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Grumman G-44 Widgeon N141R
Photo ID: 1011475
click image to enlarge
Model: Grumman G-44 Widgeon, Navy J4F-2 Registration: N141R, Navy BuNo 37748
Year: 1944 Serial Number: 1378
Engine(s): Lycoming GO-480-B1B, 270-HP Owner: Alaska Grummans, LLC
Anchorage, AK
Location: PALH, Lake Hood, Anchorage, AK Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Date: July, 2004 Present Registration: Same Present Owner (FAA info): Walt Fricke, Cat Island Air Tour & Trading Company LLC, Golden Valley, MN
Notes: 11/16/04 - Elaine and I saw this beauty at the July 17 Salmon Bake (wow - - incredible, grilled fresh Alaska Salmon!) at the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage. http://home.gci.net/~aahm/pages/aircraft/aircraft.htm I'm a bit biased toward Widgeons to start with and this one really got my attention.

On Novembver 15, 1946, the War Assets Administrator in Atlanta, GA, sold Grumman J4F-2, Navy BuNo 37748 to Conn Air, Inc., of Danbury, Ct, for $10,000. (Could we do a repeat on that transaction - - I was six years old and missed out.) It was first registered as NC60379.

December 1946 documents show an 8/28/44 date of manufacture; that it had only one generator; and was approved for "Instrument Flight Rules (Night) Not for Hire." The equipment list indicates "Receiver and Transmitter, Lear T30-RBCC, 36-lbs.", which was likely only a few frequencies with separate tuning for transmit and receive. Instrument flying was a lot different then!

NC60379 had Sensenich wood props when certificated but in March 1947 they were replaced with brand new, 62", Curtiss Reed 55518, fixed pitch aluminum props.
 
Grumman J4F-2, Navy BuNo 37748
Photo ID: 1011476
click image to enlarge
Notes: Taxiing on the step through the channel between Lake Hood and Lake Spenard, in front of the museum.

The registration became N60379 when the "C" was dropped in the early 1950's; was changed to N199VC in 1958; and N141R in 1961. (See more history, below.)
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 
Grumman Widgeon, formerly NC60379, N60379, N199VC
Photo ID: 1011477
click image to enlarge
Notes: Step back - - she's getting out of the water and is about to shake.

Grumman Widgeon 1378 must have liked the long Alaskan nights because she lived there from 1958 until 2004, including 34 years with Peninsula Airways, or PenAir. She wasn't a toy either. She earned her keep flying nearly 10,000 hours in commercial service, but she was obviously well cared for during that time.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 
The McKinnon Super Widgeon, Grumman G-44
Photo ID: 1011478
click image to enlarge
Notes: This is the McKinnon Super Widgeon with its Lycoming GO-480-B1B engines and Hartzell props. This conversion was done in 1970 by Win Air Service in Syracuse, NY. At the same time they installed 34-gallon auxiliary fuel tanks, completely rewired the aircraft, and essentially rebuilt it including a new panel, avionics and more.

The Widgeon was built with Ranger 6-440-C5's, the 200-HP, six-cylinder, inverted inline engine as used in several Fairchilds.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011479
click image to enlarge
Notes: In May 2002, a Garmin 430, 530 and all kinds of goodies were installed. What a difference from 1946 - - and that package cost a whole lot more than Conn Air paid for the almost-new airplane back then!

Walt Fricke and the Cat Island Air Tour & Trading Company LLC purchased N141R in October. It will be based at Crystal Airport in Golden Valley, MN, and is intended for use as a flying museum piece for the benefit of the American Wings Air Museum (Minneapolis, KANE). http://www.americanwings.org Walt hopes to paint it red before long.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 
History from FAA files: 1/49, sold to Van Winkle Todd of Matawan, NJ; 12/49, Arthur Schultze joined Todd as an owner; 3/52, back to Todd alone; 6/49, "Messrs. A. Schultze & V. W. Todd" had a new Ranger 6-440-C2 engine with 5-hours run-in at factory, converted from 175-HP to 200-HP, for their Widgeon; 4/53 annual inspection, had 1250-hours TT; 3/54 annual inspection, 1373-hours TT; 4/55 annual inspection, 1467-hours TT.

4/58, sold to Sensitive Research Instrument Corporation, New Rochelle, NY, who changed the registration to N199VC; 10/9/58 sold to Atlantic Aviation Corporation, Teterboro, NJ, to Lambros, Inc., Ridgefield Park, NJ on 10/11/58, and to Safeway Airways, Anchorage AK the same day. Then to James W. Harvey, Kodiak, AK, still the same day, for $14,900; 7/59 sold to Ramstad Construction, Anchorage, AK; 10/60 to Red Dodge, Anchorage, AK; 6/61, changed to N141R.

9/61, 337's show structural repairs to bow, aft section of hull and right wing butt, wing fabric replaced with aluminum, installed enlarged cabin windows and one-piece windshield; 10/61, sold to Safeway Airways, Anchorage, AK; 10/61 to James W. Harvey, Kodiak, AK for $24,000; 4/63, to Orin D. Seybert, Pilot Point, Alaska, probably for $29,000; 5/66, to Peninsula Airways, Pilot Point, AK (Orin Seybert, president). They also owned Grumman Widgeon N148M, s/n 1220, and later Grumman G-44A N317RA, s/n 1430.

5/95, 337 shows airframe total time of 10,599 hours; 4/00, 337 on modifications allowing 5500# gross weight on water and 5000# on land. 4/00 sold to Petro Star Valdez, Inc., Anchorage, AK; About 10/03 sold to Alaska Grummans LLC, Anchorage, AK; 10/04 to Walt Fricke, Cat Island Air Tour & Trading Company LLC, Golden Valley, MN.
 
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