Grumman E-1 Tracer

The Grumman E-1 Tracer was the first carrier-based early warning aircraft for the U.S. Navy, which had been specially built for this purpose.

History of development

The Grumman E -1B Tracer was developed from the C-1 Trader Grumman, which in turn was derived from the Grumman S-2. The first units were in service in the year 1958. They were replaced in 1970 by the Grumman E-2C Hawkeye.

Their previous name was WF, which earned her the nickname Willy Fudd. The Grumman S-2 Tracker, formerly known as S2F, nicknamed Stoof had. With its distinctive radome on the back of the E -1B Tracer was nicknamed Stoof with the Roof.

Traders as well as the Tracker were shoulder-wing monoplane with two radial engines in nacelles, in which also the main landing gear are retracted. For the further development of the trader to tracer a large radome was mounted on the hull, which began the antenna of the radar AN/APS-82. The antenna had a size of 5.12 x 1.52 m and turned six times a minute. The rudder was removed and a new mounted on the horizontal tail. This " ugly duck " made ​​its first flight on March 1, 1957 The motor power of the tracer was not increased.; the power reserves of the Wright Cyclone R -1820 - 82WA engines could block it. The WF -2 Tracer was actually the first pure AEW aircraft for the U.S. Navy, during the TBM- 3W Avenger and the AD-3W/-4W/-5W Skyraider as yet another object of the search for submarines devolved. However, this was only in the state surfaced submarines possible because these charges under water for radars no echo. The crew of the WF- 2 consisted of a pilot, co-pilot and two, in case of need three, radar operators.

The AN/APS-82-Radar had a range of 320 km and could also make targets across the country find. The E -1B Tracer also had a data connection to the home carrier, which was thus able to support the E -1B Tracer in the Hunter line. As of February 1958, the E -1B Tracer solved gradually the AD -5W (EA- 1F) Skyraider from the AEW squadrons. The U.S. Navy had until the mid -sixties just two AEW squadrons, these were the VAW -11 Early Eleven ( tail code RR) on the Pacific coast and the VAW -12 Bats ( tail code GE) on the Atlantic coast. These scales presented on each support a detachment of three to four aircraft.

On April 13, 1967, the squadrons were renamed. From VAW -11, VAW -111 Hunters and from VAW -12, VAW -121 was Griffins. The other renamed to independent squadrons Detachments of VAW -11 and VAW -12 were all converted to the E -2A Hawkeye. VAW- 111 and -112 followed in 1975. The last carrier deployment of the tracer was in 1977 aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt with the reserve squadron RVAW -110 Firebirds. One of the last 1975 used on the Roosevelt E -1B Tracer of the squadron VAW -121, Bureau Number 148146 ( tail code AE -711 ) of Carrier Air Wing Six, was after the use in the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola (Florida, USA ) flown, where they can still be seen today.



E -1B VAW -121 Season of 1970 on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt

E -1B VAW -111 squadron of the USS Hornet 1970

Three Willy Fudd the squadron VAW -11 Early Eleven