Naval Fighters #63
By Steve Ginter
© 2004 by Steve Ginter
This book on the Grumman Goose couldn't be any more timely by coming right
on the heals of the just released Czech Model 1/48 scale Grumman Goose
kit. There's nothing more disappointing that having a new kit and not
finding one bit of reference material on it. Whether by coincidence or
by planning, Author Ginter has provided the modeler with another great
book in his series of Naval Fighters.
As big fan of the Goose, or anything with a P&W R-985 radial engine
like the Beaver and Beech 18, I, for one, will give this book a work out.
The newest in the series is in his usual 8.5 x 11 inch soft cover format
with seventy three pages containing 147 black and white photographs from
the factory and private collectors.
The contents start off with a general description and development of
the aircraft, along with a listing of model numbers and serial numbers.
Ginter brings in the most interesting piece of trivia in this chapter.
This airplane was born from an idea not from the factory or the military,
but from several wealthy business men who were looking for a better plane
to fly them to their private lodges. He next takes us through twelve different
foreign countries using them as patrol, reconnaissance and air ambulance
book next lists the United States versions with nineteen pages of silver,
blue/yellow and dark sea blue Gooses. I found some of the most unusual
variants of the Goose in the EDO ski and hydrofoil test section. Wait
till to you see some of these - you wouldn't find me wanting to fly these!
And don't miss the Kaman tilt wing prototype.
The book also has twenty one line drawings and thirty six great factory
photographs of the details with, of course all the "arrows and circles"
from the flight manuals.
Author Ginter raps up the book with a short look at the post war/surplus
and civilian planes. Here's my only real gripe on the book. Most of the
military Gooses ended up in the private market from surplus. He tells
only of two air carriers - Catalina and Avalon using three planes. Currently
there are about 60 or so flying out of the 345 built. The Goose became
a work horse in the Pacific Northwest with companies like Trans Provincial,
Alaska Coastal, Ellis, and Alaska Airlines after the war years. They are
still current line aircraft with Pacific Coastal and Penn Air. But in
all fairness, I have to remind myself this is a book entitled "Naval
Fighters" not the civilian Goose of today.
This is a "Two Thumbs Up" book for your reference library
and a must have if you are building a model of the Goose. My hats off
to Ginter for his hard work on his latest writing.
One last thing, if you get the pleasure of seeing a Goose up close and
get to talk to the owner or pilot, always refer to more than one Goose
as "Gooses" not Geese. These are planes, not birds.