From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon style!

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From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon style!

Postby Rajay » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:42 pm

McKinnon serial no. 1201

N150M


With apologies to Bill B. (aka "Mr. Widgeon") I've been wanting to do this same kind of thing with Gooses for a long time - and especially with the rare McKinnon conversions, not just "Grumman" Gooses still certified under ATC-654 as modified by McKinnon STCs, but the very few that were fully "converted" - not only heavily modified but also extensively rebuilt as "new" aircraft and completely re-certified as "McKinnon" G-21 series aircraft under FAA type certificate no. 4A24.

McKinnon's very first full Goose conversion was done using a former "British" model JRF-6B, Grumman OEM serial no. 1147. It had been built in June 1942 as part of a contract for 50 such aircraft for the Royal Navy (not the RAF as is commonly reported.) However, s/n 1147, which was initially assigned US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics serial or "Bu." no. 0203B and British serial no. BW800 in conjunction with the initial procurement contract (but BW800 was NTU and serial no. FP497 later assigned instead) was actually held back from the British order and it was never delivered to them. Instead, it was handed over for use by the US Army Air Corps to help to make up for some of their losses of the same type (actually model OA-9 aircraft) early in the US involvement in the war.

After the war, when s/n 1147 was returned to the US Navy for final disposition, it was assigned a new "Bu." no. - 66357 - and it was eventually transferred, in Dec. 1946, to the US Dept. of the Interior for use by the Fish & Wildlife Service in Alaska. At that point, it was registered for the first time as a civilian model G-21A - as NC709.

In January 1957, it was sold to McKinnon Enterprises Inc. of Sandy, OR (USA) and "de-registered" so that FWS could retain the use of "N709" because all 700 series aircraft registration numbers were reserved for its exclusive use. (Its "sister" agency the Bureau of Land Management, aka BLM, used 600 series registration numbers and its Gooses included N640, N641, N642, N643, and N644, Grumman serial nos. B-123, B-115, B-137, B-145, and B-130 respectively.)

Between January 1957 and December 1958, McKinnon converted Grumman G-21A s/n 1147 into McKinnon G-21C s/n 1201 in accordance with TC 4A24 Section I and McKinnon Master Drawing List no. 7. Incorporated into it were many of the same features that had been previously developed for use on legacy Grumman G-21A series aircraft and approved by the FAA as STCs in their own right - features such as the extended, fiberglass "radar" nose cone, the one-piece "wrap-around" windshield, the enlarged main cabin "picture" windows, the retractable wingtip floats, wing leading edge landing lights, and the extended dorsal fin. Other features not covered by separate STCs for use on legacy Grumman G-21A aircraft were the installations of the four 340 hp Lycoming GSO-480-B2D6 geared, supercharged, opposed (i.e. "flat") piston engines and numerous internal structural reinforcements which most significantly allowed the model G-21C to be operated and certified essentially all the way up to the FAA's "Small" aircraft and single-pilot weight limit of 12,500 lbs.

Image
This is McKinnon G-21C s/n 1201, N150M, in Bethpage, NY in April 1960 when Angus McKinnon went there to buy
1939 Grumman G-21A s/n 1054, N704A, from the Grumman factory, which had been using it as a support aircraft
ever since buying it back from a private owner in Pennsylvania in 1948. BTW, Grumman G-21A s/n 1054 was
originally painted overall red with a white "lightning bolt" stripe on each side and a black lower hull up to the
"waterline" and it was registered as NC3055 for the Texas Oil Co. - aka Texaco. Does that sound familiar?
Last edited by Rajay on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon style!

Postby Rajay » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:17 pm

McKinnon serial no. 1202

N3459C / AP-AUY / S2-AAD


Prior even to completing G-21C s/n 1201, which was eventually registered as N150M in Dec. 1958, McKinnon bought a second Goose to convert in the same way. He found N5623V in Hawaii where it had been registered to the Honolulu Dept. of Public Instruction as Grumman G-21A s/n 37825 (but that was actually its former US Navy "Bureau" number and its correct Grumman OEM serial no. was B-78.) N5623V had been built originally by Grumman as a US Navy model JRF-5 (Bu. no. 37825) in August 1944.

After its service with the US Navy, which took it from NAS New York to San Francisco (NAS Alameda) to the Philippines (Manus, Sangley Point, and Samar) and then back to San Diego, CA, Bethage, NY and even NAS Annapolis, MD, JRF-5 Bu. no. 37825 eventually ended up being overhauled at NAS Quonset Point, RI between June 1951 and June 1952. It was then put into storage and SOC (Struck Off Charge) on October 13, 1952 with a meager 2,363 hours "total time in service" on its records.

