Grumman JRF Goose 


The Grumman Goose was an american monoplane seaplane based on a pre-war G-21 design which had shown remarkable durability. Initially designed as one of Grumman's passenger seaplanes, the aircraft went on to military use (JRF-1 : JRF-6 depending on role), and civil service worldwide.

Originally conceived as a 6-7 seat 'commuter' plane for businessmen in the Long Island area, the first deliveries off the Goose production line were made in 1937. The USN showed an interest in the amphibious aircraft in 1938, eventually acquiring 222 of the type. The aircraft also served with the US Coast guard and the US Army, before serving in a military role with Britain, Canada, France, and Portugal. A total of 376 aircraft were built by 1945. Subsequent modifications (since 1966) have seen some of the aircraft modified (mostly by McKinnon Enterprises) to use turbine powerplants.

The Grumman Goose served with the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 until well after the war. 55 were delivered, the majority going to 749 squadrn as Navigation training at Piarco, the first arriving in March 1942, and thelast being delivered in March 1943.

One example, Goose FP522 served at Norfolk, USA from October 1943, with a dual appointment for the Commander (flying) of HMS Indomitable and the Senior British Naval Officer, Fleet Air Arm Naaval Air Station, Norfolf, Virginia whilst the carrier was in reopair there. This particular aircraft for 749 squadron in December 1943 and post war became N74676.

In addition, 5 JRF-5 Goose I and II were delivered from January 1944 until 1945 to the British Air Commission, USA.

All surviving aircraft were returned post war to the US Navy as BuAer Nos 66325-66361.

Fleet Air Arm history
     Grumman Goose
     Total FAA 1939-1945:        55
     First delivered to RN:           1942
     First squadron 1939-1945:   749 sqdn
     Operational squadron:           None
     Last served with RN             Post war
5 Grumman G-21 JRF-5 Goose I and II delivered under Contract No Noa(S) 463
Serial numbers: FP470-FP474

First deld        1.44 to British Air Commission, USA 1944/45

50 grumman G-21 JRF-6b Goose IA Navigation Trainers delivered under Contract No LL86447
Serial Numbers: FP475-FP524

First                 3.42 TOC 749 sqdn Piarco (FP475). All to 749 sqdn in Piarco.
                       Last deld 3.43.
Last with RN     All surviving aircraft returned post war to USN as BuAer Nos 66325-66361

Aircraft Type:
Grumman Goose 
I & II
Primary Role:
First Flight: 
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
Two Pratt & Whitney 450-hp R-985-148
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
 Span : 14.95m (49'0ft) 
 Length : 11.7m (38'4ft) 
 Height : 4.57m (15'0ft) 
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
Weight empty : 2,461kg (5,425lb), max : 3,629kg (8,000lb) 



max speed : 323km/h (201mph) 
max climb : 1,100ft/min (335m/min) 
ceiling :21,000 ft (6,405m) 
range : 1,287km (640miles) 
Accomodation 7-10
British Air Commission - USA 1944/45
Battle honours:
None with FAA
Additional references and notes:

Battle Honours and Operational History
None with FAA

Surviving aircraft and relics
The Grumman Goose is still flying in a number of countries around the world, as well as being preserved in a few naval aviation museums. None are preserved in the UK museums, but there is an example at the National Aviation Museum of Canada and another at the National Naval Aviation Museum (USA). A few survive in private hands and have been converted as "Turbo-goose".

It is not know if many of the former Fleet Air Arm aircraft (BuAer Nos 66325-66361, or N74676) which were returned to the US post war have survived, and might warrant further investigation. Known former Fleet Air Arm aircraft include:

Goose N42GL c/n B-52 (currently privately owned by Charles Greenhill/ Mettawa, IL, USA) is one of the four known surviving Fleet Air Arm Goose's. It  was manufactured in November 1944 for the USN. Served with the Royal Navy, and was later surplused. It was acquired by Alaska Coastal Airlines and later Alaska Coastal-Ellis and Alaska Airlines. Its Registration number was N4773C. It was converted to Turbines, but at some point was converted back to radials. There is an interesting story on the 'net about a USCG guy who was flying on this aircraft during the late 1960's-early 1970's  when they were landing at Sitka on the runway and one of the props went into full pitch when the pilot threw them into reverse. It ended up on the rocks. Later it was acquired by Channel Flying of Juneau Ak. and was registered as N37487. It landed wheels down in the water sometime in 1986 and was registered to Charles Greenhill in 1994 as N42GL.

Gruman Goose preserved in the NAM (Canada)
The National Aviation Museum Canada - the museum's aircraft entered service with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1944. It was then operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police throughout Canada from 1946 to 1994, serving in continuous public use longer than any other Canadian aircraft. Click here to see some video of the Goose on display at The National Aviation Museum.

Goose N3116T ZK-DFC Preserved in USA
The aircraft illustrated above (c/n B-104 formerly N19DF) was purchased by Mt Cook airlines in 1972, before being passed to SeaBee Air along with the other Auckland based seaplanes in 1976. The aircraft was in turn passed to Great Barrier Airlines when that company took over the Barrier run. Retired at the end of April 1990, the ZK-DFC could not find a buyer in New Zealand, and was exported to the United States in August 1991. It operated in Florida as N3116T until16 December 1992 when it hit a reef upon landing off Grand Cacos Island in the Caribbean and sank The salvage rights were acquired by Dieter Martin from West Germany who attempted to raise the plane. This was unsuccessful as the plane slipped into very deep water and could not be located at the time of the salvage attempt.

Two other aircraft of this type, also operated by SeaBee Air have appeared on the New Zealand register. ZK-ENY (G-21A c/n 1145) was registered in late 1978, and ZK-ERX (G-21G c/n 1062/1205) in 1980. ZK-ENY was used by Canterbury Planes before being exported to Australia in 1989. It later operated in Thailand as HS-TPA, before being sold at auction to Dieter Martin. He shipped the aircraft back to Germany by freighter, where it is currently being restored back to flying condition.

Goose N4575C preserved in the US

Penn Air operates a commercial Grumman Goose G21-A N4763C and can fly up to 9 passengers in Alaska.

Pacific Coastal Airlines Ltd, Richmond, British Columbia (Canada) operates a fleet of four Grumman Goose for commercial and passenger use. The oldest aircraft was manufactured in 1940 and the youngest in 1948. (see website about the Goose).

Associations and reunions
  • Seaplane Pilots Association of USA
  • Goose Owners and Operators including Forum and emails
  • Pacific Coastal Airlines Ltd, Richmond, British Columbia (Canada)
    Goose Central  This is a Grumman Goose website database for all known and lost Gooses.
    Grumman G-21A Goose by Kiwi Aircraft images Details of the Grumman Goose in New Zealand
    Gneeches Grumman Goose Page  Goose news, goose owners and email forum.
    Amphibian aircraft  Goose gallery of photos
    Pacific Coastal Airlines Ltd, Richmond, British Columbia (Canada)   Goose operators
    Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 085130 232 7 
    Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000


    Return to Home Page


    This page is published by Fleet Air Arm Archive and is updated regularly.
    © 2000-2001 All rights reserved for all information created for or on behalf of the Fleet Air Arm Archive
    Contact email: