Canadian Warplanes 5: Grumman CSR-110 Albatross

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross formation takeoff near Picton, Ontario.

The Grumman CSR-110 Albatross is a large twin-radial engine amphibious flying boat flown by the RCAF as a search and rescue aircraft.  

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross (10), (Serial Nos. 9301-9310.

RCAF On Strength (9), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1). Detailed records of all known RCAF and Allied aircraft flown by Canadians may be viewed on line in the Canadian Aircraft Serials Personnel Information Resource (CASPIR). The CASPIR website is researched, coded, maintained entirely by Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum(CWHM) volunteers with only one staff assisting periodically. This work has taken several years, and is unlikely to be finished as continuing research leads to “new finds” and rediscovered Canadian aviation heritage and history.  The CWHM volunteer team looks forward to continuing to update and correct the record as additional information and photos are received. For the Albatross, check here.

(DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9301), entering the water, possibly at Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

(DND Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9301), leaving the water, possibly at Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

(DND Photo via Fred Paradie)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9301), off Gabriola Island British Columbia.  9301 is manoeuvring in the water near shore with a crew member sticking out of the nose hatch.  Note the rear side door is open and you can see the MLG wheel under the water in the extended position.  The Albatross was unique in that it had reversible pitch propellers.  In this photo you can see both of the propeller blades are in reverse, and the ‘prop wash’ in the water is forward of the engine.  Photo taken ca May 1964.

(DND Photo via Francois Dutil)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF, with triphibian gear.  There are outrigger skis on the floats, and although it is not visible in this photo, there is a large extendable ski on the hull.  All Canadian Albatrosses were triphibian-capable.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. (9301).

(Ken Fielding Photo)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9301), 27 May 1967.

First delivered to No. 102 (K) Unit at RCAF Station Trenton. Visited Toronto Island Airport in August 1961. Transferred to west coast in April 1963. Based at RCAF Station Vancouver in 1963. With 442 Squadron at CFB Comox, BC after integration. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished and re-sold. Registered as N9425. Delivered to Chilean Navy in 1971. Transferred to Chilean Air Force (FACH). Retired in 1979, reported to be on display.

(RCAF Photo)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9301), coming out of the water at Patricia Bay, British Columbia

(RCAF Photo)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF, JATO launch.

(DND Photo via Chris Charland)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9302).

On 23 April 1966, an RCAF Albatross (Serial No. 9302) serving with No. 121 Composite Unit (KU) at RCAF Station Comox, British Columbia, crashed on the Hope Slide near Hope, BC.  It was the only RCAF Albatross loss.  Five of the six crew members died (Squadron Leader J. Braiden, Flying Officer Christopher J. Cormier, Leading Aircraftsman Robert L. McNaughton, Flight Lieutenant Phillip L. Montgomery, and Flight Lieutenant Peter Semak).  Flying Officer Bob Reid was the sole survivor. A portion of the wreckage is still visible.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9302). taxiing for take-off at Rockcliffe.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross RCAF Rescue aircraft with a Boeing Piasecki H-21 Workhorse helicopter (Serial No. 9610).

No. 9303 was first delivered to No. 102 (K) Unit at RCAF Station Trenton. Still there in early 1964. Later with 103 KU, RCAF Station Greenwood, Nova Scotia, and finally with No. 413 (Rescue) Squadron out of CFB Summerside, Prince Edward Island. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished and re-sold. Registered as N9427. Delivered to Chilean Navy on 1971. Transferred to FACH, their serial number 573, later 273. Retired in 1979, sold to Malaysia as M35-01. Currently on display at Kuala Lumpur in the RMAF Museum.

