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Grumman C-2 Greyhound

C-2 Greyhound
A C-2A in July 1988, based at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy
Role Carrier-capable transport / Carrier onboard delivery
National origin United States
Manufacturer Grumman
Northrop Grumman
First flight 18 November 1964
Introduction 1966
Retired 1987, C-2A
Status In 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[1]
Developed from Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye

The Grumman C-2 Greyhound is a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft, designed to carry supplies, mail, and passengers to and from aircraft carriers of the United States Navy. Its primary mission is carrier onboard delivery (COD). The aircraft provides critical logistics support to carrier strike groups. The aircraft is mainly used to transport high-priority cargo, mail and passengers between carriers and shore bases, and can also deliver cargo like jet engines and special stores.

Prototype C-2s first flew in 1964 and production followed the next year. The initial Greyhound aircraft were overhauled in 1973. In 1984, more C-2As were ordered under the name Reprocured C-2A or C-2A(R). The C-2As received updated propellers (from four to eight blades) and navigation.


  • Design and development 1
    • Origins 1.1
    • Upgrades 1.2
  • Operational history 2
  • Variants 3
  • Operators 4
  • Accidents 5
  • Specifications (Reprocured C-2A) 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Design and development


The C-2 Greyhound, a derivative of the E-2 Hawkeye, shares wings and power plants with the E-2, but has a widened fuselage with a rear loading ramp. The first of two prototypes flew in 1964. After successful testing, Grumman began production of the aircraft in 1965. The C-2 replaced the piston-engined Grumman C-1 Trader in the COD role. The original C-2A aircraft were overhauled to extend their operational life in 1973.

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. The Greyhound's 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.

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

The C-2 has four vertical stabilizers, of which three are fitted with rudders. A single vertical stabilizer large enough for adequate directional control would have made the aircraft too tall to fit on an aircraft carrier hangar deck. The four-stabilizer configuration has the advantage of placing the outboard rudder surfaces directly in line with the propeller wash, providing effective yaw control down to low airspeeds, such as during takeoff and landing. In 1984, the Navy ordered 39 new C-2A aircraft to replace older airframes. Dubbed the Reprocured C-2A or 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.


The 36 C-2A(R)s underwent a critical Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). The C-2A(R)'s lifespan was 10,000 hours, or 15,000 carrier landings; plans require the C-2A to perform its mission supporting battle group operational readiness through 2015. The lower landing limit was approaching for most airframes, and the SLEP will increase their projected life to 15,000 hours or 36,000 landings. Once complete, the SLEP will allow the 36 aircraft to operate until 2027. The SLEP includes structural improvements to the center wing, an eight-bladed NP2000 propeller, 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 12 September 2005, after sitting on the ground for three and a half years while the SLEP was developed and installed. All aircraft will receive SLEP by 2015.[2]

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

In November 2008, the company also obtained a $37M contract for the maintenance, logistics and aviation administration services over five years for the C-2A fleet assigned to VX-20 test and evaluation squadron at Patuxent River. Northrop Grumman is currently working on an upgraded C-2 version, and has offered to modernize the fleet with components common to the E-2D Hawkeye.[3]

The C-2 competed with the V-22 Osprey for use as the future carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft. Northrop Grumman proposed modernizing the C-2 by installing the same wings, glass cockpit, and engines as the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye in two phases. The first would replace the engines and avionics, and the second would replace the wing structures. Installing the Rolls Royce T56-427A engines would cut fuel consumption by 13-15 percent with the same 8-bladed propeller; this would enable take offs with a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) payload in 125 °F (52 °C) degree heat and a range in excess of 1,400 nmi (1,600 mi; 2,600 km), similar performance by the C-2A requires engine temperatures at 70 °F (21 °C), requiring trading fuel for payload. Adopting the E-2D's cockpit would deliver a 10 percent savings on lifetime logistical support. One of the Greyhound's most important features is its internal volume of 860 cubic feet (24 m3) of cargo space.[4] Northrop Grumman stated that their approach could cost far less than the V-22 including $120 million from C-2 and E-2D commonality.[5] In February 2015, the Navy's FY 2016 budget confirmed the V-22's selection for the COD mission, which shall eventually replace the C-2 in the U.S. Navy.[6]

Operational history

A C-2 Greyhound launches from a carrier at sea.

Between November 1985 and February 1987, VR-24 (former Navy Transport Squadron) and its seven reprocured C-2As demonstrated the aircraft's exceptional operational readiness. The squadron delivered 2,000,000 pounds (910 t) of cargo, 2,000,000 pounds (910 t) of mail and 14,000 passengers in the European and Mediterranean theaters. The C-2A(R) also served the carrier battle groups during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War, as well as Operation Enduring Freedom during the War in Afghanistan.

