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C-2 Greyhound
A C-2A in July 1988, based at Naval Air Station, Sigonella (Sicily, Italy)
Role Carrier-capable transport / Carrier onboard delivery
National origin United States
Manufacturer Grumman
Northrop Grumman
First flight 18 November 1964
Introduced 1966
Retired 1987, C-2A
Status 39 C-2(R) in active service
Primary user United States Navy
Produced C-2A: 1965-1968
C-2A(R): 1985-1989
Number built 58
Unit cost US$38.96 million
Developed from E-2 Hawkeye

The C-2 Greyhound is a twin-engine cargo aircraft, designed to carry mail and supplies to and from aircraft carriers of the United States Navy. Its primary mission is Carrier onboard delivery (COD).

Contents

Development

The C-2 Greyhound, a derivative of the E-2 Hawkeye, shares wings and power plants with the E-2 Hawkeye, but has a widened fuselage with a rear loading ramp. The first of two prototypes flew in 1964 and production began the following year. It replaced the piston-engined C-1 Trader in the COD role. The original C-2A aircraft were overhauled to extend their operational life in 1973.

In 1984, the Navy ordered 39 new C-2A aircraft to replace older airframes. Dubbed the Reprocured C-2A (C-2A(R)) due to the similarity to the original, the new aircraft has airframe improvements and better avionics. The older C-2As were phased out in 1987, and the last of the new models was delivered in 1990.

A C-2A taxis prior to takeoff on a flight to USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) in Feb 1984. This was the first Greyhound delivered in 1966.

Design

Powered by two Allison T56 turboprop engines, the C-2A can deliver up to 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of cargo, passengers or both. It can also carry litter patients in medical evacuation missions. A cage system or transport stand restrains cargo during carrier launch and landing. The large aft cargo ramp and door and a powered winch allow straight-in rear cargo loading and unloading for fast turnaround.

Its ability to airdrop supplies and personnel; fold its wings; and generate power for engine starting and other uses provide an operational versatility found in no other cargo aircraft.

Operational history

A C-2A Greyhound and an E-2C Hawkeye from the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in 2005.
A C-2A lands on the flight deck of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in the western Pacific Ocean.

Between November 1985 and February 1987, VR-24 and its seven Reprocured C-2As demonstrated the aircraft's exceptional operational readiness. The squadron delivered two million pounds (900 t) of cargo, two million pounds (900 t) of mail and 14,000 passengers in the European and Mediterranean theatres. The C-2A(R) also served the carrier battle groups during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as currently during Operation Enduring Freedom.

All 36 C-2A(R)s are undergoing a Critical Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). The lifespan of the C-2A(R) was 10,000 hours total time, or 15,000 carrier landings; current plans require the C-2A to perform its mission supporting battle group operational readiness through 2015. The landing limit is quickly approaching for most of the airframes, and the SLEP will increase the Greyhound's projected life to 15,000 hours total time or 36,000 landings. Once the program is complete, it will allow the current 36 aircraft to operate until 2027. The SLEP includes structural improvements to the center wing, navigational upgrades including the addition of GPS and the dual CAINS II Navigation System, the addition of crash survivable flight incident recorders, and a Ground Proximity Warning System. The first upgraded C-2A(R) left NAVAIR Depot North Island on September 12, 2005, after sitting on the ground for three and a half years while the SLEP was developed and installed. A second airframe is currently nearing completion and it is anticipated that the remaining 34 aircraft will all undergo the SLEP upgrade within the next five years as operations and schedule permit.

The eight-bladed NP2000 propeller is another part of this upgrade and is expected to be installed by 2010.[1]

The Common Support Aircraft was once considered as a replacement for the C-2, but failed to materialize. Currently, there are no plans to replace the C-2A(R) fleet, and no replacement aircraft are currently in development. As of September 2009, the USN was exploring a replacement aircraft for the C-2, including the V-22 Osprey.[2]

Variants

A VRC-40 C-2A after SLEP on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), July 2009.
C-2A 
C-2A(R) 
"Reprocured" C-2A

Operators

Specifications (Reprocured C-2A)

Orthographically projected diagram of the C-2A Greyhound.
A C-2A prepares to launch off the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in support of Operation Unified Assistance, the humanitarian operation effort in the wake of the Tsunami that struck South East Asia.

Data from NAVAIR Performance Summary[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 pilots, 2 aircrew
  • Capacity: 26 passengers, 12 litter patients
  • Payload: 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)
  • Length: 56 ft 10 in (17.30 m)
  • Wingspan: 80 ft 7 in (24.60 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 10½ in (4.85 m)
  • Wing area: 700 ft² (65 m²)
  • Empty weight: 33,746 lb (15,310 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 49,394 lb (22,405 kg)
  • Useful load: 20,608 lb (9,350 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 60,000 lb (24,655 kg)
  • Powerplant:Allison T56-A-425 turboprops, 4,800 shp (3,400 kW) each

Performance

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

References

  1. ^ C-2A Greyhound Logistics Aircraft
  2. ^ Navy eyes Ospreys as COD replacements
  3. ^ NAVAIR (November 1984). "Performance Summary" (PDF). Standard Aircraft Characteristics, Reprocured C-2A. http://www.history.navy.mil/planes/c-2.pdf. Retrieved 2006-05-12.  

External links








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