by Tommy H. Thomason

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grumman C-2 Greyhound

Continuing the practice of creating a COD (Carrier On-board Delivery aircraft) from an existing airplane in production, the Navy contracted with Grumman to modify two prototype E-2As, BuNos 148147 and 8, with much wider and deeper fuselages equipped with a rear ramp. Production of 17 new C-2As, BuNos 152786-2797) followed. The first of these entered service in 1966.

The original airplanes had square-tipped Aeroproducts propellers and approach lights in the left-wing leading edge like the E-2A. The original propellers began to have fatigue problems and were replaced by the rounded tip Hamilton Standard propellers beginning in late 1974. At some point, the approach lights were relocated from the wing leading edge to the bottom of the forward nose landing gear door.

As a result of unexplained losses of a few C-2s, a hump was added over the center section of the stabilizer to house a crash recorder/locator that was apparently never incorporated.
 Note the gap in the deicing boot on the left wing where the approach lights were originally located.

Two other views of the crash recorder/locator housing on the survivors of the original C-2 fleet:

Note that the left inboard fin has no rudder surfaces. It was sometimes referred to as the "executive tail" because it had nothing to do.

The following picture from the internet is an even better depiction of the tail surfaces and shows the aft ramp doors closed:

A service life extension program was accomplished on all surviving C-2As, with deliveries of the refurbished aircraft between 1978 and 1982. However, only 12 of the original C-2As remained, not enough to meet the demand for COD support since the C-1s were being retired and only a handful of the volume-limited US-3As were available. After considering other options, the Navy elected the unusual step of putting the C-2 back into production although the degree of difficulty was somewhat reduced by the fact that the E-2 was still in production. The Navy bought 39, BuNos 162140-2178.

The major external difference between the original C-2s and the "reprocured" C-2s was a larger APU. Less obvious was a redesigned nose landing gear. The housing for the crash recorder/locator was not carried over to the new C-2s. The first one flew in February 1985; the last of the new C-2s had been delivered by 1990. The last of the original Greyhounds was retired by the end of 1987.

APU exhaust on the original C-2s:
Note the indentation of the fuselage in the plane of the propeller necessary due to the fuselage-width increase relative to the E-2.

APU exhaust on the reprocured C-2s:
The open door ahead of the APU exhaust is the inlet for the APU.

Before the C-2 received a glass cockpit, there doesn't appear to have been much difference from a modeling standpoint between the first and second batch of airplanes. Before:
Glass cockpit, courtesy Craig Kaston:

Conversions of the current fleet of C-2s to the eight-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller have begun:

Kinetic has announced a 1/48th C-2 to go with its E-2. Click here for a preview.

In 1/72nd, RVHP has produced a highly detailed resin C-2 conversion for the Hasegawa E-2C. It includes a complete interior. You don't have to bother with removing the dihedral in the Hasegawa kit's horizontal tail because a replacement empennage is provided. Decals vary with the boxing.. They are available from Hannants. Click here for an example and search the website for RVHP C-2 for the rest. A build article by an expert modeler is provided here.

The RVHP kit is expensive. If you want to spend less and don't place any value on your time, there are two 1/72nd vacuform conversions, both intended to be used with the Fujimi E-2 kit and not far removed from scratch building a new fuselage for it. The first was from MHW Models in England. It's pretty crude. The fuselage halves, which is all you get in the kit, are fairly thick but devoid of detail. The wing juncture looks a little dubious. There are no decals. However, the fuselage shape appears to be based on the conversion article in IMPS 8Q1 that was authored by a Grumman engineer, using factory drawings. The other vacuform is in Falcon Triple Conversion Kit IX along with the fuselage and other parts for an FJ-3 and the radome and aft canopy for an AD-5W. It is still available. The fuselage looks good and the canopy provided is better than the one in the Fujimi kit as long as you don't mind dealing with a vacuformed one. The hump over the horizontal tail is not accurate. The instruction sheet does not make it clear that the horizontal tail dihedral has to be removed. No decals are provided.

Four-bladed propellers with rounded tips in 1/72nd scale were produced by Aires (Quickboost). Click here. They are also available from Sprue Brothers.

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