At some point it was transferred to the US Coast Guard as JRF-5G serial no. 7825 and by February 1954, it had been assigned to CGAS Barbers Point, HI. It was eventually "retired" from the Coast Guard and disposed of locally sometime during 1955 or 1956, going to the local pubic school system presumably as some kind of technical training aid. Who knows, maybe it was actually utilized as a utility or personnel / staff transport for the Honolulu Dept. of Public Instruction. In any case, it was then sold to McKinnon Enterprises Inc. on December 17, 1957 and de-registered as "N5623V" on January 15, 1958.

Image

After McKinnon completed N150M in December 1958, he jumped right into the conversion of this second new model G-21C. Even before its conversion was completed, he sold it to the Everbrite Electric Sign Co. of Milwaukee, WI on March 23, 1959, but it was not completed, certified, and "signed off" as McKinnon G-21C s/n 1202 until August 6, 1959, whererupon it was registered as N3459C.

The Wamser family of Milwaukee, the owners of the Everbrite Electric Sign Co., used N3459C for frequent fishing and hunting trips to lakes and other backwoods areas of Canada over the next 6 1/2 years or so. There was even one occasion when they encountered icing conditions that forced them to make an emergency landing on a remote section of highway in Canada and the photo on the front page of the local paper made for an interesting story.
Last edited by Rajay on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:56 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon st

Postby MrWidgeon » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:45 pm

So far so good although the picture of N150M is badly distorted.
The paint scheme for NC3055 sounds right, later when Grumman bought it back for use as a company transport and rescue airplane it was repainted in the house colors of Red & Black with a White top over the cabin.

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From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon style!

Postby Rajay » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:59 pm

Is this one of N150M better?

Image

I have only B&W photos of s/n 1054 as NC3055 in the early 1940's (including the one in Ginter's book) and as N704A in 1960 when McKinnon bought it and took it to Oregon. I'm still fudging image hosts, but I'd be glad to e-mail copies of the N704A photos in Sandy, OR to you. There is also one of it parked next to N150M in Bethpage in April 1960 with a blast fence right behind them. In fact, the first photo of N150M looks like it was cropped out of the photo that I have in mind - and this second one was taken in the same place.

One of the other photos of N704A that I mentioned is already hosted on the Aerial Visuals site:

http://www.aerialvisuals.ca/Airframe/Gallery/0/5/0000005371.jpg (posted there by me, so I feel justified linking to it...)
Last edited by Rajay on Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon style!

Postby Rajay » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:14 pm

BTW: this Ertl-built die-cast coin bank collectible, part of the 1996 Texaco series, is supposed to be NC3055, G-21A s/n 1054, when it was owned and operated by Texaco:

Image

...but it doesn't have the black lower hull painted up to the waterline and according to the B&W photo in the Ginter book, there were no trim stripes or other details on the engine cowlngs (at least at the time of that photo.) I believe that they may have taken some creative liberties with that Goose paint scheme based on this similar Grumman G-73 Mallard also operated by Texaco:

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l19/Mr_Widgeon/Mallards/J11N2948cr.jpg

Also, based on my personal experience with the actual aircraft in question, the Ertl model got the Texaco stars in the wrong location; they were actually a bit further back on the aft fuselage, but the vertical stab did have "The Texas Co." painted on it just as on the model.

Also, the model was molded (or cast) with some details that were not correct for that actual aircraft either. The model has the 1-piece bow hatch mod; NC3055 never did (still doesn't now as N66QA.) The model also has the huge 2-piece removable "smokejumper" cargo door on the right side - the outline of which is visible in his photo between the Texaco star on the aft fuselage and the last window in the main cabin; the actual airplane never did have that mod either.

My theory is that Ertl used Bill Rose's Goose (N600ZE, s/n B-100) as a reference for their details - it had all of the mods in question and was based at the time not far from where Ertl is located, but the actual "Texaco" Goose actually did not have those mods. BTW, too, there was more than one "Texaco" Goose - before s/n 1054, they also had a silver one with a red stripe, NC20648, G-21A s/n 1018. A photo hosted elsewhere is here:

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb284/armyjunk1/Aviation%20Country%20Club/avcntyclub001GrumG-21Goose9.1942.jpg
Last edited by Rajay on Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:23 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon style!

