Grumman S-2 Tracker
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Grumman S-2 Tracker

The Tracker is a twin 1,136.4kW Wright R-1820-82WA-powered carrier-based antisubmarine search and attack aircraft, produced originally for the US Navy but currently also in service with the air forces and navies of several countries.

The prototype flew for the first time on 4 December 1952 and more than 1,000 S-2s were delivered by Grumman. The initial production version was designated S-2A (CP-121, formerly CS2F-1 for the Canadian version). Next came the S-2B with new anti-submarine detection equipment; the TS-2B trainer; S-2G with enlarged bomb bays to house two homing torpedoes (most converted to US-2C or RS-2C); S-2D with improved anti-submarine equipment, wider cockpit and longer range; S-2E with improved anti-submarine equipment; S-2F with uprated submarine detection equipment; S-2G, early version uprated with a Martin Marietta kit; US-2A/C, S-2A/C converted for target towing; US-2B utility/transport conversion of the S-2B; RS-2C, S-2C converted for photo-reconnaissance/ survey work; AS-2D, S-2D modified for night attack; and E-1B Tracer, AEW version with a radome on its back.

S-2E Tracker

 ENGINE2 x Wright R-1820-82WA Cyclone, 1137kW
    Take-off weight13222 kg29150 lb
    Empty weight8505 kg18750 lb
    Wingspan22.12 m73 ft 7 in
    Length13.26 m44 ft 6 in
    Height5.05 m17 ft 7 in
    Wing area46.08 m2496.00 sq ft
    Max. speed426 km/h265 mph
    Cruise speed241 km/h150 mph
    Range w/max.fuel2092 km1300 miles
 ARMAMENTone nuclear dive bomb, sonobouy launchers, bombs, missiles, torpedos

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120
Terry Brown,, 24.03.2014

John, you and I were shipmates on the 67-68 WestPac cruise in VS-21. I was an ATN3(AC) and flew in the back of the S2. We flew surveillance flights along the North Vietnam coast. I took about 88 Cat shots and about the same number of arrested landings about the "Mighty Kay" USS Kearsarge CVS-33.

We lost my original co-pilot, Dan Sullivan, when an S2 he was test flying, after repair, went down in the mountains of the Philippines during that cruise. My pilot, John Ouderkirk, passed away in 2012, I'm told.

I'd give just about about anything for one more Cat Shot in an S2 off a carrier. WHAT A KICK!! And you guys thought there was nothing better than sex!!! ;-) Those were definitely the days. Love seeing the California CDF guys flying over in summer even if they put the wrong engines in their S2s. - Best to all

Mac,, 22.03.2014

I remember these heading out to sea in the late 1960's from NAS Lakehurst, NJ. Nothing like the sound of those big Wright Cyclone radials.

John S. Shackelford,, 26.02.2014

Served VS-21 as an AZ3. Years of service 1967 t0 1970 at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado CA. Two WESTPAC's. Took care of aircraft maintenance logbooks and coordinated the aircraft maintenance program. San Diego was nice....great weather. Hong Kong liberty.

Wendell D Seal,, 17.01.2014

I was an AT and worked on and flew as an air crewman on the S2F1/2 and S2F-3's. I was in VS-37 from mid 1959 until late 1961. We were land based at either Los Alimitos and NAS North Island, CA. We also went on a West Pac tour on the USS Hornet.

Dean Marchione,, 22.12.2013

Did my training tour for a VS squadron in the RAG squadron VS-41 at NAS North Island, then reported to VS-38 as a engine mechanic on the S2F-E Tracker aircraft. Flew many missions as a third seat man flying from the decks of the U.S.S.BENNINGTON CVS-20. Made one WEST-PAC cruise aboard CVS20, then got orders to FLIGHT ENGINEER school and returned to the AEW community with AEWBARRO-PAC, then on to VW-1 TYPHOON TRACKERS on Guam. Was only in the VS community for two years, but loved the work and the flight time in a Grumman S2F. I was/am "CAR CRAZY" and love classics and cab over engine COE trucks. I always liked the looks of the fuselage on the S2F because I thought it looked like a 1940 FORD COE.

Mike Dew,, 26.11.2013

Assigned to VS-37 from 1975 - 1978. Made one cruise with S2 before the transistion to S-3s. Worked I-Level on the USM-403 HATS System.

Lee VB,, 21.11.2013

VS-24, 1974-76, last S-2G deployment on board Saratoga. Started in Line Shack and ended up flight crew. Good times.

James A. Blake,, 23.10.2013

I'm writing this in 2013 so my memory is not so precise now. I was aboard the Intrepid; 1965. Was trained in air anti sub warfare in Norfolk and Key West. Flew and worked on the Grumman S2 Tracker. The day after I was separated I reported for work at Grumman Aerospace. Then on to Cape Kennedy for the Apollo space program. What a trip!!!

