Grumman SA-16 Albatross in RCAF Service

Walkaround, and inside photos of various Grumman SA-16 Albatross aircraft, in RCAF operation.

The photo here are by/from Stan Goddard, via Dave Koss, and provided to us via Scott Hemsley (who also provided much assistance in scanning them).

NOTE: Click on the photos for a larger view

`Tundra Queen' (9310) warming-up on the flightline.

That `pole', seemingly supporting the rear of the aircraft, is not a `pogo stick,' but rather a metal pole for the snow fence, in the foreground.

Notes for the modeller: Wing tips, stabilizers, `RESCUE' and the SAR fuselage band, are all red-orange dayglo. The ModelMaster II line have a very good match with their FS28913 Fluorescent Red-Orange.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

RCAF Albatross, no. 9310, sitting on the ice (9310 was a tri-phibian equipped SA-16).

Noteworthy is the mooring rope, fastened to the lower `hull' and stowed in a fashion that sees it split, encircling the nose radome and both pieces, joining up,. to be fastened on the `bow,' at a point near the `bow hatch'. Also note the configuration of the leading edge inlets on the inboard portion of the wings, plus the side mounted ``H'' antenna.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

Again, #9310. This time in flight and sporting the earlier Canadian Red Ensign on the tail (compare to photo #1), dating the photo pre-1965.

Note that the top section of the cabin door is open and that one of the outrigger skies, for the tri-phibian, is clearly shown. Also note that the RCAF Albatross has two DF housings on the forward fuselage.

Photo from the collection of Stan Goddard

#9310, in-flight, take 2!

This view clearly shows the tri-pibian mods. This consisted for two removable, outrigger skies and large 2-part fuselage ski, of which, the rear portion could be removed in summer and replaced by a flat insert. Also sown is a JATO attachment rack (between the last window and the SAR band, plus the long thin aux. tanks, commonly, but not always seen on RCAF Albatross, at least for west coast-based aircraft.

RCAF Albatross also had a football shaped blister, covering the window, just aft of the main gear, on both sides.

Photo from the collection of Stan Goddard

SAR wasn't the only duties for the RCAF's Albatross's. Here, the crew is dropping off supplies at a remote site on the northern B.C. coast.

Note details like the small vents/scoop (facing aft), on the top of the fuselage (in the SAR band). There is also one on the other side, in the identical location. The port football-shaped blister can be seen over the first window, aft of the main gear and in terms of engine detail, you can see the 'slot/ramp for the single exhaust-per-side, of the Wright 1820-82's and the large prominent scoop atop each cowling.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

Taking a break.

Here's a slightly better view of the scoop on top of the engine cowling. Note the 'bulge' by the F/E's foot. That appears on the outboard side of each cowling, as a result of the `cowling exhaust ramp'. Note the oil streaks and general weathering of the cowl area.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

A slight twist on the typical `hero pose.' Contrary to the firm belief of some, Canada is not like this, year 'round. Several of Stan's photos were taken on deployment to the NWT and around remote areas of B.C's coast.

Modelling notes from this photo might include `wheel well colour,' `access ladder detail,' `another glimpse of the port-side main landing gear' and a `closer look at that blister over the window.' Note that the window, itself is a little larger than the others, and that the blister just covers the width of the window, while extending/tapering back beyond the window to a point roughly above the `AN' in the RCAF titles. One can also appreciate the sprayed aluminum finish, not a dull natural metal.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

Forget the one in the background and concentrate! ... NOW, things for the modeller to note in this photo:

  • the style of the aux. tank and the `hardpoint,'
  • plus the actual `frail' appearance of the main landing gear.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

....... in it's element.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

Now for the group shot - the crew of #9310.

Just to confuse matters, note the wheel well is now sprayed aluminum, like the rest of the aircraft.

Photo from the collection of Stan Goddard

Engine close-up of #9309.

The 10 RCAF Albatross' were part of the 16 (the other 6 went to Japan), that were re-engined with the Wright 1820-82 engine.

For modelling purposes, a late B-17 cowling/engine, is a good match. Note, in this photo and others, the shape of the prop tips. Not rounded as in the Monogram kit, but `blunted.'

Further characteristics of the Wright 1820-82 installation were the large single intakes on the top of cowling and the exhaust system. Whereas the majority of the Albatross line, had six exhaust stacks, recesses per side, the 1820-82, had a single stack per side, recessed in a similar manner.

Also note the appearance of the skeleton-like hardpoint, for the aux. tank. Quite different from the solid-style hardpoint and the short teardrop-shaped aux. tank, modelled in the Monogram kit.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

Engine maintenance.

Again, one notices the shape of the prop tips. Also note that for the the real picky types, the `sheath' on the prop hub is not only shinier in appearance than the bulk of the prop hub, but appears to be separate from the hub, only extending down to a point above the prop blades.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

This photo was take on the ramp at the local airport, while on a SAR up in Yellowknife, NWT, in 1963. After a week, the two RCAF Albatross and a single Dakota, were joined by two USAF HU-16's, partially due to the fact that the missing personal were American.

It was at the conclusion of this SAR, that the two RCAF Albatross, nos. 9310 and 9309, acquired the names `Northern Dancer' and `Tundra Queen,' while the USAF a/c were tagged `City of Yellowknife' and `Caribou Queen of the NWT.' These names were first applied with electrical tape (see photo #1), but after the next servicing in Winnipeg, the RCAF crews found the taped names were replaced with painted-on names.

Photo by: Stan Goddard

Showing it's triphibian nature, engines running, but at rest on a frozen lake.

Note the engine cowlings and that large single scoop. Once again, the SAR band, wing-tips, stabilizers and `RESCUE,' are a red-orange dayglo, not red.

Photo by: Stan Goddard