The Grumman Goose flies out of Port Hardy BC on Vancouver Island and is part of Pacific Coastal Airlines. The Float Division is based at Port Hardy and has offices in Port McNeill, and Bella Bella. Their fleet consist of 3 Viking Beaver and 4 Grumman Goose. I recently flew a 3-1/2 milk run with the Goose and the radials sound great through your ear plugs and even better without.
The Grumman Goose got its start when in 1936, a group of wealthy residents of Long Island approached Grumman and commissioned an aircraft that they could use to fly to New York City. In response the Grumman Model G-21 was designed as an eight seat amphibian transport.
The rugged construction was matched to an all-metal, high-winged monoplane powered by two 450 horsepower (340 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Jr. nine-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines mounted on the leading edge of high-set wings. The deep fuselage served also as a hull and was equipped with hand-cranked retractable landing gear. First flight of the prototype took place on May 29, 1937.
Pratt & Whitney developed the R-985 Wasp Junior as a smaller version of the R-1340 Wasp to compete in the market for medium-sized aircraft engines. Like its larger brother, the Wasp Junior was an air-cooled nine-cylinder radial, with its power boosted by a gear-driven single-speed centrifugal supercharger. Its cylinders were smaller, however, with a bore and stroke of 5+3⁄16 in (132 mm), giving a lesser total displacement. The Wasp Junior used many parts from the Wasp and even had the same mounting dimensions, allowing an aircraft to easily use either the smaller or the larger engine. The first run of the Wasp Junior was in 1929, and sales began in 1930. The initial version, the Wasp Junior A, produced 300 hp (224 kW).
Pratt & Whitney followed the Wasp Junior A with more powerful models in the "A series". These had higher compression ratios, greater RPM limits, and more effective supercharging, and they led to the "B series". The first B series model was the Wasp Junior TB, which could maintain 420 hp (313 kW) at sea level and could reach 440 hp (328 kW) for takeoff. The TB was tuned for best performance at sea level; it was soon joined by the Wasp Junior SB, which was tuned for best performance at altitude and could sustain 400 hp (298 kW) at altitudes up to 5,000 ft (1,500 m), with 450 hp (336 kW) available for takeoff. A still later model, the Wasp Junior T1B2, had improved performance at low level, being able to sustain 450 hp (336 kW) up to 1,500 ft (460 m) while still matching the SB's power at high altitudes.The SB and T1B2, and later versions of these with similar performance, were the most popular Wasp Junior models. One later development of the T1B2, the Wasp Junior B4, was especially designed for vertical mounting in helicopters.
During the mid-1930s, Pratt & Whitney developed a still greater improvement of the Wasp Junior, the "C series", with an even higher compression ratio and RPM limit. The only type produced in this series, the Wasp Junior SC-G, could sustain 525 hp (391 kW) at altitudes as high as 9,500 ft (2,900 m) and could produce 600 hp (447 kW) for takeoff. It also included reduction gearing to allow the high-revving engine to drive a propeller at suitable speeds, hence the "-G" suffix. Aviator Jacqueline Cochran flew a special Model D17W Beechcraft Staggerwing with this engine in 1937, setting a speed and altitude record and placing third in the Bendix transcontinental race. However, the SC-G never got past the experimental stage.
Having an amphibious configuration also allowed the G-21 to go just about anywhere, and plans were made to market it as an amphibian airliner. A total of 345 were built, with about 60 still airworthy today, most being in private ownership, some of them operating in modified forms.
The Grumman Goose has been featured in films and television. A U.S. Navy JRF-1 Goose in early World War II paint scheme appears in full color closeup water-taxiing and climbing a ramp in the 1943 submarine film Crash Dive.
A Grumman Goose is piloted by Rae Dawn Chong's character, Cindy (an off-duty flight attendant), throughout the Commando (1985) motion picture starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. A Goose named Cutter's Goose is prominent on the 1980s TV series Tales of the Gold Monkey starring Stephen Collins, inspired by the movie Only Angels Have Wings.
For the Goose fans, there is a company developing a “G-21 Super Goose” manufactured from scratch and updated with the latest in avionics, precision engineering and modern production techniques. This version will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A turbine engines.
Photo of Grumman Goose
Canadian Airline Blog
Sun, Jun 19 2011 12:29 PM
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