The Grumman Tracker was built in Canada by De Havilland under licence from Grumman aircraft, for use as an ASW aircraft in the Royal Canadian Navy*. This carrier-born aircraft was a state of the art, all- weather, ASW platform carrying the latest in electronic gear. With integration of the CF, this aircraft was then based on land and used for coastal patrol and maritime surveillance work until being retired.
In Comox, VU 33 operated a small number of Tracker Aircraft in this latter role.
*“The Navy received approval to procure 100 CS2F Trackers and the Department of Defense Production selected de Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Limited of Downsview, Ontario as the prime manufacturing contractor in April 1954. An elaborate subcontracting plan required a wide range of Canadian companies to provide assemblies such as fuselage sections, wings, nacelles, landing gear and other components while Pratt & Whitney Canada was to build 300 1,525hp (1,138kW) R-1820-82WA Cyclone engines under license from Curtiss-Wright. Grumman provided the necessary production jigs and fixtures but, since the Canadian Tracker program was relatively small with a large number of subcontractors, de Havilland determined that there would be advantages to acquiring a pattern aircraft. The Canadian government therefore approved the purchase a Grumman-built S2F-1 Tracker as one of the 100 that would eventually be supplied to the RCN. This pre-production ‘prototype’ proved to be invaluable, both as a template for comparing Canadian-built components and assemblies with Grumman originals and as a test platform for new anti-submarine systems and avionics. The 99 Trackers actually manufactured by de Havilland Canada consisted of 42 CS2F-1s (confusingly allocated RCN serials 1502 to 1543 for c/ns DH-1 to DH-42) and 57 CS2F-2s (serialled 1544 to 1600 for c/ns DH-43 to DH-99). First to fly was CS2F-1 1503, crewed for the 15 minute flight by company test pilots George Neal and Tony Verrico at Downsview on May 31, 1956.” (Courtesy of Robert M Stitt, AScT)
Manufacturer: de Havilland Canada license-built version of the Grumman design
Model No: S-2, CS2F-1, CS2F-2
Role: ASW, Patrol
SOS: 1989 No:99* (see extract of Article by Robert M Stitt, AScT)
Comox Squadron/Unit Use: VU33
Service: RCN, CF,Dutch Kon Marine
Crew / Passengers: two pilots and 2 crewmen
Power plant: two 1525 hp Wright R-1820-82 engines
Max Speed: 287 kt (532 km/h)
Cruising Speed: 130 kt (240.9 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 10,000 ft. (3050 m)
Range: 1200 nm (2,228 km)
Empty: 17,500 lb. (7,945 kg)
Gross: 24,193 lb. (10,984 kg)
Span: 69 ft. 8 in (21.23 m)
Length: 42 ft. 3 in (12.88 m)
Height: 16 ft. 31/2 in (4.96 m)
Wing Area: 485 sq. ft. (45.1 sq. m)
Armament: Provision for up to six Mk 43 torpedoes &/or CRV7 rockets in bomb bays or under-wing pylons
Original Cost: $1,100,000
Facts verified by Brian O’Cain-Aircraft Archivist, CAFM.