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S-2 Tracker

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S-2G Specifications

    Primary Function:
    Weight Empty:
    Max. Weight:
    Cruise Speed:
    Max. Speed:
    Year Deployed:
air tanker
Wright 1820
2 x 1,515 hp ea.
43 ft. in."
72 ft. 7 in.
13,700 lbs.
29,150 lbs.
1,200 gallons
150 mph
245 mph.
18,000 feet
1,350 miles

S-2 Tracker
S-2 Tracker
Click on the picture to hear the wav sound.

S-2 Tracker aircraft, produced by Grumman, served the United States Navy with honor conducting anti submarine warfare from 1954 through 1976. Now it serves with the California Dept. of Forestry in its new role.

The S-2 Tracker began being evaluated by the California Dept. of Forestry 1970 for duty as an air tanker. At the time it was still deployed with the U.S. Navy.

A total of four aircraft were evaluated by the CDF. They were found to meet or exceed all expectations. Two of the prototype air tankers were placed in service in 1973.

The CDF entered into contracts with four California companies in 1974 to convert 12 more S-2 Tracker aircraft into air tankers. These aircraft entered service in that same year, with an additional five aircraft entering service in 1975.

Through the years the CDF has purchased 55 S-2 Trackers and 60 replacement engines from the Navy under three agreements.

In 1987 the CDF contracted with Marsh Aviation, Mesa, AZ to produce a Tracker air tanker for evaluation. By 1996, after a thorough evaluation, the CDF ordered an additional 26 E and G series aircraft. The E and G series aircraft are larger and carry 400 gals. more retardant than the older S-2s.

Throughout 2002 a total of 13 S-2 Tracker aircraft were deployed. In 2004 and 2005 a total of ten additional aircraft were added to the fleet. These have replaced the original air tankers.

S-2 Tracker
S-2 Tracker

Pictured above is the rc S-2 Tracker by master builder Carl Bachhuber. It has a wingspan of 165". Carl powers his rc airplane with a pair of G-62 engines. It features retractable landing gear, scale operational flaps, slotted spoilers, plus a working tail skid.

In the picture right below you will see Carl's rc S-2 Tracker with its wings folded. Carl removed the feature when he found the operating mechanism needed a great dale of maintenance. A benefit of the removal is that his rc airplane now weighs about 62 oz. less.

S-2 Tracker
Carl Bachhuber and his S-2 Tracker.

S-2 Tracker
Side view of the S-2 Tracker.

Carl's S-2 Tracker taking off.

We received the following email from Jim Gallagher (jimgallagher5@comcast.net)
"I flew in the S-2 Tracker in 1969 as a crewman. AS 10 was Cdr. Thom Speelman's airplane, as he was the commanding officer of Airanti-submarine squadron 28 (VS-28) World Famous Hukkers (Hunter Killers). I'd like to see some video of the model flying. I've attached a photo of the actual aircraft in formation. This shot was taken over Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island in 1969. The squadron was at Quonset Point, and the beach in the background is Jamestown Island. I was in the backseat of AS10. Best regards, Jim "Cuda" Gallagher"

James F. Gallagher MEd., CAGS
3 West Crossfield Road
Forestdale, MA. 02644-2008
OFF 508-477-0057 CELL 508-951-8614
FAX 775-295-3941 RES 508-477-3404
The picture that Jim sent is just below.

S-2 Tracker
S-2 Tracker airplanes over Narragansett Bay.

We have seen a foam rc S-2 Tracker in toy stores. It is typical of most cheep toys. The wingspan is 36" and steering is done by differential power to the motors. Increasing height is by climbing at full power and lowering altitude is with with less power. It has no elevator controls and is made from brittle foam.  Flying this plane is more of a chore than a pleasure.

There is a posting in RC Groups asking for a contribution of an rc S-2 Tracker.

In another posting on RC Groups, the names that aircraft are called includes one for the S-2 Tracker. Check out the RC Groups posting to find out what it is.

There is a discussion in The Aviation Forum about the S-2 Tracker and its comparison to other aircraft that you may want to check out.

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