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Duck Duck Duck — three Grumman J2F Ducks

26 October 2011

Duck Duck Duck — three Grummann J2F Ducks

The Duck from the 1930 is an evolution of the Loening OL from the 1920s. Grover Loening designed a floatplane where the main float faired into the fuselage which the Grumman Corporation bought the rights to the design when Loening ceased business in 1933. Grumman’s result was the JF Duck which was quickly supplanted by the J2F Duck.

I like the lines of the Duck. The cockpit seats two in tandem with room below for either two passengers sitting side-by-side facing forward or a litter. It is also an amphibian with a large radial engine, so what’s not to like? Like a mule versus a horse, I think the Duck is underappreciated. The horse has speed but not the stamina compared to a mule. A mule possesses intelligence a horse does not and is surefooted. The mule is absolutely reliable but the horse gets the press — I’m afraid the Duck suffers the same fate since it flew almost all mission profiles and in remote locations due to its reliability and ability to operate from harbors, estuaries, airfields and beaches.

Our first Duck is displayed in the National Naval Aviation Museum where additional information regarding this specific airplane can be found at this web page:

  The Duck as it would appear when flying — photo by Joseph May

 The Duck’s ventral view showing the main float, wing floats, struts and hull form — photo by Joseph May

 Right profile of the Grumman J2F Duck — photo by Joseph May

Our second Duck (designated the OA-10 Duck in the service of the U.S. Army Air Force) is on exhibit in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force:

 The Grumman OA-10 with landing gear displayed — photo by Joseph May

Another view of the OA-10 Duck — photo by Joseph May

Detail of the main float’s hull — photo by Joseph May

Our Third Duck is on intimate display in the Tillamook Air Museum:

 Wide angle lens perspective of the Duck— photo by Joseph May

The window below the cockpit was for the passengers within the fuselage — photo by Joseph May

Another wide angle lens perspective of the Duck at Tillamook — photo by Joseph May

At least one J2F Duck is flying today and it is owned by Kermit Weeks who operates the Fantasy of Flight aircraft collection. Wikipedia relates that one was nicely filmed and can be seen for an exciting few minutes in the 1971 film Murphy’s War.

Many posts have been written about the museums mentioned above, to find them simply paste the name into the search window and selecting ENTER. Seattle Post-Intelligencer readers can find posts prior to 2011 here.

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