Grumman UF/HU-16 Albatros
Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  AMPHIBIANVirtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Grumman  

Grumman UF/HU-16 Albatros

Experience with the Grumman Goose, which served throughout World War II with great reliability, prompted the US Navy to procure a somewhat larger amphibian with greater range capability. In 1944 the company initiated design of its Grumman G-64 aircraft, which was to be named Albatross, and which saw service with the US Air Force, US Coast Guard and US Navy. The prototype was flown first on 24 October 1947, and was of generally similar configuration to its predecessor. Fixed underwing floats were retained, but these and the entire structure had been considerably refined to reduce drag. Other changes included the provision of a cantilever, instead of strut-braced, tailplane; tricycle type retractable landing gear; and pylons beneath the wing, outboard of the engines, which could carry weapons, or drop-tanks to increase range. Additional fuel could also be carried in the underwing floats. Accommodation was provided for a crew of four and the cabin could accommodate 10 passengers, stretchers, or cargo, according to requirements.

The prototype ordered by the US Navy for service as a utility aircraft had the designation XJR2F-1, and flew for the first time on 24 October 1947. Initial production was of the UF-1 model, and a modified version introduced in 1955 was the UF-2. This latter aircraft had increased span, a cambered wing leading edge, ailerons and tail surfaces of increased area, and more effective de-icing boots for all aerofoil leading edges. In the tri-service rationalisation of designations in 1962, these aircraft became HU-16C and HU-16D respectively. Winterised aircraft for Antarctic service were designated UF-1L (later LU-16C), and five UF-1T dual-control trainers were rede-signated TU-16C.

The USAF found the G-64 attractive for rescue operations, the majority of the 305 ordered serving with the MATS Air Rescue Service under the designation SA-16A. An improved version, equivalent to the US Navy's UF-2, entered service in 1957 as the SA-16B; in 1962 these became HU-16A and HU-16B respectively. HU-16E was the designation (originally UF-1G) of Albatross aircraft operated by the US Coast Guard, and 10 supplied to Canada were designated CSR-110. An anti-submarine version with nose radome, retractable MAD gear, ECM radome and searchlight was introduced in 1961, and was equipped to carry a small number of depth charges. The versatile Albatross continues in service with a few air forces and navies, but its powerful and fuel-hungry engines have meant that surplus aircraft which became available for use were not a particularly attractive proposition to airline operators, and in consequence few were adapted for such a role.

Grumman UF/HU-16 Albatros

 ENGINE2 x Wright R-1820-76A, 1050kW
    Take-off weight14500-17000 kg31967 - 37479 lb
    Empty weight10350 kg22818 lb
    Wingspan29.5 m97 ft 9 in
    Length19.2 m63 ft 0 in
    Height7.9 m26 ft 11 in
    Wing area96.2 m21035.49 sq ft
    Max. speed379 km/h236 mph
    Cruise speed360 km/h224 mph
    Ceiling7600 m24950 ft
    Range w/max.fuel5000 km3107 miles
 ARMAMENTbombs, missiles, torpedos

Grumman UF/HU-16 Albatros

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120
sergio, 20.02.2018

My boss has one SA-16A ex usaf 49-080, ex bralian air force 6535, now is paint with USN colors and civilian tail number PP-ZAT, this plane USAF operator in Clark AFB and have acidente , 1 B-29 Shocked with the 49-080 in the taxi

Larry Barnes, 23.10.2017

I was a Pararescueman assigned to the 31st ARRS at Clark AFB, RP. We pulled TDY two weeks each month flying the HU-16's out of Danang AB, Vietnam. Our sister squadron stationed in Okinawa flew with us there. Almost all of these rescue missions were flown close to the coast of North Vietnam so any US airman who could make it "feet wet" could be rescued. This airplane and the crews who flew her will never forget those missions.

Max Morgan, 10.10.2017

Stationed at Wheelus Field May 54 to Nov 55 working on the SA16 mostly in the nose dock. My boss was M/SGT Henry Robitz, a fine man. Got to see parts of the world that otherwise would not have been possible. Sure would like to hear from of the great people I had the pleasure of knowing, but realize at 82 yrs old it's not likely.

John Barron, 09.03.2017

My son Mike Barron who sanity might be questioned, now owns the remaining 7 G111 s at Pinal airport in Az. He needs to move them to Missouri , and has the first one nearly ready for ferry, my grandson started a web site " Grumman Albatross Recovery" with some photos of progress. These planes are overall very nice condition, all zero timed in the early 80, some with nearly no time on them, but flight controls needing cover hydraulic cylinders needing seals and on and on. Mike and team are working huge hours to get them mobile, bringing a big crowd onto the airport in Az. Is not possible once they are here in Perry or Hannibal mo. Then help will possibly be needed. He does not have 14 operable engines or props, though he does have 7, lots to talk about.

