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1946 Grumman G44A Widgeon

History of then Grumman Widgeon

The Widgeon was developed in 1940 as a smaller version of the venerable G-21 Goose.   Grumman felt that there was a need for a smaller executive transport plane needed.   Its FAA Type certificate A-734 as 5 PCL-AmFbM.   Which means that it is a 5 Place cabin amphibian monoplane.  The type certificate was issued on April 5, 1941 as a G44.   The widgeon was quickly pressed into service in World War II as an Army OA-14 and a Navy J4F-2.   The G44A was approved in October of 1945.    Widgeons served as observation planes and sub hunters.   They would carry 200lb depth charges for submarine hunting and could be armed with guns as well.   Widgeons have served in militaries all over the world.   The Royal Navy called them Goslings.   The French produced a number of Widgeons called SCAN-30s under license.   Overall, Grumman produced 276 Widgeons including 176 for the military and 76 G44A models.  The French built 41 SCAN-30s.  After the war Grumman improved the hull by deepening the "V" on the forward hull to improve water handling.

Widgeons were originally equipped with Ranger 200hp engines and wooden fixed pitch propellors.   This combination was not a great performer, especially on one engine.   After the war lighter and more powerful engines were available and most widgeons have been converted.   Notable conversions include the 240hp Continental 0-470, the 260hp Continental IO-470, Lycoming GO-435 and GO-480, Continental IO-520, Lycoming TIO-540, and even round Lycoming 680-13 engines.

Our Widgeon, serial number 1464, was originally produced in 9/11/1946 and was sold to Union Oil Company on May 5, 1948.  Where it remained until 1975.   It was converted to Continental 240 hp 0-470 engines.    It was sold and moved to Alaska in 1976 where it lived until 1990 when Chester Lawson bought it and moved it to Florida and started training in the airplane under H2OFlight.    I flew the airplane in 2012 and got my multi-engine sea rating with Chester.   It was an awesome experience.    In 2017 I took the wife down to Daytona to look at buying the operation.   I expected her to talk me out of the endeavor.    We flew the plane and she fell in love with it, just like I did.   We closed the deal in February of 2018 and we've been at work training new multi-engine sea pilots ever since.  

Specifications

  • Crew                    1

  • Passengers        4

  • Length                31 feet 1 inch

  • Wingspan           40 feet

  • Height                 11 feet 5 inches

  • Wing Area            245 sq feet

  • Empty Weight     3240 lb

  • Gross Weight      4325 lb

  • Power Plant        2xRanger L-440-5 air-cooled inverted six cylinder inline engines @ 200 hp each

Performance

  • Maximum Speed 153 mph

  • Cruise Speed       138 mph

  • Range                   920 miles

  • Service Ceiling    14,600 feet

  • Rate of Climb       700 ft/min

Armament

  • Guns 1 or 2 .30 Caliber  or .50 Caliber machine guns

  • firing out the side windows

  • 1 200 lb depth charge in anti submarine mode