Grumman Goose

Naval Fighters #63
By Steve Ginter
ISBN 0-942612-63-9
© 2004 by Steve Ginter
73 pages

Reviewed By Tim Bradley


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 duties.

The 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.

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