HU-16E Albatross

Crew Chief: Don Thoman

HU-16E Albatross
HU-16E Albatross
HU-16E Albatross
HU-16E Albatross
The HU-16E Albatross on the field at the Pacific Coast Air Museum.

HU-16E Albatross Specifications

Country of Origin: USA
B/N or Serial Number: 7245 
Type: General Purpose Utility Amphibian
Accommodation: Crew of five
Powerplant and fuel system: Two Cyclone R-1820-76A radial piston engines of 1,425 HP each
JATO (Jet assisted take-off) was used when heavily loaded 
Performance: Maximum Speed  264 MPH
Cruise Speed  225 MPH
Service Ceiling 21,500 ft
Range 2,700 miles
Weights: Empty 22,883 lbs
Max Take Off   35,700 lbs
Dimensions: Length 61 ft 3 in
Height 25 ft 10 in
Wingspan 96 ft 8 in

HU-16E Albatross History

HU-16E Albatrosses were in the U.S. Coast Guard fleet from 1951 to 1983.  These aircraft were used on many types of missions. They were used as search platforms looking for lost boaters or downed aircraft and to locate sinking fishing boats. If they were needed, de-watering pumps were dropped by parachute.  Crews launched day or night. The aircraft were used to check on ship collisions or to locate vessels with ill crewmen. Many times the aircraft escorted helicopters to complete rescues, and rarely this amphibian landed on water to make a rescue.

At other times crews used Albatrosses to evacuate ill personnel from remote islands and other locations. Medical personnel were transported from bases to remote locations. During some night searches parachute flares were dropped.  Many times on large over-ocean searches the crew would be designated On-Scene-Commander and coordinate the efforts of a large fleet of aircraft. On a few occasions, when an airliner crashed on land, the Coast Crew was designated On-Scene Commander to coordinate helicopter flights to and from the scene. On at least one occasion in Florida two Albatrosses were used on an FBI manhunt.

Albatrosses were used on the International Ice Patrol and they patrolled in search of boat people from Cuba and Haiti. When boat people were spotted the crew would call in a helicopter or boat to make the rescue. If needed,  survival gear and water were parachuted to the survivors.  Another use of the Albatross was for fisheries patrols, checking the positions of American, Russian, and Japanese boats. In the late 1970’s, patrols were made for drug interdiction off the Miami, Florida coast and in the Caribbean.

Our aircraft, HU-16E, 7245 was acquired from the U.S. Air Force in 1957-58 and was in the Coast Guard fleet until 1980.  Some of its history is known.  The aircraft was stationed at Coast Guard (CG) Air Station, Biloxi, MS in 1961, and then at CG Air Detachment Quonset Point, RI in 1963.  Our crew chief, Duane Coppock, is a retired Coast Guard aviator and flew 7245 at those locations.  The aircraft was decommissioned from CG Air Station, Cape Cod in 1980.  If you are or were a Coast Guard aviator and flew 7245 please inform our museum by contating our Operations Director at 707-575-7900 or Email: Christina Olds. or regular mail.  

Our Albatross, 7245, was donated to the museum in 1999 by Mr. Don Johnson of Riddle, OR.  It is a unique and outstanding addition to our stable.  Shortly after receiving 7245 museum members repainted the aircraft in high visibility Coast Guard  “International Orange” and white.  It matches the late 1970s Coast Guard paint scheme and is still current today.

Our Grumman Albatross provides an exciting and unique historical display for adults and children alike.  This “Training Classroom” provides an exceptional educational platform for school children of all ages.  Tours can be arranged by calling the museum to schedule a date and time for your group.

Copyright 1996 - 2014
Pacific Coast Air Museum
All Rights Reserved
One Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95403    707-575-7900
Site Map    Site Credits    Policies    Contact Us    Join Us
Website Design & SEO