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This Restored Grumman Mallard Flying Boat is Classier Than a Yacht, More Useful Too
It's Sea Month here at autoevolution. A month in which we celebrate all things that sail across the world's seas and oceans (or seas and oceans on other worlds in some cases). For some people, the only sea vessels worth talking about are luxurious, ornate, and absurdly expensive private yachts.

This Restored Grumman Mallard Flying Boat is Classier Than a Yacht, More Useful Too

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But if you're not in this camp and need something more than an ostentatious display of fabulous wealth to keep your attention, well, there's still something for you here on Sea Month. This is a fully restored 1947 Grumman Mallard twin-engine flying boat that does the one thing no megayacht can ever do, no matter how expensive. That being, slip the bonds of the water and take to the air like some kind of amphibious bird.

Indeed, the former Grumman Aerospace of Bethpage in Long Island, New York, had an affinity for naming their flying boats after birds with a reputation for hanging out on or around water. Be it the G-21 Goose, the G-44 Widgeon, the G-73 Mallard, or the enormous HU-16 Albatross, Grumman manufactured some of the finest and most reliable flying boats of World War II and slightly farther beyond.

In its day, the Mallard was a serviceable civilian and occasional military transport flying boat with a capacity for up to ten passengers in its passenger airliner configuration. The type was based in large part on Grumman's previous flying boat, the G-21 Goose, and therefore the two look remarkably similar. It was used by a multitude of airliners in the English-speaking world, from the U.S. to Canada and Australia.

The Mallard was used by the Royal Egyptian Air Force and was supposedly King Farouk I's favorite airplane to fly in. Of the 59 Grumman Mallards ever built, only a touch over 30 remained on register with the FAA, with others still flying elsewhere in the world.

This particular G-73 Mallard comes to us today via Canadian Aircraft Sales of Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada, and looks a fair bit fresher than any nearly 80-year-old flying boat has any business looking. Though a great many Grumman Mallards have had their original Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp nine-cylinder radial engines removed in place of more powerful turboprops, it's clear to see that this example still rocks OEM engine hardware.

Albeit with newly inspected fresh propellers, the two engines crank out 600 or so horsepower each at the maximum throttle and combine to propel this 12,750 lb (5,783 kg) airframe up to a cruising speed of 160 knots (180 mph, 290 km/h) at 8,000 feet (2,400 m). With a fully fueled range touching 1,200 nautical miles (1,380 mi, 2,220 km), chances are good that a Mallard can get you where you need to go.

This aircraft was transported to the U.S. after its purchase, being sent to Islip Avionics Inc in Islip, New York, for comprehensive structural, engine, and interior maintenance to ensure this 75-and-bit-year-old airframe stays strong and rigid over the next decades of its life. If all the maintenance is kept up, there's no reason to doubt this Grumman Mallard could fly well past its 100th birthday.

To go along with this revitalization, this old bird's cockpit has been fitted with a full suite of communication, navigation, and avionics equipment up to par with all modern FAA rules and regulations. It includes a King KMA-24 Audio Panel & Marker Beacon Receiver, a Garmin GNS 40 multifunctional navigation display, a brand new L-3 ADS-B compliant transponder, and a Garmin 150 GPS unit.

Though the airplane was supposedly purchased in its airliner configuration, it appears to be heavily modified inside to more suit the needs of a private owner that's liable to be purchasing this seaplane in the near future. With ample cabinet space behind the cockpit, another row of three seats, and a full wet bathroom with a running sink and toilet towards the back, there's plenty of space to store everything you'd need for a decent private yacht party.

Envisioning this flying boat coming in for a landing at a private yacht club full of forever sea-locked pleasure yachts and showing up everybody else's shiny and expensive toys is something we can only wish would happen in real life. That said, it's not like this Mallard comes cheap. Because its online ad expresses you have to call to hear the price, one can only assume it'd at least cost as much as a luxury yacht. At least the flying boat is good for more than just showing off.

Check back for more from Sea Month real soon right here on autoevolution.

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


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