Grumman HU-16E “Albatross”

Grumman HU-16E “Albatross” at the New England Air Museum


Type:   Air-sea rescue flying boat
Crew:   4-6
Capacity:   10 passengers
Length:   61' 3”
Height:   25' 10”
Wingspan:   96' 8”
Rotor Diameter:   
Empty Weight:   23,000 lbs.
Gross Weight:   32,000 lbs.
Cruise Speed:   165 mph
Maximum Speed:   270 mph
Range:   2,500 mi.
Service Ceiling:   25,000'
Powerplant:   2 X Wright R-1820
Year:   1953
Serial No.:   7228
Location:   Outdoor Display
Grumman designed the “Albatross” to meet a U.S. Navy requirement for an amphibious utility aircraft that could also operate with skis from snow and ice. The Albatross has been likened to a “bird of good omen.” It has also been called “The Goat” because of its stubborn, slow response to controls and was known as “Old Dependable” due to its ruggedness.

It has been a primary search and rescue craft for the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force. The Albatross was active in the Korean Conflict and rescued nearly 1,000 United Nations personnel including hazardous rescues behind enemy lines. It later saw action in the Vietnam War.

Grumman HU-16E AlbatrossIntroduced into service in 1949, the craft had a long operatonal history with the final USAF flight taking place in 1973, the final Navy flight in 1976 and final Coast Guard flight in 1983. Ted Lattrell, who flew this actual plane in the 1970's graciuosly supplied the picture at the left of the final flight of HU-16s stationed in Miami which included #7228.

This plane, was originally with the U.S. Air Force designated SA-16B and was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard originally designated UF-1G and in 1962 was redesignated HU-16E. It was used for twenty years for air-sea rescue in the South Pacific and later along the Atlantic Coast.

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