Grumman Albatross HU-16E Resotration

If YOU are restoring an existing flying boat, we would be pleased to see images and details of the progress you are making and to hear what it is like to undertake a job of this nature and complexity.

Grumman Albatross HU-16E Resotration

Postby seawings » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:10 pm

Hi All,

Just had this information in from Sean M. Scott concerning his current restoration of his Grumman Albatross HU-16E (Bu No. 1275). You can visit his website here: www.albairhu16.com

Looking forward to up-dates and seeing how this one comes out.

My thanks to Sean for thinking of us.
Best Regards,

Bryan Ribbans
Owner of:

The Flying Boat Forum
SEAWINGS - The Website

"I put the sweat of my life into this project, and if it's a failure, I'll leave the country and never come back".
Howard Hughes, re: the HK-1 Hughes Flying Boat, aka the 'Spruce Goose,' 1946.
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Re: Grumman Albatross HU-16E Restoration

Postby Rajay » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:15 am

That all sounds very interesting!

ALBATROSS AIR HU16 LLC.
AEO: SEAN M. SCOTT. (CW-2)

Welcome to Albatross Air HU-16 LLC.
We are currently restoring this aircraft to (G-111) turboprop.
1275 will remain in Restricted Category so as not to distract from the original airframe

Concept:
We are also scheduled to restore several other Grumman Albatrosses in the near future to be updated to G-111 airframe configuration as well. All will be updated and refitted with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-29 engines and 4-Bladed props.

ALBATROSS AIR HU16 LLC.
Long Rang Goals:
#1) To maintain a flying cargo & passenger air-freight company comprised of 4 Restricted Category G-111 (T) turboprop aircraft, and 4 Standard Category G-111(T) turboprop aircraft capable of long-range, land, sea, snow, & ice services.


I'm just wondering - is this group the actual new owner of FAA TC no. A22SO which covers the Grumman G-111 type design or in any other way actually connected to them?
Ownership transferred from Flying Boats Inc. to AAI Inc. on July 1. 2010.

Amphibian Aircraft International, Inc.
c/o Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, PLLC (See Note 7)
199 Liberty Street, SW
Leesburg, Virginia 20175


In other words, not just anybody can convert a standard G-64/HU-16 series Albatross into a FAR Part 25 Transport Category-certified model G-111. They have to be the actual TC holder (i.e. owner) or have a written license agreement from the current owner of that TC.

Also, I don't think that a pair of PWC PT6A-29 series turbines will work very well.

The PT6A-29 is rated at 778 eshp (750 shp + 71 lbs of "jet" thrust from the exhaust) as compared to the original Wright R-1820-76 series radials rated at 1,425 bhp or the R-1820-82 series engines used on some of the very last UF-2 variants built for Canada and Japan (several of which have been already converted into G-111 aircraft) which had 1,525 bhp at WEP (de-rated to only 1,475 bhp with the high blower disabled on these civilian conversions.) You'd have to install four (4) PT6A-29 engines on a G-111 to replace the two Wright radials power-wise.

One further note, the use of US Coast Guard serial number "1275" is not approved for a civilian registration. Reference FAA Advisory Circulars AC21-12b and AC21-13 concerning the issuance of new certificates of airworthiness and the certification of surplus military aircraft. Former military aircraft that were built with or assigned a civilian OEM (manufacturer's) serial number should be registered using that OEM serial number and NOT any former military serial number it may have been assigned over time (which usually changed each time the aircraft in question was transferred from one branch of the service to another.)

Note: contrary to this published official "policy" (not actually a regulation) not one single civilian-owned and registered Albatross in the US is "correctly" so registered!

In the case of HU-16E USCG s/n 1275, it was built by Grumman as s/n G-323 and that is the number that should be used for any civilian registration.
Last edited by Rajay on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:36 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Grumman Albatross HU-16E Restoration

Postby Rajay » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:33 am

I've got another question regarding the registration of Mr. Scott's Albatross "1275" (aka N330LL.)

If it is really a model HU-16E that was built originally for the US Coast Guard as a model UF-1G (as my own records also indicate)
then why is it now registered as a Grumman model "HU-16B" which was the long-wing variant used by the USAF?
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Re: Grumman Albatross HU-16E Restoration

Postby Rajay » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:16 pm

Rajay wrote:One further note, the use of US Coast Guard serial number "1275" is not approved for a civilian registration. Reference FAA Advisory Circulars AC21-12b and AC21-13 concerning the issuance of new certificates of airworthiness and the certification of surplus military aircraft. Former military aircraft that were built with or assigned a civilian OEM (manufacturer's) serial number should be registered using that OEM serial number and NOT any former military serial number it may have been assigned over time (which usually changed each time the aircraft in question was transferred from one branch of the service to another.)

Note: contrary to this published official "policy" (not actually a regulation) not one single civilian-owned and registered Albatross in the US is "correctly" so registered!

In the case of HU-16E USCG s/n 1275, it was built by Grumman as s/n G-323 and that is the number that should be used for any civilian registration.

