The C-2 Greyhound is a twin-engine high-wing cargo aircraft designed to carry supplies and passengers to and from aircraft carriers of the US Navy.
Here are the 10 facts about the US Navy’s humble, heavy-duty workhorse:
1. Its main mission is Carrier Onboard Delivery
It offers important logistic support to carrier strike groups and is primarily used to transport high-priority cargo between carriers and shore bases.
2. The development of the aircraft is a derivative of the E-2 Hawkeye
It has the same wings and power plants. However, it has a bigger fuselage with a rear loading ramp.
3. The Greyhound is powered by twin Allison T56-A-425 turboprop engines and Hamilton-Sundstrand speed propellers
This allows the plane to transport cargo between ship and shore only in a matter of hours.
Given its ground power self-sufficiency even in remote areas, it gives operational versatility like no other cargo aircraft.
4. The interior arrangement of the cabin could accommodate priority cargo such as jet engines, passengers, litter patients, and key spare parts
It also features a cargo cage system that offers restraint for loads during ship launches and landings. Furthermore, the C-2A’s open ramp flight capability allows airdropping of supplies and personnel from a carrier-launched aircraft.
5. It features an on-board auxiliary unit
This provides aircraft self-sufficiency on remote airfields. The C-2 fleet offers airborne logistics capability to the carrier strike force across a wide range of sea-basing military operations.
6. The aircraft has several operational histories
Between 1985-1987, the seven reprocured C-2As showed the aircraft’s readiness. The squadron managed to deliver 2,000,000 pounds of cargo and mails, and 12,000 passengers to the European and Mediterranean theaters.
The C-2AR also served the carrier battle groups during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War. It was also deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom during the war in Afghanistan.
7. Despite it’s success, it also suffered unfortunate accidents
On April 1965, the aircraft was on a test flight when it crashed, killing all crew members. In 1969, the C-2A carrying six crew members and 21 passengers crashed in the Gulf of Tonkin. All of the people on board were reported missing, as their bodies were never found.
In November 2017, the aircraft crashed carrying 11 crew and passengers while in flight to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. 8 out of 11 passengers were saved.
8. The C2-A R had a service life of 10,000 hours or 15,000 carrier landings
This is after the 36 C-2A Rs underwent the key Service Life Extension Program or SLEP. The SLEP program will extend the aircraft’s projected life to 15,000 hours or 36,000 landings.
9. All aircraft were to receive the SLEP by 2015
Structural improvements for the aircraft include an eight-bladed NP2000 propeller, the center wing, and navigation modifications like the GPS, the dual CAINS II navigation system, ground proximity warning systems, and crash survival flight incident recorders.
10. Northrop Grumman worked on an upgraded version of the C-2 version
It also offered to modernize the fleet with components that are relatively common with the E-2D Hawkeye.