Grumman G-21 / JRF Goose


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Grumman G-21 / JRF Goose

The G-21A eight-seat commercial amphibian flew for the first time in June 1937 and was Grumman's first aircraft produced for the private and commercial market. It proved outstandingly successful and 20 were delivered prior to 1 October 1938, when many more were on order. However most of the 300 or so aircraft built went into military service, the US Navy receiving initially JRF-1s and the US Coast Guard JRF-2s in 1939-40.

Further series included JRF-1A aircraft, fitted for target towing and photography; JRF-3 fitted with anti-icing equipment and autopilot for use in northern waters by the US Coast Guard; JRF-4, a development of the JRF-1; JRF-5 (OA-9) for the USAAF and fitted for photography; and the JRF-6B navigational trainer. JRF-5s also served with the RCAF and the JRF-5 and -6 with the RAF as the Goose. Production of the JRF ceased in September 1945, but the type continued to serve as a general/utility amphibian with the US Navy and Coast Guard.

After the war McKinnon Enterprises began a conversion programme, replacing the original 335.3kW Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-6 engines with four 253.4kW Lycoming GSO-480s and incorporating other refinements to produce executive transports. This programme was superseded by the turboprop-powered G-21C, D and G Turbo-Goose conversions, initiated in 1966. The latter is the current version, powered by two 507kW Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Canada PT6A turboprop engines.


 MODELG-21G "Turbo Goose"
 ENGINE2 x Pratt -Whitney Canada PT6A-27, 507kW
  Take-off weight5670 kg12500 lb
  Loaded weight3039 kg6700 lb
  Wingspan15.49 m51 ft 10 in
  Length12.06 m40 ft 7 in
  Wing area35.08 m2377.60 sq ft
  Max. speed391 km/h243 mph
  Ceiling6095 m20000 ft
  Range2575 km1600 miles

Grumman G-21 / JRF GooseA three-view drawing (1436 x 1040)

Comments1-20 21-40
Bob KNOTTS, e-mail, 24.03.2015 23:00

In the summer and fall of 1958 I worked as an aerial mapping photographer for a company named K.B. Woods and Associates. My pilot, "Jay' Landis and I were flying from the Troutdale Portland a 4 engine airport to Deer Park, and then back at night. At abt 5 AM we saw a 4 engine seaplane getting ready to take off. We were in a Cessna 180. So we watched as this rather lonely little "Goose" proceeded to make a rather lonely take-off. Bob Knotts, PHCM, USN, RET.


George Haloulakos, CFA, e-mail, 28.06.2014 22:46

The Grumman Goose was featured in the 1982-83 TV adventure series "Tales of the Gold Monkey" [starring Stephen Collins]. The flight footage shot in full color for all the episodes is beautifully done. And the Goose clearly is a central feature in the program. The series is now available on DVD. My love for aviation is what inspired me to write my latest book.

Aviation as a Teaching Tool for Finance,
Strategy and American Exceptionalism
By George A. Haloulakos, MBA, CFA
ISBN: 9780-1007-2738-0
Order your copy online at:
Or by phone: 858-534-4557
"Partial proceeds support aviation heritage"

reply, e-mail, 03.12.2012 02:34

How come there's no mention of the Grumman G73 Mallard anywhere?
Built 1946 - 1951, the Mallard is the first multi-engine purpose-built executive transport, the second aircraft certified in the CAR4 transport category and the most beautiful seaplane that ever flew!


Tim Leary, PH1 USN (Ret'd), e-mail, 25.09.2012 19:24

When I arrived at NAS Alameda in 1947 they had a JRF-5A which we used for aerial photography on a regular basis. The large port side dutch door was suitable for oblique photography and the huge hatch in the bottom of the hull was suitable for aerfial mapping.
The history of this particular aircraft goes as follows: Served as a transport in Cuba, sank to the bottom of Havana harbor, recovered and re-built in Norfolk, transferred to NAS Alameda as a station aircraft.
The bottom hatch was removable and for water landings had to be re-sealed, as an Operations Officer at Alameda found out to his regret. After landing on San Francisco Bay, he discoverewd the leaking, gushing hull, adding all available power, he made it to the "Mars" ramps, just, locked the brakes until it could be towed clear and drained.
Kept at Alameda to be re-placed by a twin Beech (SNB-5P), which is another story altogether.


R.L. Brantley, e-mail, 18.09.2012 06:37

Alaska Fish & Wildlife Protection Troopers has used this aircraft for quite a few years. Flying in some pretty awful Alaskan conditions. Rugged.


Ian Worby, e-mail, 23.05.2012 18:14

During the '39-'45 war the Goose was in service with the British Fleet Air Arm. My father had a squadron in Trinidad, West Indies on maritime patrol. After the war my father moved to British Guiana where he helped to start up British Guiana Airways flying the Goose on bush flying in the region and between the other West Indian Islands where he was the only pilot licensed to fly into some of the small strips.


john pratt, e-mail, 17.03.2011 23:00

nothing to do with the Goose , but where is the Mallard in this lineup. Again dissapointed in the coverage of aircraft built by any company


B Poncel, e-mail, 05.03.2011 22:07

Have lived on Catalina since 1960, spent a lot of time riding the Goose back and forth with many different pilots. Got a kick out of the other comments left here.


at-6texan, e-mail, 19.02.2011 14:46

hello excuse the inconvenience. can help me to get information about this aircraft? I would like to reproduce this aircraft in 1 / 5 scale .. I'm trying to get information about the measures throughout to the airplane, but for the moment I not managed to get a many information and those few are in contrast with other. Would you be so kind as to help me?. I thank you in advance for any help hello and see you soon.