Postby Rajay » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:48 pm

Here's the full photo of McKinnon G-21C s/n 1201, N150M, with Grumman G-21A s/n 1054, N704A, on the ramp together presumably at Bethpage, LI, NY in April 1960 ('cuz that's when McKinnon bought N704A...)

Image

Bill, you said that N704A was painted red and black with a white roof? N150M was white with red stripes. So, now I'm trying to colorize this photo with my imagination....
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Re: From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon st

Postby MrWidgeon » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:02 am

Leroy Grumman insisted that ALL company owned planes be painted Red & Black, the White cabin roof is obvious.
The prototype Widgeon was Yellow & Black, but that was quickly changed to Red & Black, as was the G-58A (F8F-2) N700A and proto. Mallard though it had a lot of white too.

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From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon style!

Postby Rajay » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:03 am

BTW: N150M, McKinnon G-21C s/n 1201, and N3459C, McKinnon G-21C s/n 1202 (which was later re-registered first as AP-AUY in East Pakistan and then as S2-AAD in Bangladesh) can be distinguished from each other pretty easily; for one thing, N150M was painted with red stripes and N3459C with blue stripes.

Image
This is McKinnon G-21C s/n 1202 as AP-AUY in September 1967 at Gatwick Airport
just south of London while on its way to East Pakistan for the first time.

Even in B&W photos and where the registration is not visible, there were subtle differences. N150M retained the full, original Grumman double-vent extended hull step that was developed for the G-21A (differentiating it from the first, plain model "G-21" variants - see photos in previous posts above) but on N3459C, McKinnon cropped part of that extended step and installed instead one of the first iterations of his version of the tunnel vents that Grumman had developed for the Widgeon and Albatross. It's the dark rectangle on the side of the fuselage above and behind the main gear well and aligned with the leading edge of the large cabin window - and the outlet was way down along the each side of the center keel behind the main hull step.

Also, N3459C (s/n 1202) had black wing and empennage leading edge (de-icer?) boots but N150M (s/n 1201) did not; its wing leading edges were white...

And N150M had McKinnon's kinda "funky" boom or stalk-mounted wingtip navigation lights, but N3459C had its nav lights mounted in the nose of each wingtip float just as McKinnon installed them on almost all of the rest of his Goose conversions under TC 4A24.

One other detail, now that I'm looking at them side-by-side, so to speak; on N150M the main fuselage stripe starts/stops (depending how you look at it) significantly behind the nose cone, whereas on N3459C, it extends all the way onto the nose cone itself.
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Re: From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon st

Postby MrWidgeon » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:14 am

You know me, I'm ALWAYS up for new Grumman photos.

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From the beginning, starting with c/n 1201 - McKinnon style!

Postby Rajay » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:34 pm

McKinnon serial no. 1251

N150M


In June 1960, McKinnon G-21C serial no. 1201 officially ceased to exist...
Not because it was destroyed or damaged in any way, but because Angus McKinnon just couldn't resist continuing to tinker on it and tweak its design.

He ended up installing a 36-inch long extension in the nose section forward of the cockpit and in that new "stretched" forward baggage area, he installed four additional passenger seats. By also revising the seat configuration in the main cabin as well, he took it from a total of 9 seats (pilot + 8 passengers) to a new total of 14 seats. In addition to the extra seats, the new nose section also had a new window corresponding to each new seat (two on each side) and the second window on the left side at least also included an emergency exit hatch.

In order to compensate for the additional weight added forward of the center of gravity (CG) McKinnon modified the horizontal stabilizers and elevators on N150M, extending them each by 12 inches.

In this configuration, N150M was re-certified all over again as a new model aircraft, becoming in the process 1960 McKinnon G-21D serial no. 1251 as shown here:

Image

Note as well the darker leading edges of the wings in this shot; they still are not de-icer boots but rather only new painted accent stripes matching the red color of the fusealge accent stripes.

In spite of its improved utility and extra seating capacity, the quite ungainly-looking McKinnon model G-21D still did not stimulate much commercial interest and N150M, s/n 1251, remained the only example ever built.

*Photo credit: Gary L. Killion was an FAA powerplant engineer and DER working out of the Los Angeles office at the time and he oversaw many of McKinnon's conversion projects on behalf of the FAA. This particular photo, dated May 10, 1965, was taken on the ramp adjacent to the grass strip of McKinnon Airpark (Identifier OG29) near Sandy, OR just prior to the start of one more major (and final) conversion done to N150M...
Last edited by Rajay on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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