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Grumman HU-16 Albatross


Flying Boat / Utility Transport Aircraft


United States | 1949



"The Grumman HU-16 Albatross served as both a transport and a search-and-rescue aircraft for the United States."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/19/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Even after World War 2 (1939-1945) the flying boat remained a key component of world military forces. Grumman, a long-time fighter producer for the United States Navy, sold various services on its new HU-16 "Albatross" flying boat where it went on to see a considerable career in the Search And Rescue (SAR) role. The USAF, USMC, USN and USCG all made use of the type which saw production span from 1949 until 1961 and 466 total units delivered. First flight was had on October 24th, 1947 with service introduction coming in 1949 (as the "SA-16").

Shortly after World War 2, the Grumman G-73 "Mallard" was introduced as an amphibious type sporting two engines and a high-wing appearance. Some 59 of the kind were built and produced into 1951. With this groundwork in place, the design was evolved into an improved form which, in essence, became the Albatross product. A boat-like hull was used as was a high-wing design approach. A single vertical fin and low-mounted horizontal planes made up the tail unit. Unlike the Mallard, the Albatross was specifically designed from the outset to operate in deeper, rougher waters.

The prototype model, of which two were built, was designated XJR2F-1 and led to the initial production version of the USAF, the HU-16A (originally as SA-16A). Indonesia also took on a stock of this model. A longer wing greeted the HU-16B variant (appearing as the SA-16B) and the SHU-16B, an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) variant for export was also formed from this mark. The U.S. Navy began their commitment to the line through the HU-16C (UF-1) and this led to the LU-16C (UF-1L) and TU-16C (UF-1T) models eventually. The long-wing version was HU-16D and this was also delivered to West German forces. The USCG made use of the HU-16E (UF-1G) which also made use of the long wing as did the USAF. The G-111 (SA-16A) was a standard formed from the earlier USAF and export models. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) operated the aircraft under the CSR-110 designation.

Beyond these operators, the Albatross also existed with the forces of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Greece, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and others (see variants listing for full showcase). it saw extended service lives in private hands and civilian operations.

The Albatross was already in the USAF inventory by the time of the Korean War (1950-1953) and pressed into service for the SAR role. It was during this period that the series proved its initial worth in the rescue of countless downed airmen and this operational support continued into the Vietnam War (1955-1975) days. Some special forces elements were also inserted/extracted by way of Albatross aircraft, their amphibious capabilities and long range proving key qualities in their success.

The last Albatross was retired with the Greek Navy in 1995, bringing an end to decades of faithful and reliable service. Many examples have ended their days as preserved museum showpieces, primarily in the United States.

As completed, the HU-16 (HU-16B) featured a typical operating crew of four to six personnel with the capacity to carry as many as 10 passengers if equipped for the role. Power was served through 2 x Wright R-1820-76 series "Cyclone" 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engines of 1,425 horsepower each. Maximum listed speed was 235 miles per hour with a cruising speed nearing 125 miles per hour. Range was out to 2,850 miles and its service ceiling reached 21,500 feet. Rate-of-climb was reported at 1,450 feet per minute.

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Cockpit
While traditional jobs involve workstations, office desks, or cubicles, aircraft provide operators with their own unique, ever-changing view of the world below.
Cockpit image
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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Grumman HU-16A/B Albatross Flying Boat / Utility Transport Aircraft.
2 x Wright R-1820-76A Cyclone 8-cylinder radial piston engines developing 1,475 horsepower each.
Propulsion
235 mph
379 kph | 205 kts
Max Speed
25,016 ft
7,625 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
3,199 miles
5,148 km | 2,780 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Grumman HU-16A/B Albatross Flying Boat / Utility Transport Aircraft.
5
(MANNED)
Crew
61.0 ft
18.60 m
O/A Length
97.0 ft
(29.58 m)
O/A Width
26.0 ft
(7.93 m)
O/A Height
31,747 lb
(14,400 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Grumman HU-16 Albatross family line.
HU-16 "Albatross" - Base Series Designation
XJR2F-1 - Prototype for of which two were produced
HU-16A (SA-16A) - Initial USAF production model
HU-16B (SA-16B) - Long-wing USAF model
SHU-16B (HU-16B) - Export-minded ASW variant
HU-16C (UF-1) - U.S. Navy model
LU-16C (UF-1L) - U.S. Navy Model
TU-16C (UF-1T) - U.S. Navy Model
HU-16D (UF-1) - Long-wing U.S. Navy model
HU-16E (UF-1G) - Long-wing USCG model
CSR-110 - Canadian Air Force model
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Grumman HU-16 Albatross. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 466 Units

Contractor(s): Grumman Aircraft - USA
National flag of Argentina National flag of Brazil National flag of Canada National flag of Chile National flag of modern Germany National flag of Greece National flag of Iceland National flag of Indonesia National flag of Italy National flag of modern Japan National flag of Malaysia National flag of Mexico National flag of Norway National flag of Pakistan National flag of Peru National flag of the Philippines National flag of Portugal National flag of Spain National flag of Taiwan National flag of Thailand National flag of the United States

[ Argentina; Brazil; Canada; Chile; West Germany; Greece; Iceland; Indonesia; Italy; Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; Norway; Pakistan; Peru; Philippines; Portugal; Spain; Taiwan; Thailand; United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (235mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
466
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE
SEARCH & RESCUE
MARITIME / NAVY
TRANSPORT
RECONNAISSANCE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Grumman HU-16 Albatross Flying Boat / Utility Transport Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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