Cool Interview With The Owner Of A Grumman Mallard
Those who love Grumman Mallards and other large flying boats, should have some pleasure watching this video. Building on the success of the Goose and Widgeon, Grumman Aircraft developed larger G-73 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.
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 the United States was Roy Frühauf and the Frühauf Trailer Corporation. Frühauf owned and operated a fishing camp, Killarney Lodge in Georgian Bay, Canada and ferried customers there from Detroit. Another person from Detroit, William Packer of General Motors, also owned a Mallard which he flew to Killarney often. Another Mallard was purchased in the early 1950s by 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.