, an unusual all metal amphibian. The Seabee was the brainchild of Percival "Spence" Spencer, a former Republic P-47 test pilot. He convinced the Republic board of the need for a light sport plane to meet a demand for private aircraft from pilots returning from WWII. The expected sales of 5,000 Seabees a year never materialized, as most returning pilots never flew again, though Republic did manage to sell 1,060 Seabees in two years of production. This was a respectable number at a time when many small aircraft manufacturers were producing only a handful of aircraft before going bankrupt. Much of this was due to the Seabee's remarkably low price of just $3,500 to $6,000.