It might be a 70-year-old design, but Antilles Seaplanes believes there is a big market for a brand-new G-21 Super Goose.
Visitors to the booth will get the rare chance to climb inside only one of three remaining Grumman Super Goose anywhere in the world – this one originally built in 1944 but converted in 1970 by Mackinnon, belongs to Detroit-based pilot Bob Redner.
Redner, whose aircraft has flown 7,000 hours since it was converted in1970, says the Super Goose still has modern seaplanes beat. “It flies further than modern seaplanes, it’s faster and carries more – it’s wonderful,” he says.
Antilles, based in North Carolina, owns the type certificate for the Grumman G-21 and has received FAA go-ahead to re-start production of an improved version.
The revived Super Goose will feature modern upgrades including twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprops, glass panel avionics and plush interior. Melding modern production techniques and the rugged design principles of the original.
The first three aircraft are in the early stages of final assembly, with the first completion scheduled for the second quarter 2009, says David Dyer, director of sales and marketing for Antilles.
The FAA has given the company approval to start final assembly, and a production certificate is expected in eight months after the agency can inspect the first completed aircraft, Dyer says.
Antilles’ business case is greatly aided by owning the type certificate for the aircraft, Dyer said. This avoids a costly and risky airworthiness certification process for the new product, and limits development costs to under $20 million, he says.
“Now we’re trying to tell folks that we’re here,” says Dyer “It has the rugged construction and best features of the original Grumman Goose design, with the addition of upgraded turboprop engines. This adds 50% more horsepower for faster cruise speed, extended range and a significantly higher payload.”
The company has secured orders from private individuals for the first three aircraft. Multiple deals with Part 135 operators are also “in the works”, he says.
The new G-21 is being designed to carry a pilot plus 10 passengers or a total load of 5,500lb at speeds up to 200kts. Range is 1,200 nautical miles, fuel consumption 80gph.
Dyer says production is aimed at up to 24 airplanes per year. “I see our markets being mostly commercial and a few wealthy private individuals,” explains Dyer. “Because the aircraft can land and takeoff almost anywhere, I believe oil companies, emerging economies in Africa and the obvious markets of Australia, Indian, South America, Canada and USA will be our main customer areas.”
The cost of the new aircraft is approximately $2.95million.
Source: Flight International