Actually, it's not just a "policy" and it is in the official regulations, too:

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=0d8124f87f2fb0a30b733b42952fae23&rgn=div8&view=text&node=14:1.0.1.3.22.2.363.3&idno=14

§ 45.13 Identification data .
(a) The identification required by § 45.11 (a) through (c) must include the following information:

(1) Builder's name. (i.e. the name of the “builder” not the builder’s name for the aircraft model.*)
(2) Model designation.
(3) Builder's serial number.
(4) Type certificate number, if any.
(5) Production certificate number, if any.
(6) For aircraft engines, the established rating.
(7) Etc.

If only the bureaucrats at the FAA who are responsible for administering the aircraft registration system actually took the time to validate the info submitted by owners!

(*i.e. who actually “built” the specific aircraft in question – not just who was the original designer or builder of the series or even the original or “current” TC Holder at the time it was “built” – but THAT’s a whole ‘nuther fight, especially in the Warbird community, many members of which seem to think that every B-17 is a "Boeing" even though many of them were built actually by Douglas and by the Vega division of Lockheed, that all Corsairs are "Vought" aircraft even though the model FG-1D was "built" by Goodyear and the model F3A was "built" by Brewster, and that all Avenger and Wildcat aircraft are “Grumman” aircraft even though the TBM and FM-2 series were each built by the Eastern Aircraft division of General Motors.)
Last edited by Rajay on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grumman Albatross HU-16E Restoration

Postby Rajay » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:49 pm

Rajay wrote:Also, I don't think that a pair of PWC PT6A-29 series turbines will work very well.

The PT6A-29 is rated at 778 eshp (750 shp + 71 lbs of "jet" thrust from the exhaust) as compared to the original Wright R-1820-76 series radials rated at 1,425 bhp or the R-1820-82 series engines used on some of the very last UF-2 variants built for Canada and Japan (several of which have been already converted into G-111 aircraft) which had 1,525 bhp at WEP (de-rated to only 1,475 bhp with the high blower disabled on these civilian conversions.) You'd have to install four (4) PT6A-29 engines on a G-111 to replace the two Wright radials power-wise.

According to the now "Expired" FAA registration for the so-called "Conroy Albatross" (aka N16CA), which was* the only G-64/HU-16 series Grumman Albatross ever to be successfully converted and actually flown with turboprop engines, it used a pair of Rolls Royce Dart 510/511 turboprop engines rated at 1,677 eshp (1,535 shp + 355 lbs of "jet" thrust.)

*"was" because it was reported to have been scrapped at New Smyrna Beach, FL a while back after many years of being stored outside in the salt air.

However, I am sure that much more modern and still suitable turboprop engines could be found in that same power range. According to a post (by yours truly) in the Grumman HU-16 Albatross Reference Archive (located elsewhere in this forum) about the somewhat recent but apparently not-yet-successful Marsh Aviation turbine Albatross "Wildfire" firebomber project, they planned to use "new Honeywell TPE331-14GR/HR turboprop engines" which according to FAA TCDS E18NE is rated at 1,723 eshp (1,650 shp.)
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Re: Grumman Albatross HU-16E Resotration

Postby Rajay » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:58 pm

Haven't heard any other "updates" regarding Sean Scott's supposed "G-111T" project recently. I even tried to PM Bryan (Mr. "Seawings" himself) since he started this thread and apparently had some kind of initial contact with Mr. Scott - but I never got a reply.

In the meantime, just last week I found, contacted, and chatted with a guy who used to be a partner in Amphibian Aircraft International, Inc. - the actual current owner of the Grumman G-111 type certificate and the only outfit / company / entity legally authorized to "build" a G-111 Albatross - and he had never heard of Sean Scott or his Albatross restoration / conversion project. That tends to suggest to me that Mr. Scott does not in fact have a license agreement with AAI regarding any kind of G-111 conversion - and therefore he has no authority to do it. And also doesn't have a clear understanding of what is involved in such a conversion, either.

As it turns out, the guy I "found" who used to be a partner in AAI was actually a former colleague of mine in a different seaplane company - I already knew him from just a few years ago! Talk about a "small world"!!!! I had no idea that he had gone on to become involved in AAI, but now he has gone back to an airline job.
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Re: Grumman Albatross HU-16E Resotration

Postby Rajay » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:32 pm

Also just noticed that as of April 10, 2013, the FAA registration for Sean Scott's Albatross as N330LL has Expired and has not been renewed. Apparently, it hasn't been "reserved" for any future use either.

I have no idea if that indicates that he has given up - or maybe just that it didn't make any sense to keep up an active / formal FAA registration when the aircraft itself was probably still years away from being ready or even able to fly again.

There was a little blurb on the "News" page of his Web site, dated as I recall back in April as well, that suggested he might have some kind of funding on the way to move the project forward, but apparently that hasn't actually come through yet. (There seems to be a lot of that going around....)
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