Columbia XJL


Columbia XJL-1 Pima Tucson AZ 21.02.93R.jpg
The third Columbia XJL-1 preserved at the Pima Air Museum near Tucson, Arizona, in February 1993
Role Single-engine amphibian
National origin United States
Manufacturer Columbia Aircraft Corporation
Designer Grumman Aircraft
Introduction 1946
Status 1 flying in civil use; 1 preserved
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 3

The Columbia XJL is a large single-engined amphibious aircraft designed by Grumman Aircraft but built by the Columbia Aircraft Corp. It was intended to replace the Grumman J2F Duck but the type did not reach production status.

Design and development

An XJL-1 and an example of the type it was intended to replace, the Grumman J2F Duck

The Grumman J2F Duck biplane amphibian had successfully served the United States Navy (USN) in quantity from late 1934 onwards. The final 330 examples were built in 1941/42 under sub-contract by the Columbia Aircraft Corp, retaining the J2F-6 designation.[1]

At the end of World War II, Grumman completed a major re-design of the aircraft for the USN as a Wright R-1820-56 powered monoplane amphibian. The new design was turned over to the Columbia Aircraft Corporation for development and construction so that Grumman could focus on the production of fighter aircraft for the USN.

The aircraft strongly resembles the J2F Duck, except for its monoplane layout, and has been referred to as a "single-winged Duck". It is, however, a completely new design.[citation needed]

The USN ordered three XJL-1 experimental aircraft from Columbia, with the first being used for destructive strength testing on the ground. The remaining two airframes, assigned USN BuAer Nos 31399 and 31400, were delivered to the USNs test establishment at Patuxent River Naval Air Station Maryland for evaluation in 1946.

Operational history

The two aircraft tested at Patuxent River were found to have repeated structural failures of various components and testing was abandoned on 21 September 1948. The aircraft were deleted from the USN inventory in February 1949.[2] No further orders were placed for production of the JL design. The aircraft were sold as surplus in 1959. 31399 was registered N54207 and is undergoing restoration at Yanks Air Museum, Chino, California.[3] 31400 was registered N54205, and, restored, is now on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.[4][5]


Data from Plane Facts: Monoplane "Duck"[6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 6 passengers
  • Length: 45 ft 11 in (14.00 m)
  • Wingspan: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 0 in (4.88 m)
  • Wing area: 413 sq ft (38.37 m2)
  • Empty weight: 7,250 lb (3,288 kg)
  • Gross weight: 13,000 lb (5,897 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-1820-56 , 1,350 hp (1,007 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 200 mph (322 km/h, 170 kn)
  • Range: 2,070 mi (3,330 km, 1,800 nmi)
  • Rate of climb: 1,110 ft/min (5.6 m/s)

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ Swanborough, 1990, p. 221
  2. ^ Pima Air Museum
  3. ^ "Yanks Air Museum". Rod Bearden's Aviation Photos. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  4. ^ Francillon, René (1989). Grumman Aircraft since 1929. UK: Putnam. p. 273. ISBN 0-85177-835-6.
  5. ^ "Columbia XJL-1". Pima Air & Space Museum. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  6. ^ Air Enthusiast November 1972, p. 262.


  • "Plane Facts: Monoplane "Duck"". Air Enthusiast. Vol. 3 no. 5. November 1972. pp. 261–262.
  • Swanborough, Gordon (1990). United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-792-5.

External links

  • [1]