Donald Emrick,, 15.04.2013

Was an ADR in VT-28 NAS Corpus Christi Tx From feb. 67 to july 69. Flew many X country flights. Loved working on those 1820 engines. those were some of the most memorable years. Really enjoyed it.

Michael W. Wewers,, 10.02.2013

I fail to ever see the fact that 4 S2-D's were also employed by (Legacy) US Customs Air Support Branches in the mid to late 1970's for A/C Interdiction purposes. They had their APS 88 radars modified along with R&D for the original FLIRs ultimately to utilized by later generation Navy Fighters etc. Unfortunately I only have a couple of old photographs, but you would be welcome to have copies. At the time I was the Chief of the Air Support Branch at Homestead AFB, Fl. Too bad this great old birds do not get some glory for their participation in the "Was on Drugs". Good stories also available. Thanks you.

Gayheart,, 03.02.2013

This is a E-Mail correction posted on 01.02.2013

Garry Iversen,, 02.02.2013

I served in the Navy from Jan.64 to Dec.67 and was in VS-37 out of North Island NAS. We deployed onboard the USS Hornet. I have about 850 hours in the back seat of the S2D/E model as a radar and MAD equipment operator. My last carrier landing was my 100th addrested landing. I was an enlisted man but the pilots would let we sneak up front and fly the plane for short periods of time. They didn't tell me about the trim controls and I remember it felt like I was flying a truck. I later got my private/comm Inst. tickets and retired in 2007 as an air traffic controller at Los Angeles Center and High Desert Approach Control at Edwards Air Force Base. S2's are still being used locally as fire fighters. Great airplane.

Gayheart,, 01.02.2013

Was in VT31 at NAS Corpus from 67to70 rate was ADR love the sound of the engines Had a lot of fun working on the S2
made A lot of friends.

LCDR Gordon A Bonnel USN(ret),, 28.11.2012

If you are interested in the S-2 check out the RAFS website and drop me an email

Frenchy Dampier,, 05.11.2012

I flew off both the Bennington and the Ticonderoga in 1968 &1970 with VS38 My crew was the only crew to never fail to fly in 1970.

Dave McLean,, 16.08.2012

As an Ensign and nugget naval aviator, I flew the US-2B with VC-2 Det Jax '74-'75. Called ourselves "skeet for the fleet" our primary mission being towing targets for ships to practice gunnery. Thankfully, the Det was decommissioned and I headed for VP-24 and P-3C's.

Mikey,, 21.06.2012

The S-2 Tracker Is 1 Of my best planes where i grew up i remember seeing S-2s working the pattern at the airbase they were at all day u can c S-2s doing Tand Gs it was great i wood never guss i wood Reloading them with fire retardent 4 the CDF its still help fighting fires in CA. Thanks

Joe Sitz,, 19.06.2012

I flew stoof (C-1/S-2) at NAF Naples (1972-1975, appx 1000 hrs). Mostly towing targets for fleet to shoot at and land logistics around Mediterannean. Good bird but agree w/ the comments on having rudder boost.

Robert Costello,, 06.06.2012

Flew 500 hours as a plane captain ADR2 in Rosevelt Roads from 75 to 78. Had the C1A version and it was a great plane. Flew SAR and had a couple cat launches and landings on the uss Nimitz. Great plane, lots of fun, and great for a 20 year old cutting his teeth on radials before going to jets. Was fortunate to be in the last ADR class at NTTC in Memphis. Still working jets for P&W. Most of you know who that is.

Ralph Spaulding,, 15.05.2012

I was a Lt in 1959-61 and flew as a pilot from North Island and the Kearsarge. I got to North Island in 59, and stayed in the RAG until VS-21 returned from its Westpac Cruise, then joined the squadron until the split was made to form VS-29 where I served the rest of my tour. I made one Westpac deployment and got my 100 traps before going off to PG school in 61. Most fun flying was working with the destroyers to confirm sonar contacts with MAD. I would put the top of the destroyer's mast on the horizon to lock in about 90 feet off the water and then fly to the contact to look for MAD confirmation. The least fun was trying to fly a decent Julie pattern while listening for the "clicks." Landing at night on a pitching deck also had to qualify as a "least fun" activity. But I rescued a couple of tail hooks before they got tossed overboard after X traps, had them chrome plated and still show them proudly on my nick nack shelf. I have about 20 minutes worth of movies taken with my 8 mm camera of the S2 landing and taking off from the Kearsarge. It has been made into a DVD so if you would like a copy, drop me an e-mail. You will go into my junk folder so be sure to put in an attention geting subject and send it more than once so I will eventually find it. Also, I just had a model built by Russ Busy, a museum-quality model builder, and took a few pictures of it. The model has been modified to make it look exactly like the planes we flew. As soon as I figure out how, I'll post the photos to You Tube. The movie is too long for You Tube.

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