Grumman SA-16 Albatross

The Albatross, Grumman' s largest amphibian, has the distinction of being the first aircraft to be adopted by the unified Naval Air Force Command. The plane is also in widespread use throughout the world by both the U. S. Air Force and the Coast Guard. Developed by the Navy as a general utility aircraft capable of performing duty as a hospital plane, air-sea-rescue amphibian, cargo, or photo recon aircraft, the SA-16-A has also been employed by several NATO countries to perform these missions. The plane has a wingspan of 80 feet, a length of 60 feet, and is powered by 2 Wright R-1820 engines of 1,425 HP each. It is equipped with 11-foot diameter Hamilton Standard reverse pitch propellers to facilitate landings on small fields and lakes. An improved version, the SA-16-B has a 16 1/2-foot longer wingspan and larger horizontal and vertical tail surfaces which augment its performance. The SA-16 has been credited with saving the lives of more than 900 servicemen during the Korean conflict.