Amphibian Aerospace Industries (
The HU-16 was widely used from the 1950s to 1980s in the search and rescue role, says Greg Hanlon, vice president and director of engineering at the company. A commercial variant, the G-111, was produced in small numbers in the 1980s.
Amphibian Aerospace will set up a factory in Australia to restart production of the aircraft in a new G111T “Turbo Albatross” configuration.
The company recently entered an agreement with the New South Wales government to invest A$100 million ($77 million) in a factory at the state’s Central Coast airport, north of Sydney.
Unlike its piston-powered predecessors, the G-111T will be powered by turboprops. Both the Honeywell TPE331 and Pratt & Whitney PW118 are suitable for the aircraft, says Hanlon. A decision will be made based on an evaluation of the customer support available for either engine.
Hanlon says the turboprop's improved fuel efficiency will greatly improve the aircraft’s range.
Other upgrades will be applied to the flight controls, fuel system, electrical system, and environmental system. The aircraft will also receive a new glass cockpit avionics suite. The G-111T will not have an auxiliary power unit (
“We’ll look at the existing build from the 1950s and consider adding modern materials and fabrication techniques to maximise the production capabilities,” says Hanlon.
“There have been sales enquiries from many operators/industries including defence ministries, tourist operators, search and rescue, defence contractors, ocean liner operators, cargo/utility operators, mining companies, divisions of government such as the department that manages the Antarctic, department that manages the coastline of many countries,