Operation: Central and Eastern
Wing Span: 68' 8"
Length: 46' 0"
Height: 16' 3"
Max Speed: 263 mph
Gross Weight: 26,000 lbs
Power Plant: 2 x Wright 1820-82B
Horsepower: 1,525 each
Fuel Capacity: 526 gallons
Armament: 6 - 100 lb bombs or 6 - 5"
rockets on wing hardpoints, 1 - mk.46 Torpedo or 2
depth charges in Torpedo Bay.
Cavanaugh Flight Museum's Grumman S2F-1 Tracker
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum is the owner and operator of
this Grumman S2F-1 Tracker which is available for airshows, flybys and film.
To meet a Navy requirement for an aircraft combining
search and attack capability in the carrier based
antisubmarine role, Grumman designed a twin engine, high
wing monoplane with 1,525 HP Wright R-1820-82WA piston
engines, internal weapons bay, retractable search radar
and 70 million candle power search light. To help locate
a submarine under the water, the airplane was given a
Magnetic Anomaly Detector, which was mounted in a
retractable tail boom and sonobouy tubes with the
equipment for picking up the sounds made by the
The first flight of a Grumman S2F-1 was made December
4, 1952. The first S2F-1 squadron was Antisubmarine
Squadron TWO SIX (VS-26), entering service in February
1954. The airplane received the nickname of "STOOF"
(S-Two-F). Torpedoes, depth charges and rockets were
used for offensive measures, including its biggest
"stick", a nuclear depth charge. The fuel tanks could
contain 520 gallons of aviation gas, enough for a combat
range of 841 sea miles or a 6 hours flight. The cruising
speed was 130 knots and the top speed was 230 knots. A
total of 755 S-2F-1's were built.
During the early years of the Cold War, the primary
threat to the superiority of the U.S. Navy was not an
enemy surface fleet but the numerous Soviet submarines
that regularly patrolled the world's oceans. In response
to this very real threat, Grumman designed the S2F-1 in
the early 1950s as the U.S. Navy's premier sub hunter.
Outfitted with the latest submarine detection equipment,
the S2F-1 Tracker revolutionized anti-submarine warfare
(ASW). Variations of the basic S2F-1 design were
developed to serve many functions including: fire
bombing, target towing, photo-reconnaissance, Carrier
Onboard Delivery (COD) and multi-engine proficiency
Also called the “Stoof” (S-Two-F), the Tracker's twin
engines and crew of four allowed the plane
to search hundreds of miles of ocean on each patrol,
ensuring that American carrier groups could proceed
without harassment from Soviet subs. The S2F carried a
search radar mounted on the bottom of the fuselage in a
retractable radome, a retractable magnetic anomaly
detector (MAD) mounted at the base of the tail fin and
air-launched sonobuoys carried in the ends of both
engine nacelles. The Tracker's armament included ASW
torpedoes, bombs, depth charges and rockets. It is
interesting to note the unique wing folding mechanism of
the Tracker, the right wing folds slightly forward while
the left wing folds slightly aft. This allows the wings
to remain nearly flat on top of the cabin, reducing the
plane's width by nearly 40 feet.
The S2F-1 was a very successful design. It was sold
to several countries including Australia and Argentina.
Additionally, the Tracker was produced under contract in
Canada by de Havilland. The “Turbo Tracker,” a version
of the plane refitted with turboprop engines, is still
in service in Brazil and Taiwan. The ultimate conversion
of the “Stoof” was the E-1B “Tracer,” an Airborne Early
Warning (AEW) aircraft. The Tracer featured a massive
radome mounted on the top of the fuselage earning the
E-1B the nickname “Stoof with a Roof.” The Tracer's
radar system had a search radius of some 250 miles, and
the E-1B saw extensive service in Vietnam as the U.S.
Navy's “eye in the sky.”
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum's S2F-1 (BuNo. 136431 )
was accepted by the U.S. Navy in 1957. Assigned to the
Air Anti-Submarine Squadron 37, it completed one
deployment aboard the U.S.S. Philippine Sea (CVS-47).
The aircraft was converted into a US-2B (the unarmed
utility and training version of the Tracker) in 1964 and
served with various U.S. Navy squadrons. Last stationed
at N.A.S. Corpus Christi with Combat Training Wing (COMTRAWING)
4, the museum's Tracker was retired in January 1979.
During its service with the Navy, it accumulated nearly
11,000 flight hours and performed more than 650 catapult
Cavanaugh Flight Museum
4572 Claire Chennault
Addison, Texas 75001
Phone: (972) 380-8800
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below if you are interested in contacting
the operator, or representative,
of this Warbird and you require more information for booking this
aircraft at your Airshow