General Aviation PJ

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PJ
General Aviation PJ-1 Arcturus in flight off Miami 1934.jpg
PJ-1 Arcturus off CGAS Miami in 1934
Role Air-sea rescue aircraft
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer General Aviation
First flight 1933
Primary user United States Coast Guard
Number built 5

The General Aviation PJ was a flying boat produced in the United States in the 1930s as a search-and-rescue aircraft for the Coast Guard. Originally designated FLB (for "Flying Life Boat"), it was a conventional high-wing cantilever monoplane with a flying boat hull and outrigger pontoons mounted on the wings slightly outboard of mid-span. The twin pusher engines were carried in separate nacelles on pylons above the wings. The hull was a monocoque metal structure, and the wing was a wooden structure skinned with plywood. The basic design was based on that of the Fokker F.11, but substantially enlarged (Fokker's American operation was renamed General Aviation after purchase by General Motors in 1930). While not a true amphibian and able to land on dry land, the PJ was equipped with retractable undercarriage that functioned as its own, self-carrying beaching trolley.

Five examples were operated by the US Coast Guard during the 1930s, named Antares, Altair, Acrux, Acamar, and Arcturus (hull numbers FLB-51 through FLB-55). In 1933, Antares underwent a major refit that included a redesign of her engine nacelles, converting these to tractor configuration.

Variants[edit]

  • PJ-1 - original version with pusher engines (five built)
  • PJ-2 - version with tractor engines (one converted)

Specifications (PJ-1)[edit]

PJ-1 Altair unloading a patient in a stretcher

General characteristics

  • Crew: Four - two pilots, navigator, and radio operator
  • Length: 53 ft 9 in (16.39 m)
  • Wingspan: 74 ft 2 in (22.61 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.73 m)
  • Wing area: 754 ft2 (70.0 m2)
  • Empty weight: 7,000 lb (3,180 kg)
  • Gross weight: 11,200 lb (5,090 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, 420 hp (310 kW) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 130 mph (208 km/h)
  • Range: 1,100 miles (1,770 km)
  • Service ceiling: 9,000 ft (2,745 m)

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • "Flying Lifeboats." Popular Science, December 1937, pp. 56-57, all photos show PJ-1 except for middle aircraft p. 57 an RD-2.