Major shift in G-111 ownership

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Major shift in G-111 ownership

Postby Rajay » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:07 pm

As of just this month, 7 of the 13 Grumman G-111 conversions have been saved from scrapping and bought by a guy with a dream in Hannibal, MO. All of the G-111 Albatrosses that have been stored in Marana, AZ for the past 30 years without ever really being used or flown in commercial service since their conversion were obtained by Marsh Aviation a few years back to use in their "Wildfire" water bomber conversion project which among other mods were going to replace the R-1820 radial engines with TPE331 series turboprops. However, now it seems that Marsh has abandoned those plans and was all set to scrap these 7 G-111 aircraft - until Mike Barron of Barron Aviation Private Flight Services and the Rapid Descent Jump School in Hannibal, MO stepped in and bought up the entire lot. Now it is reported that he has just 18 months to make them airworthy enough to ferry back to Missouri (or presumably disassemble and truck them back) to keep them away from the scrap man! (The aviation equivalent of a boogeyman!)

Hats off to Mike! I'm sure that we all wish him and his crew the best of luck!

More on the story here:

The aircraft in question are:

N112FB - registered as a 1979 Grumman model G-111 serial number 148328 (the 2nd to last UF-2 / HU-16 ever built and served with the JMSDF as no. 9055) it is really Grumman factory serial no. G-463 This one is the 'dark horse' or 'black sheep' of the G-111 family because apparently it never received the new titanium spar caps which granted the other aircraft indefinite service lives; because it retains the 7075-T6 Aluminum spar caps, it is officially limited to 8,900 flight hours.

N113FB - registered as a 1953 Grumman model HU-16E (there is no such thing - the first UF-2G / HU-16E conversion done for the USCG was started in December 1956 and not finished until April 1957) it was really a 1951 model SA-16A (HU-16A) USAF serial no. 51-7244 and Grumman serial no. G-332 that was later converted as a long-wing USAF SA-16B (HU-16B conversion project no. 56B) that later went to the USCG as no. 7244 but it now should be registered as a 1979 - 1983* Grumman G-111 (*since it was one of the last 9 G-111 conversions at St. Augustine FL under PC no. 1050, it is most likely a 1981 - 1983 model.)

N116FB - registered as a 1961 Grumman model G-111 (once again there is no such thing) it was really another ex-JMSDF model UF-2 (no. 9052) that was contracted through the US Navy as Bu. no. 148325 in 1961 but all along it was really Grumman factory serial no. G-460. It was one of the first 4 G-111 conversions done at Stuart, FL under PC no. 23 in the 1979 - 1980 time frame.

N118FB - currently registered as a 1960 Grumman model G-111 (ditto) it was really one of the Grumman design no. G-231 series built as models CSR-110 for the RCAF with the R-1820-82 QEC's to give it engine commonality with that services other Grumman S2F series Tracker aircraft. In the RCAF it was no. 9304 but it is really Grumman factory serial no. G-452 and it was one of the 'later' PC no. 1050 conversions done at St. Augustine, FL.

N119FB - currently registered as a 1960 Grumman model G-111 (ditto) it was an RCAF 'sister ship' of N118FB during which time it was RCAF serial no. 9308; it is really Grumman factory serial no. G-456 and was also a 'later' PC 1050 conversion at St. Augustine.

N122FB - currently registered incorrectly as a 1953 Grumman model HU-16E (again there is no such thing) it was really built originally as a short-wing USAF model SA-16A (HU-16A) with that service's serial no. 51-7168 but Grumman factory serial no. G-218. It was later converted to a long-wing SA-16B (HU-16B) for the USAF as Grumman project no. 74B (the 74th long-wing B model conversion done for the USAF.) I have no specific record that it was ever transferred to the USCG as a model HU-16E but this registration does tend to suggest that it was - where it was presumably identified as serial no. 7168. It was another 'later' G-111 conversion in St. Augustine under PC 1050.

N125FB - currently registered as a 1956 Grumman model HU-16E, it was really built in 1956 as a short-wing US Navy model UF-1 (HU-16C) Grumman factory serial no. G-432 and USN Bu. 141282. It was the 28th long-wing model G-211 conversion done for the USN (i.e. project no. 28D) but once again I have no record that it was ever transferred to the USCG as anything - which is supported by the fact that even though technically incorrect for purposes of civilian registration, it is still identified by its former USN Bu. no. 141282.
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Re: Major shift in G-111 ownership

Postby dogsbody » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:58 pm

Thanks, Rajay.

"What young man could possibly be bored
with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"
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