Tp 81- Grumman G-21A Goose (1951-1962)

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Swedish Air Force Flying Ambulance Tp 81 Grumman Goose

The Grumman G-21 was originally an eight-seat amphibian for civil service, but only a few aircraft were sold before the outbreak of WWII. The prototype had flown for the first time in 1937. 

The military variant G-21A was ordered in large numbers by the USAAF, US Navy and the US Coast Guard. Not all aircraft were amphibians -  some lacked landing gear. 85 aircraft were delivered to the RAF and the RCAF, which gave the aircraft the name ”Goose”. Other versions (smaller and larger) got the names G-44 ”Widgeon/Gosling” and G-73 ”Mallard”. 

One G-21A was acquired by the Swedish Air Force in 1951 and based at Wing F 21 at Kallax close to Luleå as a flying ambulance. It got the designation Tp 81 and the SwAF/n 81001. The formal reason for the purchase was that the ordinary ambulance aircraft Tp 4 Beech 18R was to take part of an Antarctic expedition. The Tp 81 had once been built for the US Navy (designation JRF-2) with c/n 1134. As a part of the Lend-Lease Agreement, it was transferred to the RAF, where it first was registered as BW787 and later as FP484. After the war, it was sold to a civil company in USA where it carried the registration NC9293H, and later to Norway (LN-SAB). 

The Tp 81 was according to the regulations of 1947 painted all orange and - besides the common roundels of the Air Force - fitted with Red Cross markings. 

The flying ambulance service was more and more taken over by private enterprises. After ten years of service, the Tp 81 instead was used for transports and liaison missions.  In 1962, the ”Goose” crashed at a take-off from the airfield at Hemavan and had to be written off. The crew got away with only minor injuries. 

The Tp 81 was powered with two Pratt & Whitney Junior R-985-AN6 9-cylinder engines, each of 450 hp. 

Length: 11,69. Span: 14,94 m. MTOW: 3.629 kg. Max. speed: 310 km/h.



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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-03-22