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Grumman
E-1 Tracer AWACS

The Grumman E-1 Tracer was the first purpose-built airborne early warning aircraft used by the United States Navy. It was a derivative of the Grumman C-1 Trader and entered service in 1958. It was replaced by the more modern Grumman E-2 Hawkeye by the 1970s.

Grumman E-1 Tracer AWACS

Role Carrier Airborne early warning
National origin United States
Manufacturer Grumman
First flight 17 December 1956
Introduction 1958
Retired 1977
Status Retired
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 88
Developed from Grumman C-1 Trader

Grumman

Grumman
E-1 Tracer AWACS

Click here Grumman Electronic Aircraft

Grumman
E-1 Tracer AWACS

The Grumman E-1 Tracer was the first purpose-built airborne early warning aircraft used by the United States Navy. It was a derivative of the Grumman C-1 Trader and entered service in 1958. It was replaced by the more modern Grumman E-2 Hawkeye by the 1970s.

The E-1 was designated WF under the 1922 United States Navy aircraft designation system; the designation earned it the nickname “Willy Fudd”. The Tracer was derived from the C-1 Trader, itself a derivative of the S-2 Tracker carrier-based antisubmarine aircraft, known as S2F under the old system, nicknamed “Stoof”, leading to the WF/E-1, with its distinctive radome, being known as “Stoof with a Roof.”

Design

The E-1 featured folding wings of a very particular design for compact storage aboard aircraft carriers; unlike the S-2 and C-1 in which the wings folded upwards, the radome atop the fuselage required the E-1’s designers to re-adopt an updated version of the Grumman-patented Sto-Wing folding wing system, pioneered on their earlier Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat piston-engined fighter of the early-WW II period, to fold its wings aftwards along the sides of the fuselage

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Grumman E-1 Tracer (1956)

As one of the first carrier based early warning aircraft, the E-1 Tracer served from 1958 to 1977, although considered only an interim type, being replaced by the Grumman E-2 Hawkeye in the mid-1960s. During the early years of the Vietnam War, E-1s saw extensive service, providing combat air patrol (CAP) fighters with target vectors, and controlling Alpha strikes over North Vietnam. With a radius of 250–300 miles, the E-1B served as an early warning to strike aircraft, of enemy MiG’s activity.

Specifications

  • Crew: 4 (2 flight crew with 2 radar/intercept controllers)
  • Length: 45 ft 4 in (13.82 m)
  • Wingspan: 72 ft 4 in (22.05 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m)
  • Empty weight: 20,638 lb (9,361 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 26,600 lb (12,066 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-1820-82A Cyclone 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 1,525 hp (1,137 kW) 
  • Maximum speed: 238 mph (383 km/h, 207 kn) at 4,000 ft (1,219 m)
  • Cruise speed: 163 mph (262 km/h, 142 kn)
  • Range: 1,035 mi (1,666 km, 899 nmi)
  • Endurance: 6 hours 50 minutes
  • Service ceiling: 15,800 ft (4,800 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,120 ft/min (5.7 m/s)

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Seven U.S. Navy squadrons flew the F11F-1: VF-21 and VF-33 in the Atlantic Fleet and VA-156 (redesignated VF-111 in January 1959), VF-24 (redesignated VF-211 in March 1959), VF-51, VF-121, and VF-191 in the Pacific Fleet.

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