The SA-16A Albatross was designed for the U.S. Navy in 1944 as a replacement for the Grumman JRF Goose. Initial testing in 1947 led not only to Navy orders, but to orders from the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard as well. All three services primarily used the aircraft for search-and-rescue duties as well as general maritime patrol. In the early 1960s they were redesignated as HU-16s as a part of the joint Air Force-Navy aircraft designation system. The HU-16B is an updated version of Albatross with a longer wingspan and larger flight control surfaces. Many of the HU-16As were modified into HU-16Bs. The Albatross served until well into the 1970s. Some can still be found flying in private hands.
This aircraft was heavily modified for civil use as a recreational aircraft. One of the modifications was two pods mounted to the wing pylons each containing a Polaris SL650 Jet Ski. After landing in the water, the jet skis could be lowered into the water for use.
John Gasho, Sr., Tucson, Arizona, 2021
Pima Air & Space Museum
Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight.
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