Grumman Widgeon

infobox Aircraft
name = G-44 Widgeon
type = Amphibious transport
manufacturer = Grumman




caption = A Grumman Widgeon on Frazier Lake on the southwest end of Kodiak Island, Alaska
designer =
first flight = 1940
introduced =
retired =
produced =
number built = 345
status =
unit cost =
primary user = United States Navy
more users = United States Army Air Force United States Coast Guard Royal Navy
developed from = Grumman Goose
variants with their own articles =

The Grumman G-44 Widgeon is a small, six-person, twin-engine amphibious aircraft. It was designated J4F by the United States Navy and Coast Guard and OA-14 by the United States Army Air Corps and United States Army Air Forces.

Design and development

The Widgeon was originally designed for the civil market. It is a smaller version of the Grumman's earlier G-21 Goose, and was produced from 1941 to 1955. The aircraft was used during World War II as a small patrol and utility machine by the United States Navy, US Coast Guard and by the Royal Navy.

The first prototype flew in 1940, and the first production aircraft went to the United States Navy as an anti-submarine aircraft. In total, 266 were built, including 176 for the military. During World War II, they served with the US Navy, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and Army Air Force, as well as with the British Royal Navy, who called it the "Gosling".

Operational history

On August 1 1942, a J4F-1 flown by US Coast Guard Patrol Squadron 212 based out of Houma, Louisiana and flown by Chief Aviation Pilot Henry White spotted and attacked a German U-boat off the coast of Louisiana. White reported the submarine sunk, and he was subsequently credited with sinking "U-166" and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; however, the wreck of "U-166" was found in June 2001 by an oil exploration team working for BP Amoco and Shell Oil Company, and the sinking of "U-166" is now generally credited to "PC-556". ["U-166," http://www.uboat.net/boats/u166.htm] White's aircraft is now thought to have made an unsuccessful attack against "U-171", a Type IXC U-boat identical to "U-166" that reported an air attack coincident with White's attack. "U-171" was undamaged by White's attack, but was sunk four months later in the Bay of Biscay. ["U-171," http://www.uboat.net/boats/u171.htm]

After the war, the Grumman redesigned the aircraft to make it more suitable for civilian operations. A new hull improved its water handling, and six seats were added. A total of 76 of the new G-44A were built by Grumman, the last being delivered on 13 January 1949. Another 41 were produced under licence by the Societe de Construction Aero-Navale (SCAN) in La Rochelle, France as the SCAN-30. Most of these ended up in the United States.

McKinnon Enterprises at Sandy, Oregon converted over 70 Widgeons to "Super Widgeons". The conversion features replacing the engines with 270hp Avco Lycoming GO-480-B1D flat six piston engines, and various other modifications, such as:
* Modern avionics
* 3-blade propellers
* Larger windows
* Improved soundproofing
* Emergency exits
* Increased Maximum Takeoff Weight
* Retractable wing-tip floats (optional)

Variants

;G-44:Main production variant, 200 built including military variants listed below.;G-44A:Improved post-war production variant with redesigned hull, 76 built. ;J4F-1:G-44 for the United States Coast Guard with three seats, 25 built.;J4F-2:United States Navy version of the J4F-1 with 5-seat interior, 131 built.;OA-14:Fifteen G-44s impressed into wartime service with the United States Army Air Force.;OA-14A:One new aircraft for the Corps of Engineers.;Gosling I:Fifteen J2F-2s transferred to the Royal Navy, later renamed Widgeon I;SCAN 30:G-44 Licence-built in France, 41 built.

Operators

Military operators

;BRA;ISR;POR;THA;UK
*Royal Navy;USA
*USAAC
*USAAF
*US Coast Guard
*US Navy
*Civil Air Patrol;URY

urvivors

*Many Widgeons survive in private hands, in various states of restoration or storage. The aircraft continues to enjoy a considerable degree of popularity as a seaplane with many still being flown regularly, though rarely on the warbird circuit.
*G-44 (reg. # CF-ODR) is on display at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario.
*G-44 (9N13122) is on display at the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage, Alaska.
*Several G-44 are on display at museums in Portugal and France.

pecifications (G-44A)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?= plane
jet or prop?= prop
ref={name of first source}
crew= one, pilot
capacity=5 passengers
length main= 31 ft 1 in
length alt= 9.47 m
span main= 40 ft 0 in
span alt= 12.19 m
height main= 11 ft 5 in
height alt= 3.48 m
area main= 245 ft²
area alt= 22.8 m²
airfoil=
empty weight main= 3,189 lb
empty weight alt= 1,470 kg
loaded weight main= 4,500 lb
loaded weight alt= 2,041 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 4,500 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 2,500 kg
more general=
engine (prop)= Ranger Engine L-440C-5
type of prop=inverted inline 6-cylinder engines
number of props=2
power main= 200 hp
power alt= 150 kW
power original=
max speed main= 139 knots
max speed alt= 160 mph, 257 km/h
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main= 800 nm
range alt= 920 miles, 1,481 km
ceiling main=
ceiling alt=
climb rate main= 1,000 ft/min
climb rate alt= 305 m/min
loading main=
loading alt=
thrust/weight=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=
armament=
avionics=

References

Donald, David "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft" (ISBN 0-7607-0592-5)

ee also

aircontent
related=
*Grumman Goose
similar aircraft=
*Grumman G-21 Goose
*Sikorsky S-38
*Sikorsky S-39
*Piaggio P-136
*Supermarine Walrus
sequence=;Grumman:
*G35 -G44 -
G58;US Navy:
JF -
J2F -
XJ3F -J4F
lists=
*List of seaplanes and flying boats
see also=


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