Brian Rose, e-mail, 12.12.2010 05:15

I was an air traffic controller at Long Beach Tracon (Calif) 1973-1975. At that time the tracon was located in the old control tower above the terminal building. A pilot (Wild Bill) from Catalina Airlines asked if anyone wanted to fly out to Catalina Island and back (I'll go). What I remember most from that trip was Bill telling me that when he crosses the harbor breakwater outbound, he lites up a cigarette. If by the time the cigarette is ready to be put out and he hasn't located the island, he must make a hard turn around, because he is about to hit the island. The water landing and takeoff was something to remember. We would just drop the landing gear and taxi up the ramp to the Catalina terminal.


Dave Marion, e-mail, 19.11.2010 22:03

Some of your info above is just a little bit inaccurate. It was the McKinnon G-21C and G-21D models that had the four 340 hp Lycoming GSO-480-B2D6 piston engines. They were certified and approved in 1958 and 1960 respectively and in fact the very first G-21C, N150M (s /n 1201) was re-converted to become the first and only G-21D. The difference was a nose section lengthened by 36 inches and incorporating 4 more seats up there. N150M (as G-21D s /n 1251) was later (in 1966) modified to have two 550 shp PT6A-20 turbines instead of the four Lycoming piston engines. Two Gooses were converted in 1968 supposedly as C models but with the PT6A-20 engines as well per STC SA1320WE also. They weren't "real" C models and McKinnon called them G-21C "Hybrids" (the turbines are not part of the "real" C model configuration.) On the other hand, the G-21C "Hybrid" configuration was the basis of the model G-21E that was certified in 1969 and the G-21G was essentially a G-21E that was reinforced for a gross weight increase from 10,500 lbs to 12,500 lbs.

So, the G-21C and G-21D were not "turboprop-powered" unless they were "modified" by STC SA1320WE. Normally (i.e. unmodified) they were the aircraft that were powered by the GSO-480 series piston engines. The G-21E and G-21G were designed and built as turboprops from the start.


Dave, e-mail, 15.10.2010 04:20

I worked on this aircraft in the USVI under the name of Antilles Airboats. It was a fun plane to work on. And, the PWA R-985's were one of the easiest to work on since the Shakey Jake (Jacobs R-760).


Matthew E Rodina, Jr, e-mail, 12.07.2010 17:28

To: Peter Hanley - I knew your father when he was with Dean Franklin and Okinawa Flying Boats. I worked for V I Seaplene Shuttle. There is a book on the Mallards that I co-wrote (270 pp). Please contact me for more info at 618-307-5415.


Fred Ball, e-mail, 18.08.2010 22:09

Have flown 21 different Gooses over the years and have just over 12000 hours in them while flying commercially on Kodiak Island and Western Alaska. Rugged plane that never let me down. I am now a flight instructor for multi engine seaplanes specifically working with the Goose and Widgeon.


Bob Leonard, e-mail, 19.08.2010 01:14

Flew the Grumman's in Alaska & the Caribean. (5,000 hrs. or so) The Goose is a 'tank' super strong. Looking back, can't believe some of the beatings it took in open sea landings. The R-985 engines are trouble free as long as you keep lots of oil in them. I love water flying! Hi Fred Ball. Long time, man!


onmysoapbox, e-mail, 25.05.2010 19:07

Put in 6000 hrs on the North coast of bc on a Goose and a couple hours on the Turbo. Built like a brick. You started to pedal when you left the ramp and stopped pedaling when you shut it down. Glide angle of a well varnished anvil and almost as hard to break (for an aircraft)


Peter Hanley, e-mail, 12.04.2010 01:11

Where's the Mallard??? Recip and Turbo versions????


Peter Hanley, e-mail, 12.04.2010 01:08

My Father owned and operated Catalina Channel and Catalina Seaplanes for many years. The Aircraft on the floor of the Smithsonian is one that he operated for a time. Lying on the sand at Seal Beach CA the distinctive sound made by the R985 radial engines was instantly recognizeable, even in the fog. Many great memories of 20 years of flying in them. Also a few at Chalk's Seaplanes in Miami before they went to the Mallard.


Carl, e-mail, 31.03.2010 22:55

In 1958 /59, I was stationed, in the Air Force, on San Clemente Island. We could charter an Avalon Airlines Goose to fly out to the island and pick us up for our leave /pass time into the mainland. If we could fill the plane, the cost was $12 each. To go back to the island, we would ride out, free, on a Navy LSM. Going back we were usually broke and not in a big hurry. A couple of times there were enough troops going into the mainland, for Avalon to use their PBY.


Neal Robertson, e-mail, 02.09.2010 06:29

I worked for Avalon Air Transport,Catalina Airlines, Catalina Seaplanes, and Air Catalina from 1956 to 1959. Then I worked at San Clemente Island for 4 years. We rode out and back on Gruman gooses and other aircraft. All the civilians working there on missile projects went thru my office to get on and off the island. In 1964, I went back to the Catalina Airlines flying in and out of San Pedro. When the gooses changed hands, I went with them to work for the new owner. I knew all the goose owners including Bob Hanley, Dick Probert, Paul Briles, and Jackson Hughes to name a few.


1-20 21-40

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