|Year/Model:||1953 US-2D Stoof|
|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|
|Owner:||Estrella Warbirds Museum|
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.