Grumman G-73 Mallard

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G-73 Mallard
Pearl aviation Grumman G-73 Mallard DRW Butler.jpg
Grumman G-73 Mallard of Pearl Aviation landing at Darwin Airport (2010)
Role Amphibious airliner
Manufacturer Grumman
First flight 30 April 1946
Status Retired
Primary user Chalk's Ocean Airways
Produced 1946-1951
Number built 59
Unit cost
$115,000
$4.0 million for turbine powered G-73T

The Grumman G-73 Mallard is a medium, twin-engined amphibious aircraft. Many have been modified by replacing the original Pratt & Whitney Wasp H radial engines with modern turboprop engines. Manufactured from 1946 to 1951, production ended when Grumman's larger SA-16 Albatross was introduced.

Design and development[edit]

Building on the success of the Goose and Widgeon, Grumman Aircraft developed Design 73, the larger "Mallard" for commercial use. Retaining many of the features of the smaller aircraft, such as twin radials, high wings with underwing floats, retractable landing gear and a large straight tail, the company built 59 Mallards between 1946 and 1951. Unlike the smaller aircraft, the Mallard featured tricycle gear, stressed skin, a two-step hull and wingtip fuel tanks.

Operational history[edit]

Grumman G-73 Ward Wells collection AMHA US-Gov.jpg

The Mallard prototype first flew on 30 April 1946, with the first production aircraft entering service in September of that year. While the Mallard was designed for regional airline operations with two pilots and ten passengers, especially aimed at harbor-based, city-to-city hops on the eastern seaboard, postwar surplus aircraft sales and the availability of smaller airports limited market potential. A number of smaller air carriers did use the Mallard in its intended role, notably Tahiti-Hawaii Airlines and Pacific Western Airlines (Canada). However, most of the 59 Mallards delivered were for corporate use. A prominent user in Europe in the early 1950s was the Aga Khan.

The Mallard received a new lease on life in the 1970s when a number of airframes were refitted by Frakes Aviation with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turbines and upgraded for 17 passengers, to become "Turbo Mallards." Today, through attrition, only 32 Mallards remain registered in the US. Many of the rest are in use around the globe.

A similar program has been undertaken by Paspaley Pearling in combination with Aeronautical Engineers Australia to re-engine and modernize its Mallard fleet, which is used to support its pearling operations in Northern Australia. The fleet has been extensively rebuilt and also re-engined with P&WC PT6As, and is currently undergoing a life extension program.

Incidents[edit]

Turbo Mallard of Chalks International Airline on a scheduled service at Bimini, Bahamas, in November 1989 before the plane took off to Santo Domingo

The type received much attention after a Turbo Mallard, operating as Chalk's Ocean Airways Flight 101, crashed after takeoff from Miami Harbor on 19 December 2005. Eighteen passengers and two crew perished when the right wing separated from the fuselage of the 58-year-old aircraft.[1] The cause of the accident was determined by the subsequent investigation to be cracks and/or corrosion in the wing spar.

Prior to 2005, Chalk's Ocean Airways had an exemplary safety record operating Mallards for many years between Florida and the Bahamas, having never had a passenger fatality since the company began operations in 1917.

Operators[edit]

Civil operators[edit]

 Australia
 Canada
 United States

Military operators[edit]

 Egypt

Specifications (G-73T)[edit]

Chalk's Turbo Mallard at Abaco, 1999

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Capacity: 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) payload or up to 17 passengers
  • Length: 48 ft 3 in (14.7 m)
  • Wingspan: 66 ft 7 in (20.3 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 9 in (5.72 m)
  • Empty weight: 8,750 lb (3,969 kg)
  • Gross weight: 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine (originally) or, if modified, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprop engines, 600 hp (450 kW) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 187 kn (215 mph; 346 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 157 kn (181 mph; 291 km/h)
  • Never exceed speed: 187 kn (215 mph; 346 km/h)
  • Range: 1,120 nmi (1,289 mi; 2,074 km)
  • Service ceiling: 24,500 ft (7,500 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,350 ft/min (6.9 m/s)
  • Power/mass: .086 hp/lb (0.029 kW/kg)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
Bibliography
  • Hotson, Fred W. and Matthew E. Rodina. Grumman Mallard: The Enduring Classic. Scarborough, Ontario: Robin Brass Studio, 2006. ISBN 978-1-896941-44-8.
  • Thruelsen, Richard. The Grumman Story. New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1976. ISBN 0-275-54260-2.
  • Winchester, Jim, ed. "Grumman Goose/Mallard." Biplanes, Triplanes and Seaplanes (The Aviation Factfile). Rochester, Kent, UK: Grange Books plc, 2004. ISBN 1-84013-641-3.

External links[edit]