One of the best known amphibious planes of the past, the Albatross, will again be produced in Australia by the company Amphibian Aircraft Industries (AAI). This time, however, the aircraft will be equipped with PT-6 turboprop engines, supplied by Pratt & Whitney Canada.
The original Albatross was developed by Grumman, which produced 466 planes between 1949 and 1966. It was originally equipped with Wright Cyclone radial piston engines and was used in several countries in diverse missions, mainly for search and rescue.
A small number of G-111 models were produced in the 1980s, however, the veteran aircraft ended up having production ceased soon after.
Years ago, AAI acquired the Albatross Type Certificate with plans to relaunch it in an updated version dubbed the G-111T.
The company planned to use the Honeywell TPE331 or PW118 engines, but preferred the most popular and reliable turboprop on the market, the PT-6. According to Pratt & Whitney, the G-111T will use the PT6A-67F, with 1,700 horsepower (SHP) each.
“The G-111T is the only large transport category amphibious aircraft for passenger, charge and utility in the marketplace,” said Chairman of Amphibian Aerospace Industries, Khoa Hoang. “Because of its ability to land and take-off from both land and water, the G-111T is ideal for use in inland rivers, ocean rescue, mountainous terrain and tropic river basins.”
The G-111T Albatross will be offered in passenger and cargo variants, Aeromedevac, Aeromedic and Search & Rescue, according to the AAI.
The manufacturer planned to open an assembly line in Sydney with investment from the local government, but updated plans were not disclosed.