Grumman US-2D Stoof

Although getting in short supply now, the Stoof was popular as a fire bomber conversion in the California Department of Forestry (now Cal-Air), whence our ship came after an unsuccessful landing. The plane suffered relatively little cosmetic damage (rudder ventral hopper), thanks to Grumman's "iron" construction. The original designation of S2F led to this aircraft's other nickname, "Stoof".

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Manufacturer: Grumman
Year/Model: 1953 US-2D Stoof
Tail Number:  
Power Plant: Two 1,525 hp Wright R- 1820's
Wingspan: 69 feet 8 inches
Length: 42 feet 3 inches
Height: 16 feet 3 inches
Gross Weight: 26,300 pounds (Empty weight: 17,357 pounds)
Maximum Speed: 287 mph
Maximum Range: 841 statute miles
Service Ceiling: 22,800 feet
Crew: 2+
Status: Static Display
Owner: Estrella Warbirds Museum

S-2 In Flight


Originally designated S2F (and Tracker when it carried a huge, teardrop shaped radome on top), and affectionately known as "Stoof," this one was converted to a utility aircraft, hence the designation "US." Designed to operate from carriers as a ship-to-shore transport. The "Firecat" designation was used for plane utilized to fight fires.

The Grumman S-2 Tracker (previously S2F) was the first purpose-built, single airframe anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft to enter service with the US Navy. In the late 1940s, the US Navy finalized its ideas on a carrier-based submarine hunter/killer aircraft. The Grumman S2F was designed to meet this role and first flew in 1952. The S2F was re designated as the S-2 in 1962 and not phased out until replaced by the Lockheed S-3 Viking in the mid-1970s.

Variants of the Tracker were also used as transports (the C-1 Trader) and Airborne Early Warning aircraft (the E-1 Tracer). Trackers served in the armed forces of Australia, Canada and Israel. After being phased out of military service, several Trackers have been converted to firefighting aircraft named the Firecat.

Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) S2F Trackers carried 16 sonobuoys which were dropped to the water's surface. The sonobuoys, each transmitting via aquaphone, listened beneath the surface to triangulate a sub's position. A radome, Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) boom, Signal-Underwater- Sound (SUS) devices and a powerful searchlight completed its sensing package. Torpedoes, depth charges and rockets were used for offensive measures, including its biggest "stick", a nuclear depth charge. Hard points under the wings could carry rockets or could ferry torpedoes.

Great blog on the Grumman S-2 can be found here.