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The Mighty Albatross

The Grumman HU-16, HU-16A, and HU-16B are mighty beasts. ___  were produced at Grumman's plant in [Bethpage? Farmingdale?] New York between 1947 and 19__.  The plane is the largest of Grumman's family of hulled amphibians and was used around the world by U.S. and foreign military services (Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy) for decades. 

The last U.S. military use of the Albatross ended in 1983 when the last Coast Guard HU-16E was retired. Albatrosses continue to serve in military services of less developed nations.

Most Albatrosses are powered by two nine-cylinder Wright R182076A or -76B engines, geared three engine to two propeller revolutions.

 I had the privilege of flying this Albatross on Lake Mead, Nevada in 1998.

Another picture of this plane

There were about ten Albatrosses at Sun-N-Fun 1999, half of which were for sale.  Prices for snazzed-up ones ranged between $600,000 and $900,000!

Other Albatross sightings:

N121FB parked at Boulder City
On the water at Lake Mead
Refueling at Boulder City ("We'll take 150 gallons per side, please... and ten gallons of oil!")
N43__ at Oshkosh AirVenture
Navy Albatross parked at the EAA Museum at Lakeland
Coast Guard Albatross parked at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks
Jimmy Buffet's N92BJ moored at Lake Parker Seaplane Base during Sun-N-Fun
Kitty Courson's wonderful picture of an Albatross (with USAF markings) taxiing out of Vette Seaplane Base on Lake Winnebago during Oshkosh AirVenture.  Thanks Kitty!
Civil Air Patrol cadets watching its take off run
Is this a picture of the inside of a cruising yacht?  No, it's the inside of this Albatross parked at Sun-N-Fun!
Compare of the size of an Albatross to my Lake

Thanks to Rob Carlson and Steve Ginter for Albatross-related information and hospitality.

Source: Naval Fighters issue 11, "Grumman HU-16 Albatross," by Steve Ginter. ISBN 0-942612-11-8.

Check out the Albatross Web Page which has dozens more pictures.