Grumman G-44 / J4F Widgeon


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Grumman G-44 / J4F Widgeon

The Widgeon was a military utility version of the four-five-seat commercial Model G-44 amphibian. It first went into service with the US Coast Guard as the J4F-1 in 1941 and as the J4F-2 with the US Navy in the following year. It also served with the USAAF (as the OA-14) and with the RCAF and Royal Navy as the Gosling. Production totalled more than 200 aircraft. In 1946 the G-44A appeared incorporating a number of improvements, including a deeper bow, step vents to improve hydrodynamics and modified internal equipment. SCAN of France built 40 aircraft after the war, most of which had their 149kW Ranger L-440-5 engines replaced by 223.6kW Lycoming R-680s. In addition McKinnon Enterprises converted more than 70 Widgeons into Super Widgeon executive transports powered by two 201kW Lycoming GO-460-B1D engines.


 ENGINE2 x Ranger L-440C-5, 149kW
  Take-off weight2040 kg4497 lb
  Empty weight1447 kg3190 lb
  Wingspan12.19 m40 ft 0 in
  Length9.47 m31 ft 1 in
  Height3.48 m11 ft 5 in
  Wing area22.76 m2244.99 sq ft
  Max. speed246 km/h153 mph
  Cruise speed222 km/h138 mph
  Ceiling4450 m14600 ft
  Range1480 km920 miles

Grumman G-44 / J4F WidgeonA three-view drawing (752 x 999)

Bob Kusterer, e-mail, 20.05.2014 22:08

Hey, what about the Grumman-American line of aircraft, Yankee, Tiger, etc? Why aren't they included under Grumman or the original American Aviation? My college aero club had a Yankee; loved it.


malcolm, e-mail, 06.12.2012 22:42

I need to know what type of propellar would have been fitted to the ranger l-440 engine when it waas first made and used in the G44 widgeon any help with this would be a big help thanks


Scott Boyd, e-mail, 27.05.2011 04:58

Back in the 60's a guy, I forget his name had one tied down at the old Columbine airport in Denver Co. Had to go to a lake in Nebraska to land on water, none in Colorado were open for seaplanes. Had the Lycoming engines like in the picture.

A co-pilot I flew with had one in Santa Rosa, in pieces at the time, I never heard wether he had restored it or not, I believe he had the original Ranger engines though.


kirt perras, e-mail, 22.03.2011 03:47

iam interested in a widgeon, there's not many with a 350hp conversion. any good fab shops that can do the swap and get the stc's that are needed?


Ian Butchart, e-mail, 04.03.2011 22:43

Bill Russell, I know of 2 good 44s available. Your email address doesn't seem to work, so would you make contact.


Ian Butchart, e-mail, 04.03.2011 05:16

That one in the pic is one of 3 that we operated in New Zealand (CFA, AVM,and BGQ.) I was a pilot and did much of the training '78 to '90. These were modded by TEAL , now Air New Zealand, with 260hp Continentals and had a gross of 5200 Lb. They also had an undercarriage mod and because the engines were heavier or longer, they went out of CofG range with 2 in the front. They worked very well and gave rise to a magic number for light flying boats - 10 lb per Hp. Our Gooses also had this power loading with 900 Hp and 9000lg, so they also worked well. Anyone who has flown the 180 or 200 hp LA4s will have lamented the 13 or so lb per Hp that they acheive. Not so happy!


Jason Strong, e-mail, 24.01.2011 06:01

Re: N86638 I am taking lessons in this aircraft, and it has to be the most fun I've ever had flying, not to mention what a total thrill it is to land on the water. The Super Widgeon has won me over. Can't wait to get my own.


Bill Russell, e-mail, 12.01.2011 00:52

Iv had 5 Maules, a 180, 2 206's, all on floats one in an Air Taxi operation in AK, am now back home in VT retireing looking for something that has enough useful load to haul myself, lots of fuel and a few buddies to Canada for some fishing. The catch is I need wheels as well. we are starting a flight seeing business and are leaning twards the 44, any advice would be helpfull. Know of any good 44's let me know Thanks


Ian, e-mail, 21.09.2010 20:56

This is a long shot, but does anbody here know where I can find either an Illustrated Part Catalog or drawings for this aircraft? The company I work for is completing restoration of a Widgeon in Washington state, and I can't find said manual anywhere. I suspect it may not exist due to the low production numbers of this aircraft.


Bob Syme, e-mail, 09.09.2010 22:56

Grumman Widgeon G-44. What is the minimum take off and landing distances at gross weight from a grass strip on wheels over 50ft trees?


Fred Ball, e-mail, 18.08.2010 22:16

The Widgeon is probably the most enjoyable airplane I have had the opportunity to fly. It is quick, challenging and requires a higher than normal degree of ability to master this beautiful aircraft. It will porpoise on you without warning and takes a skilled instructor to teach in this aircraft. I have been privileged to fly 11 different Widgeon's over the years and have just over 4000 hours. I am now teaching in Widgeons and Gooses upon request. I prefer the advanced training but can get a pilot started from ground zero if necessary.


Bob Leonard, e-mail, 19.08.2010 01:28

Fred Ball is right on with his comments below. The Widgeon is a great aircraft in the 'super' mode. I cut my teeth on the standard Ranger Widgeons which left a lot to wish for when you had an over load of seal-skins aboard. We got about 600 hours out of those Rangers before junking them and putting on a new one right out of the box. In 1976 I took my family from Miami up to Anchorage in N86638 (for Dean Franklin.) Great trip! Always got a crowd when we stopped for fuel & a meal.


Mr. Widgeon, 21.04.2010 06:05

There are a couple gross weight increases available for the Widgeon.
The most common is the one done by McKinnon to 5500 pounds yielding almost 1000 pounds more useful load.
To make a Widgeon into a Super Widgeon just add new engines.
There have been several engine conversions done in the past.
McKinnon, McDermott, Franklin, Mansdorf /PACE, Lockheed are the primary ones, there have also been a couple lesser conversions done (the Widgeon in the photo at top is one of those, it has the T.E.A.L. conversion done in New Zealand).
The only conversion being done now (2010) is the Magnum conversion using a pair of 350hp turbo-charged Lycoming engines.


Mike Weaver, e-mail, 25.03.2022 Mr. Widgeon

Mr. Bill Widgeon is a dickhead. Mark R. of Seaplaneworks and Rochester Amphibians is one too...


james williams, e-mail, 28.05.2009 23:25

would like to know about the useful load weight on this aircraft. also to upgrade it into a super wedgeon what would have to be done. what would be the useful load and specīs with a super wedgeon?
i thank whoever could help me out with these questions.


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