The Grumman HU-16 Albatross is a large twin-radial engine amphibious flying boat that was developed from the Grumman Mallard. Utilized by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, primarily as a search and rescue and combat search and rescue aircraft. Originally designated as the SA-16 for the USAF and the JR2F-1 and UF-1 for the USN and USCG, it was redesignated as the HU-16 in 1962.
The Albatross was developed to land in open ocean situations to rescue downed pilots and other flight crew members. Its deep-V hull cross-section and substantial length enable it to land in the open sea. The Albatross was designed for optimal 4 ft seas, and could land in more severe conditions, but required JATO (jet-fuel assisted take off, or simply booster rockets) for takeoff in 8–10 ft seas or greater.
Story & photo credit: A WARBIRDS RESOURCE GROUP http://www.warbirdregistry.org/albatrossregistry/albatrossregistry.html