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J2F Duck
Grumman J2F-5 Duck in early 1942
Role Utility amphibian
Manufacturer Grumman
First flight 1936
Introduced 1936
Primary users United States Navy
United States Coast Guard
Number built 564
Developed from JF Duck

The Grumman J2F Duck was an American single-engine amphibious biplane.



The G-15 was an improved version of the earlier JF Duck, differing by having a longer float.[1] It was ordered by the United States Navy as the J2F Duck.

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 US Navy on the same day. The J2F-2 had a Wright Cyclone engine but boosted to 790 hp (589 kW). 20 J2F-3 variants were built in 1939 for use as executive transports for the Navy with plush interiors. Pressure of work following the United States entry into the war 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 US Coast Guard.

Several surplus Navy Ducks were converted for use by the United States Air Force in the air-sea rescue role as the OA-12 in 1948.


The J2F was an equal-span single-bay biplane with a large monocoque central float which also housed the retractable main landing gear. It had strut-mounted stabiliser 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 had a cabin in the fuselage for two passengers or a stretcher.

The Duck's main pontoon was blended into the fuselage, making it almost a flying boat despite 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.[2] Like the F4F Wildcat, its narrow-tracked landing gear was hand-cranked.

Operational service

The aircraft was used by both the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, with the latter using them as utility aircraft for missions including mapping, rescue work, photography, and a target training.


J2F-3 at NAS Jacksonville in 1940
OA-12 of the USAAF
Initial production version with 750 hp R-1820-20 engines, 29 built.
United States Marine Corps version with nose and dorsal guns and underwing bomb racks, 21 built.
As J2F-2 with minor changes for use in the United States Virgin Island, 9 built.
J2F-2 but powered by a 850 hp R-1802-26 engine, 20 built.
J2F-2 but powered by a 850 hp R-1820-30 engine and fitted with target towing equipment, 32 built.
J2F-2 but powered by a 1,050 hp R-1820-54 engine, 144 built.
Columbia Aircraft built version of the J2F-5 with 1,050 hp R-1820-64 engines in a long-chord cowl, fitted with underwing bomb-racks and provision for towing-gear, 330 built.
Air/Sea Rescue conversion for the United States Army Air Force.


 Argentina [3]
 Colombia [4]
Columbia-built J2F-6 Duck in U.S. Marine Corps markings displayed at Valle, Arizona, in October 2005
 United States

Specifications (J2F-6)

Data from Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War II[6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two (pilot and observer)
  • Capacity: two rescued airmen
  • Length: 34 ft 0 in (10.37 m)
  • Wingspan: 39 ft 0 in (11.9 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 11 in (4.25 m)
  • Wing area: 409 ft² (38 m²)
  • Empty weight: 5,480 lb (2,485 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 7,700 lb (3,496 kg)
  • Powerplant:Wright R-1820-54 nine-cylinder radial engine, 900 hp (670 kW)



Popular culture

A J2F Duck was used in the 1971 film Murphy's War which includes a spectacular 3 minute rough water take-off sequence and numerous flying and acrobatic sequences.

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft




  1. ^ Allen 1983, p.49.
  2. ^ Allen 1983, p.47.
  3. ^ Nuñez Padin, 2002.
  4. ^ Allen 1983, p.77.
  5. ^ Allen 1983, p.52.
  6. ^ Bridgeman, Leonard. “ The Grumman Duck .” Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London: Studio, 1946.. p.  235-236 . ISBN 1 85170 493 0.


  • Allen, Francis J. "A Duck Without Feathers". Air Enthusiast. Issue 23, December 1983—March 1984. Bromley, Kent UK: Pilot Press, 1983. pp.46—55, 77—78.
  • Hosek, Timothy. Grumman JF Duck - Mini in Action 7. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc., 1996. ISBN 0-89747-366-3.
  • Jarski, Adam. Grumman JF/J2F Duck (Monografie Lotnicze 98) (in Polish with English captions). Gdańsk, Poland: AJ-Press, 2007. ISBN 83-7237-169-0.
  • Nuñez Padin, Jorge Félix. Grumman G.15, G.20 & J2F Duck (Serie Aeronaval Nro. 15) (in Spanish). Buenos Aires, Argentina: Museo de Aviación Naval, Instituto Naval, 2002.


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