Monday, April 14, 2008

Grumman JF-2 Duck

Grumman Aircraft Co. produced Ducks for the Navy and Coast Guard from 1933 to 1946. The Grumman Duck was used widely in the Pacific durring World War two. The Grumman JF-2 Duck was used in the Philippines as an inter coastal aircraft and excelled because of it's ability to handle rough water.

The Duck originated with designs made by Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation. When Loening was taken over by Curtiss-Wright in 1929, several key employees of the former Loening Aeronautical, including Leroy Grumman, formed the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation which was financed by Grover Loening.

Grumman accepted the aircraft as "Design 7". After modifications to facilitate manufacturing, Grumman submitted the specifications to the Navy in 1932 and the Navy accepted it as the XJF-1.

On Tuesday, April 25, 1933, the XJF-1 flew for the first time. Pilot Paul Hovgaard, took off from a grass strip in front of the Grumman factory at Farmingdale, NY. Power for the XJF-1 and the JF-1 came from a 14 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1830-62 Twin Wasp engine of 700 hp (522.4 kW) and a Hamilton Standard three blade prop.

A large single large float was mounted under the centerline of the craft. Faired into the sides of the main float was the main landing gear which could be raised and lowered by a system of motors, sprockets, chains and gears. A small float was mounted near the tip of each wing. The crew consisted of a pilot and rear gunner under the telescoping canopy. There were also provisions for two passengers located just aft of the lower wing in the main float.

A total of 632 JF/J2F Ducks were built in all. By 1945 they were scattered all over the world, including the Philippines, performing duties nothing short of amazing.

This is selected footage from the film Murphy's War starring Peter O'toole. I am not sure which I feel more sorry for, the pilot or the aircraft. Obviously a versitile aircraft it takes a beating in this video clip. Check it out.

This clip is featuring a Duck painted like "Candy Clipper", a Grumman Duck that saw duty in the Philippines during WW II. The Clipper flew medical supplies, and candy to the troops during the seige of the Philippines in 1942. It was the last aircraft to leave the Philippines before the Japanese took possession of the Islands.

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