Grumman G-44 Widgeon, an amphibious aircraft, started
production in 1941. Serving both in civilian and military
roles, this flying boat originally carried five passengers.
176 Widgeons went to the military - the Navy, Coast
Guard, Army Air Force, and the Civil Air Patrol all
used the G-44 in different duties. I was impressed
to learn that the Navy used this plane as an anti-submarine
re-designed the Widgeon after WWII to make it more
user-friendly as a civilian plane. The hull was improved
for better water-handling and a sixth seat was added.
the original G-44s had Ranger L-440C-5 200 HP inverted
6-cylinder engines, many were later upgraded to Lycoming
GO-480-BD1 270 HP flat 6-cylinder engines. Other modifications
included 3-bladed propellers, modern electronics,
and larger windows, to name a few. The improvements
earned the aircraft a new name - the "Super Widgeon".
has recently introduced their G-44 Widgeon. Sporting
a fiberglass fuselage and many formed plastic parts,
this water-loving aircraft is sure to be a great addition
to anyone's hangar!
Wingspan: 51 in (1295 mm) Wing Area: 373 in² (24.1 sq dm) Wing Loading: 25-28 oz/sq. ft; (76-85 g/sq dm) Weight: 4-4.5 pounds (1810-2040 g) Length: 36 in (915 mm) Radio Used:Futaba
7C Motors Used:Electrifly RimFire .10 35-30-1250 Brushless Outrunner Channels Used: 4 total - Elevator, Aileron, Rudder,
up/down: 1/4" (6mm) 6°
up/down: 3/8" (10mm) 12°
right/left: 5/8" (16mm) 12°
up/down: 3/8" (10mm) 8°
up/down: 1/2" (13mm) 17°
right/left: 1" (25mm) 19°
Widgeon came in a sturdy cardboard box with several
color pictures, specifications, and requirements to
complete the aircraft. All of the parts were bagged
and taped together to prevent shipping damage. For a
twin-motor plane, I was surprised by the low parts count!
are a lot of features on the Widgeon that I like. The
included stand makes assembly and transport really easy!
The Fiberglass fuselage is well-constructed, and there's
a large hatch for easy battery installation and removal.
pre-assembled motor mounts easily bolt to the center
section of the wing, and guarantee perfect motor alignment.
I also liked the pre-painted two-piece motor nacelles
and wingtip floats.
manual lives up to the Electrifly/Great Planes namesake. The
instructions are easy to read, and the illustrations are clear
and easy to follow!
Center Wing Section/Motor
began with routing the motor extensions through the center
section of the wing. This was easy, thanks to the pre-installed
pull strings. The motor mounts were attached to the wing
using two machine screws - don't forget to apply a drop
of thread locking compound - and the motors were secured
to the mounts.
extensions were plugged in to the motors, and the wing
dowels were secured using CA.
Aileron Servo and Pushrod
really liked the aileron servo set-up used. The servo
is attached to a spacer that is glued to the inside of
installing the hatch, the servo arm and pushrod were installed.
a second set of pre-installed strings, I pulled the servo
wires through the center section of the wing. I then installed
the wing joiners and epoxied the outer wing sections to
the center. Once the epoxy had cured, I applied canopy
glue to the lower part of the nacelle and set it in place
on the bottom side of the wing.
installing the remaining nacelle piece, the lower section
was taped in place while the canopy glue dried. The wing
tip floats were installed using the included hardware,
and I must say, they matched the covering and fuselage
marked, cut, and removed the covering from the horizontal
stabilizer before it was secured using thin CA. Once the
CA had cured, the stab bracing was installed, along with
the elevator halves and joiner wire. Thin CA was used
to glue in the hinges.
elevator control horn and pushrod were installed next
- the pushrod was attached to the horn before they were
installed. I then used epoxy to attach the water rudder
connecting rod to the air rudder. When the epoxy had cured,
the water rudder was then temporarily installed. I removed
the water rudder, at that point, to allow for easier assembly
of the rest of the plane.
CA hinges attached the rudder to the vertical stabilizer,
and presented no problems during assembly. Just like the
elevator, the pushrod was connected to the control horn
- then installed.
Servos, ESCs and Reciever
installed the elevator and rudder servos in the fuselage,
along with the two speed controls. An ESC was stuck to
each side of the fuselage using a small piece of the included
two speed controls were then plugged into the parallel
battery connector, and then attached to the receiver using
a Y-harness. The magnetic battery hatch was attached to
the fuselage using a piece of the included rubber band
and a few drops of medium CA.
small square of foam was then attached to the hatch using
foam safe CA - this is a great idea as it will keep the
hatch from sinking if it breaks free from the rubber band!
installed the rubber drain plug - a great feature to have
on a float plane, along with the foam sealing tape on
the wing mount. The motor extensions and aileron servo
wires were then connected, followed by the cockpit floor.
last two tasks were to attach the wing and balance the Widgeon.
Using the Great
Planes CG Machine, I was able to balance the plane by
moving the battery pack. This is my favorite way to balance
almost any aircraft!
luck would have it, the evening for the maiden flight
was absolutely perfect! The water was as smooth as glass,
and there was no breeze to speak of.
connecting the battery and securing the hatch, I set the
Widgeon in the water and taxied around a bit. At a slow
taxi, water did spray off the edges of the fuselage and
into the propeller, but it was no big deal. I added a
little more throttle and got the aircraft up on plane,
and she really came alive! The Widgeon skimmed across
the water effortlessly.
she broke the water's surface, the Widgeon climbed out
briskly! I checked the plane for trim adjustments, but
was happy to see that no adjustments were needed. I flew
around a little to get acquainted with her, but after
one "lap" around the bay, I was having fun! This plane
really grooves, and feels very stable at high speed.
took the Widgeon a little higher and decided to intentionally
stall her. The stall speed was faster than I had initially
expected, but then I remembered that there was a fair
amount of drag. Recovering was very easy, but I put the
experience in my memory for when it came time to bring
the full-scale Widgeon doesn't really do any aerobatics,
the Electrifly version did perform loops and rolls - and
looked good! I didn't try any other maneuvers because
she just wouldn't look right in unusual attitudes. The
float plane looked best flying like its full size counterpart.
about the 8 minute mark, I decided to bring her down.
Remembering how she stalled earlier, I kept a little more
power on that normal, and the widgeon just came in and
touched down gently! I was very impressed by how easy
the plane was to land!
a short taxi back to the shore, I lifted the plane out
of the water and pulled the drain plug - she was perfectly
out the video to see the G-44 Widgeon in action!
Electrifly G-44 Widgeon ARF
have to say that Electrifly has another winning plane
on their hands. From the quick, easy assembly to the great
flying characteristics, the Widgeon is just an awesome
plane. And the fact that it's a float plane adds to the
appeal of this aircraft. After assembling the Widgeon
and flying it, there's not one way I could see that Electrifly
could have made it any better! Hats off to the design
crew behind the G-44 Widgeon!
Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021 www.electrifly.com
Distributed by: Great Planes Model Distributors
P.O Box 9021
Champaign, IL 61826-9021 www.futaba-rc.com
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.