Quick Facts

Grumman G-73 Mallard

Sleek amphibian for private, corporate, and military transport

CIVILIAN

Gift of Roland LaFont

Location: Flight Discovery Center

A larger, modernized version of their successful Goose model, Grumman designed the medium, twin-engine Mallard as a private and corporate luxury transport aircraft. It served Michigan companies like General Motors traveling to areas without airports, but with access to large bodies of water. With its stepped hull, the aircraft behaved like a boat until it was brought up onto the step. At a cost of $90,000 each, Grumman produced 59 Mallards from 1946-1951. Production ended with the introduction of the much larger SA-16 Albatross for the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

The Air Zoo's Mallard

In January 1947, Grumman built our Mallard at their plant in Long Island, New York. Hansa Jet, Precision Valve Company, and Walker’s Cay Air Terminal owned our Mallard before New Mexico’s Roland LaFont made it his own. In 1993, LaFont updated the heating and sound systems and refurbished the cabin to a buttery gray leather and wood trim. In 2007, he donated this historic and indulgent amphibian to the Air Zoo.

Billionaire aviator Howard Hughes, passionate about flying boats like his massive H-4 “Spruce Goose,” once piloted our Mallard!