(DND Photo via Chris Charland)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross (Serial No. 9304), No. 102 Composite Unit (KU), based at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, seen here visiting RCAF Station Goose Bay c1963 or 1963.  9304 was struck off strength from the Canadian Armed Forces on 17 Dec 1970.  It was then acquired by Grumman on 19 Aug 1971, and converted it into a civilianized Model G-111.  (Chris Charland)

(DND Photo via Jay White)

9304 flew with No. 102 (K) Unit at Trenton when it performed in the 1961 Canadian International Airshow at Toronto. It was still with this unit in 1966. It flew with No. 413 Squadron at CFB Summerside, PEI after integration. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished as civilian Model G111 and re-sold. Initially registered as N9380, later as N118FB. Operated by Flying Boats, Inc. with this registration in 1982. Registered to United Capital Corporation of Illinois in 1996, in experimental category. Reported in storage at Evergreen Air Park, Marana, AZ.

(Ken Fielding Photo)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9305), 27 May 1967.

(Bill Larkins Photo)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. (9305), visiting NAS San Diego, California, Jan 1967.

9305 flew with No. 121 (K) Unit at RCAF Station Sea Island, BC in 1963 and 1964. With 442 Squadron at CFB Comox, BC after integration. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished and re-sold to Mexican Navy in 1974. On US civil register as N9386.

(RCAF Photo via Keith Gathercole)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. (9305), with a Boeing Piasecki H-21 Workhorse helicopter (Serial No. 9611). Both flew with with No. 121 (K) Unit at RCAF Station Sea Island, BC in 1963 and 1964.

(RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. 9306). Docking an Albatross was apparently a bit of an acrobatic ordeal. You can see the two crew members on the left and right wings, one with a rope, and another crewmember in the nose with a rope. The left engine is shut down to allow coming along side the dock with the left side of the fuselage. Also difficult because there is no one at the dock to take the line. Likely on the British Columbia coast.

9306 was based at RCAF Station Vancouver in 1963. It flew with 442 Squadron at CFB Comox, BC after integration. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished and re-sold to Mexican Navy in 1974, their serial number MP-501 (or MP-401?). Also on US register as N9387, dates unknown. Preserved, displayed at Vera Cruz Naval Base, Mexico, c1999.

9307 flew with No. 103 Rescue Unit, RCAF Station Greenwood, NS. First Albatross delivered to this unit. Flew Comox to Greenwood non-stop on 24 May 1962, in 16 hours, 32 minutes. With 413 Squadron at CFB Summerside, PEI after integration. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished and re-sold to Mexican Navy in 1974. Reported destroyed c.2000.

9308 flew with No. 103 Rescue Unit, RCAF Station Greenwood, NS, in 1964. Landed amongst ice floes in Gulf of St. Lawrence on 20 February 1964, to rescue hunters stranded by ice break up. Weather was reported as 200 foot ceiling, one mile visibility in snow, and high winds. Pilot F/L R.W. Cass received Air Force Cross for this mission. With 413 Squadron at CFB Summerside, PEI after integration. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished and re-sold as civilian Model G111. May have been sold first in Mexico. Registered first as N9392, later as N119FB. Operated by Flying Boats, Inc. in 1982 with this registration. Registered to United Capitol Corporation of Illinois in 1996. In storage at Evergreen Air Park, Marana, Arizona c2000.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. (9309).

9309 acquired the name "Northern Dancer" while at Yellowknife on a search in 1963. Initially marked in black tape, later painted on. On display at Abbotsford air show in August 1968, with JATO bottles. With 442 Squadron at CFB Comox, BC after integration. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished and re-sold to Mexican Navy in 1974. On US register as N9405, dates unknown. Reported as destroyed c2000.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Grumman CSR-110 Albatross, RCAF (Serial No. (9310).

9310 was reported delivered to first squadron on 10 March 1961. Acquired the name "Tundra Queen" while at Yellowknife on a search in 1963. Initially marked in black tape, later painted on. With 442 Squadron at CFB Comox, BC after integration. In storage by 1 December 1970. Sold to Grumman on 19 August 1971, refurbished and re-sold to Chilean Navy in 1971. Transferred to FACH, their serial number 574, later 274. Retired in 1979. Returned to Grumman, sold to Malaysia as M35-02. Reported as destroyed c.2000.

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