The Grumman HU-16 Albatross, is a large, twin radial engine amphibious flying boat. Originally designated SA-16, it was renamed HU-16 in 1962.
Examples of Albatrosses include Jimmy Buffett's Hemisphere Dancer, now the centerpiece of the Orlando, Florida Margaritaville Cafe. Swimwear manufacturers Billabong and Quiksilver operate well-equipped Albatrosses for surf touring.
The lion's share of Albatrosses were used by the U.S. Air Force, primarily by the Air Rescue Service. The USAF utilized the SA-16 extensively in Korea, where it gained a reputation as a rugged and seaworthy craft. Later, the HU-16B (long-wing variant) Albatross was used by the U.S. Air Force's Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service in the Vietnam conflict. The HU-16D Albatross was used for United States Navy Search And Rescue and skunk runs on Guam during the Vietnam War at NAS Agana. Goodwill flights were also common to the surrounding Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in the early 1970s. Open water landing and takeoff training using JATO was conducted frequently at Apra Harbor, Guam. The aircraft was also operated by the United States Coast Guard for may years. The Albatross was a dependable aircraft.
Category: Airplanes - Classic Aircraft