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Meeting the needs of the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. This amphibious utility aircraft can operate from land, water, snow and ice.

During the Korean War, almost 1,000 United Nations personnel were rescued from rivers and coastal waters (often behind enemy lines) by Albatrosses. The aircraft was also used to make hazardous rescues, sometimes taxiing for miles over rough, open water before taking off.

The prototype first flew in October 1947, and soon after nearly three hundred Albatrosses were ordered by the U.S. Air Force for air-sea rescue missions. In 1955, Grumman developed an improved version of the original HU-16A design. The HU-16B featured a 16.5-foot increase in wingspan and larger tail and aileron surfaces. During the late 1950s, many A models were converted to the B configuration.

The Albatross on display is an HU-16B (USAF version) and was restored by Jim Slattery, a Naval aviator who painted it in Navy colors. It was later donated to the National Museum of WWII Aviation in Colorado Springs. 

Quick facts

  • Manufacturer: Grumman
  • Country: United States
  • Type: Amphibious Utility Aircraft
  • Engine: 2 x Wright R-1820 engines; 1,425 hp each
  • Maximum speed: 250 mph
  • Range: 403 miles
  • Crew: 4 – 6
  • Length: 62 feet 10 inches
  • Wingspan: 96 feet 8 inches

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