Oh wow, am I excited to see this one arrive in my beta test inbox. The Duck is rich in history and just a fun plane to fly. It will be enjoyable in FS2 even without water due to the huge retractable wheels. The panel will be just about as basic and it gets and should excite those back country sim pilots that are waiting for Deadstick to arrive.
The J2F was used by the U.S. Navy, Marines, Army Air Forces and Coast Guard. Apart from general utility and light transport duties, its missions included mapping, scouting/observation, anti-submarine patrol, air-sea rescue work, photographic surveys and reconnaissance, and target tug.
J2Fs of the utility squadron of US Patrol Wing 10 were destroyed at Mariveles Bay, Philippines, by a Japanese air raid on 5 January 1942. The only Duck to survive the attack had a dead engine but, had been concealed at Cabcaben airfield during the Battle of Bataan, to be repaired afterwards with a cylinder removed from a destroyed J2F-4 submerged in Manila Bay. Following repairs the J2F-4 departed after midnight on 9 April 1942, overloaded with five passengers and the pilot, becoming the last aircraft to depart Bataan before the surrender of the Bataan to the Japanese only hours later.
The J2F-1 Duck first flew on 2 April 1936, powered by a 750 hp (559 kW) Wright R-1820 Cyclone, and was delivered to the U.S. Navy on the same day. The J2F-2 had a Wright Cyclone engine which was boosted to 790 hp (589 kW). This Wasp and Wasp Jr. was used is just anything and everything during the 1930s and 1940s. I just love the sounds and vibrations of this engine.
Twenty J2F-3 variants were built in 1939 for use by the Navy as executive transports with plush interiors. Due to pressure of work following the United States entry into the was in 1941, production of the J2F Duck was transferred to the Columbia Aircraft Corp of New York. They produced 330 aircraft for the Navy and Coast Guard. If standard Navy nomenclature practice had been followed, these would have been designated JL-1s, but it was not, and all Columbia-produced airframes were delivered as J2F-6s. Several surplus Navy Ducks were converted for use by the USAF in the air-sea rescue role as the OA-12 in 1948.
The J2F is an equal-span single-bay biplane with a large monocoque central float which also houses the main retractable landing gear, a similar design to the Leroy Grumman designed landing gear first used for early amphibious biplane designs, and later adopted for the Grumman FF fighter biplane. The aircraft has strut-mounted stabilizer floats beneath each lower wing. A crew of two or three were carried in tandem cockpits forward for the pilot and rear for an observer with room for a radio operator if required. It has a cabin in the fuselage for two passengers or a stretcher.
The Duck's main pontoon is blended into the fuselage, making it almost a flying boat dispite its similarity to a conventional landplane which has been float-equipped. This configuration was shared with the earlier Loening OL, Grumman having acquired the rights to Loening's hull, float and undercarriage designs. I guess you could think of the Duck as a smaller single engine PBY. Like the Grumman F4F Wildcat, its narrow-tracked landing gear was hand-cranked (really!).
The exterior model of our new Duck is outstanding, just look at the early screenshots. The panel is very weak at this pre-beta time but will probably match the exterior once krzysk gets done with it. But, even as an Alpha model, the gear operates, the sounds are there, and it looks and flies very well in AFS2.