Duck a Winner


Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but perhaps the most ungainly looking aircraft at AirVenture (or anywhere else for that matter) was the people’s choice. A 1939 Grumman Duck, which looks something like a biplane in an unnatural relationship with a submarine, in the first National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Best of the Best competition. It was chosen over four other lovingly restored vintage aircraft. It was up against a 1943 Piper L-4H army surveillance plane, a 1948 T-6 Texan, a 1927 Waco Model 10-T and a 1939 KR-21 Challenger.

The Duck, an amphibious surveillance plane, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor only to sink in a lake in the Bahamas in 1955. It was pulled from the lake in 1991 and restored. Grumman lovers Chuck and Bev Greenhill bought the plane in 1998 to complement their collection, but it’s not their favorite Grumman. Chuck told reporters that his twin-engine high-wing Grumman Goose is his favorite because he can see out the front in level flight and it has better utility. The Duck gets flown about 10 times a year.