Tom Spencer, 18.12.2016

I was an AT3 stationed at NAF Annapolis from 1957 to 1959. I flew as a radioman and navigator and we use to make "booze runs" to Bermuda three or four times a year. Flew once in the N3N (yellow peril) and once in the hellocopter. Quite a few times in the UF with midshipmen. Great memories.

dick wilbur, 23.08.2016

Hi. I'm researching the Navy's support for a ferry service out of Rosie Roads in the early 1960s when Grumman Albatrosses were used to support a marine biology project trying to reestablish green sea turtles from nesting sites in Costa Rica to historic sites all around the region. Would love to hear from anyone who participated or knew about these flights, which ran from about 1961-1968. Thank you!

Richard Okerblom, 13.05.2016

My dad Bill Okerblom was Grummans field service rep in Alaska, ( Elmendorf ) from 55-58 supporting the SA 16s. I was very lucky boy to have gone on some missions with them out over the Aleutian Islands. Flying over those volcanos then dropping down to scare millions of seals off their islands was a highlight of my life. My dad later became west coast service rep when Grumman came out with the first Gulfstream 1 the Rolls Royce Turboprop. My first paying job ever was Cleaning and polishing Walt Disneys Gulfstream. Dads been gone since 2007, but he helped many young men get into aviation. Anyone who might of known him, I would like to hear from you

John, 27.03.2016

June 25, 1973 was the date of 137899 crash. 3 souls lost on that date (2 civilians and 1 military). I was the plane captain on that flight.

Alec Williams, 22.06.2015

I have a picture of one that landed on Roosevelt Lake in AZ. while we were fishing mid 1990. Illx send it in an email if I can. My friend and I were employed at Macdonell Douglas making AH64 Apache helicopters tnen.

RJ Mcgaw, 12.05.2015

Found no way to pull up history so posting my E-mail

Rick McGaw, 12.05.2015

My dad MSGT James McGaw was crew chief on SA-16 At Whellus AFB In the 58th ARS from 1949 to 1954. Any one who knew him would like to hear from you by E-mail

Thanks His Son Rick

JW HARDY, 09.04.2015

ADR3 NAS Agana Guam (71 to 75), Flight Crew Plane Captain onboard 137899 when she went down in Kusaie harbor on 25 June 1973

William Justus, 07.03.2015

Was in the Navy from 1960-64...From 1962-early 1964 was an AMH3 in the Azores The Goose was the only plane we had and I was the only AM for 1 1/2 years... Doing an Intermediate & Major checks was hard for one guy, especially testing the landing gear...Had problems with the locking ping on the main gear, which didn't always give a Barber Pole light...A real bitch...(So, in flight, someone had made a holes in the Fuselage with a small round door which we would open and use a long broom stick to push the pin to fully lock and give us a Barber Pole (Down & Locked)... Our broom stick was painted Day-glo so it could be seen at night...

Harry Marshall, 09.12.2014

I was an AMH-2 stationed at USNS Trinidad, WI. (1963-1966).
SA-16 137910 was the bird attached to this base when I left.
She was a good old girl, we only had water take off and landings. Corrosion was a big problem, I had to completely overhaul her empennage at Rosie Roads, PR. in 1965.

Guy Leida, 05.04.2014

usaf afftc ca. tested SA16B landed at point magoo nas broke aircraft aft of keel step, lading towards runway 90 t deg to beach. sent back to Florida on r.r. car

Guy Leida, 05.04.2014

usaf afftc ca. tested SA16B landed at point magoo nas broke aircraft aft of keel step, lading towards runway 90 t deg to beach. sent back to Florida on r.r. car

John J. Kaye AD3, 03.02.2014

I flew in the "Goat" when I was stationed at CGAS Brooklyn,N.Y. (Floyd Bennett Field) 1961-63. A tough loud aircraft that did everything that was asked of it. Spent many hours looking out the bubble windows on SAR's. Didn't particularly liked JATO take offs from water. Lots of porpoising before getting up on the step. Eventually transferred over to helos.

Herb, 28.12.2013

Flew in UF-1's and 2's Navy 141264 was my main aircraft. We were ASR out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba back when they were bringing in missiles from Russia. We did some aerial survailence of them with a photog shooting pics from the back hatch. The configuration of them was with the radio operator behind the copilot and radar/nav just outside the flight deck. Just thought I'd answer the question about the configuration of the A/C. Spent many long
air hours flying searches. No air conditioning and noisey but there was always a pot of coffee brewing in my nav table.

FRED GEDNEY, 24.12.2013

12/23/13 I was stationed Albrook in the Canal Zone 26th ARS
Crewed 51-7197& 51-7113 in the mid 50's 55,56,

John, 04.10.2013

I flew on them out of the P.I.between 64&65.Good old plane then and now

1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120

Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

Virtual Aircraft Museum

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 -