1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross Left Search and Rescue Behind, Looking to Retire

With 5,710 hours total time since new, this 1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross is no youngster. Its age – 62 years old – also point to the fact that this plane is an old-timer. But as often is the case with old airplanes, age is not necessarily a problem.
1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross 7 photos
1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross1959 Grumman HU-16 Albatross
The Grumman Albatross as a family of flying machines had its first flight all the way back in 1947. It entered production two years later, and kept rolling off the assembly lines until 1961. During that time, almost 500 of them were made, and some were flown by various organizations and countries even until the mid-1990s.

As it we can clearly see, the Albatross was designed as an amphibious plane, meaning it was equally talented at landing on solid ground as it was on water. That made it an ideal piece of hardware for search and rescue operations, and it was extensively used as such by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard. Other nations deployed it too - about 20 foreign countries, including China, Mexico, or Norway.

There were a number of versions of this plane made, including the HU-16B we have here. The B in the name signals this one was deployed with the U.S. Air Force and came with a longer wing.

Powered by two Wright Cyclone engines good for 1,425 hp each during takeoff, the plane was capable of flying at a maximum speed of 236 mph (380 kph), and for as much as 2,850 mi (4,590 km). It could accommodate a crew of up to 65 people, and carry 10 passengers.

The HU-16B we feature here, located in California, has room for three people in the cockpit (2 pilots + passenger), six others in the back, and there’s even a mid-cabin bunk mounted in there. We’re told it “has a FAA Restricted Category (Carriage of Cargo) Airworthiness Certificate” and it is selling on Platinum Fighters for $299,000.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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