S2F-1 S-2 Tracker "Stoof"
The Tracker is used on land and on aircraft carriers. This was the first true ASW aircraft that combined both search and destroy capabilities in a single carrier-based platform. The passenger version is the C-1 Trader that can seat about 10 passengers. The concept for the Grumman Tracker started as a design called the G-89. The G-89 proposal called for a twin engine aircraft capable of carrying weapons, sonobouys, and other submarine detection equipment, such as a Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) and search radar all from a carrier flight deck. The United States Navy awarded Grumman a contract to build the G-89 on 30 June 1950. The new airplane was designated the XS2F-1 Tracker. In 1962 the American renumbering system changed the designation to S-2 Tracker.
The wings are high-mounted and equally tapered with rounded tips. Two turboprops or piston engines are mounted in the wings. Engine nacelles extend beyond the leading and trailing edges of the wings. The fuselage is oval and club-shaped that tapers to the rear. It has a rounded nose, stepped-up cockpit, and radome on the belly. The tail fin is back-tapered with round tip and a curved fairing. Flats are low-mounted on the fin and are back-tapered.
Grumman’s design (model G-89) was for a large high-wing monoplane with twin Wright Cyclone radial engines and its first flight was 4 December 1952, and production aircraft entered service, with VS-26, in February 1954. In 1954, the VS-31 Topcats received the first Grumman S-2 Tracker. Commissioned on 03 January 1961, the "Boomerangers" of VS-35 operated eleven S2F-1 aircraft while awaiting introduction of the new S2F-3 Tracker. By June 1961, VS-35 received it's first S2F-3 at NAS North Island and the fledgling squadron saw its first deployment the following year on board the USS HORNET (CVS 12). Flying the S2-D, VS-35's fourth deployment in March 1967 thoroughly tested the Tracker's all-weather capability while transiting the Sea of Japan.
Follow-on versions included the WF Tracer and TF Trader, which became the E-1 Tracer and C-1 Trader in the rationalization of 1962. The S-2 carried the nickname ‘Stoof’ (S-two-F) throughout its military career. Grumman produced 1,185 Trackers. Another 99 aircraft carrying the CS2F designation were manufactured in Canada under license by de Havilland Canada. US built versions of the Tracker were sold to various countries, including Australia, Japan and Taiwan.
The S-3A Viking replaced the S-2 Tracker and entered fleet service in l974. From 1960 until 1974, VS-22 flew the venerable Grumman S-2 Tracker. Transitioning to the S-3A, the squadron continued to operate throughout the world. In 1974, the Topcats became the first VS squadron to deploy aboard USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) as part of the first operational test of the CV concept. This was also the last deployment the S-2 Tracker would make with the squadron. On 1 April 1976, after 22 years of flying the S-2 Tracker, VS-30 became an operational fleet squadron and transitioned to the S-3A Viking. October 1976 marked the completion of the Atlantic Fleet transition to the S-3A Viking, replacing the propeller-driven S-2 Tracker.
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