The Common Support Aircraft was once considered as a replacement for the C-2, but failed to materialize. The USN was exploring a replacement for the C-2 in September 2009, including the V-22 Osprey.[7] Following tests and evaluations, the Navy selected the V-22 to replace the C-2 in February 2015.[8][9]

On 2 June 2011, the US Navy loaned two C-2A(R) Greyhounds from VRC-40 (USN BuNos 162143 & 162165) to the French Navy. The two aircraft were stationed at Toulon-Hyères Airport, Hyères to assist in improving the flow of logistics and supplies to the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle operating in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya in support of the NATO intervention in Libya. After 16 days, both aircraft returned to the US via Shannon Airport, Ireland on 18 June 2011.[10]


Interior view from the tail of a C-2A Greyhound assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40)
Prototype, two converted from E-2A Hawkeyes with redesigned fuselage.
Production variant, 17 built.
"Reprocured" C-2A with improved systems based on the E-2C variant, 39 built.


 United States of America


  • On 29 April 1965, YC-2A BuNo 148147 was on a test flight when it was ditched into Long Island Sound where the four crewmen died of exposure.[11]
  • On 2 July 1969, Lieutenant Commander Peter Monroe Kennedy was presented the Air Medal with bronze star, the first award for heroic achievement in aerial flights for a carrier onboard delivery aircraft. While returning to Naval Air Station Cubi Point from USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) operating in Southeast Asia, a failure in the engine gearbox and propeller assembly resulted in the loss of the entire port propeller assembly and substantial portions of the gearbox and nacelle. The separated propeller penetrated the fuselage's pressure bulkhead, causing decompression at over 20,000 feet. Kennedy and his copilot secured the engine, descended to a lower altitude, and returned to Cubi Point saving the lives of 14 military passengers and the flight crew.
  • On 2 October 1969, C-2A BuNo 152796 from VRC-50, carrying 6 crew members and 21 passengers crashed in the Gulf of Tonkin en route from Naval Air Station Cubi Point to USS Constellation (CV-64) in the Gulf of Tonkin. All aboard were killed and are officially listed as missing in action as their bodies were never recovered.[12]
  • On 15 December 1970, C-2A BuNo 155120 from VRC-50 crashed shortly after launch from USS Ranger (CV-61), killing all 4 crew members and 5 passengers.[13]
  • On 12 December 1971, C-2A BuNo 152793 crashed en route from Cubi Point to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, killing all 4 crew members and 6 passengers.[14]
  • On 29 January 1972, C-2A BuNo 155122 crashed while attempting to land on the USS Independence (CV-62) in the Mediterranean Sea, killing both crewmen.[15]
  • On 16 November 1973, C-2A BuNo 152787 crashed into the sea after takeoff from Chania International Airport, killing 7 of 10 persons on board.[16]

Specifications (Reprocured C-2A)

Orthographically projected diagram of the C-2A Greyhound

Data from U.S. Navy[1][17]

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: 2 × Allison T56-A-425 turboprops, 4,600 shp (3,400 kW) each


See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b "Navy Fact File". 17 February 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  2. ^ C-2A Greyhound Logistics Aircraft Archived May 5, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Osprey Takes on Greyhound in Fight Over U.S. Navy’s COD."
  4. ^ "The Future COD Aircraft Contenders: The Northrop Grumman C-2A Greyhound"., 3 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Navy May Delay Decision On Platform To Replace Carrier Supply Planes"., 25 April 2014.
  6. ^ Navy 2016 Budget Funds V-22 COD Buy, Carrier Refuel -, 2 February 2015
  7. ^ Tilghman, Andrew (23 September 2009). "Navy eyes Ospreys as COD replacements". Navy Times. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Renee Candelario, USN (8 October 2012). "Nimitz"MV-22 Osprey Flight Operations Tested Aboard USS . NNS121008-13. USS Nimitz Public Affairs. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Tilghman, Andrew (23 September 2009). "Navy eyes Ospreys as COD replacements". Navy Times. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "US Navy Loans Greyhounds to France". AirForces Monthly (Key Publishing), Issue 281, August 2011, p. 13. ISSN 09557091. Retrieved: 4 October 2011.
  11. ^ "29 April 1965 Grumman C-2A Greyhound". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "2 October 1969 Grumman C-2A Greyhound". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "15 December 1970 Grumman C-2A Greyhound". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "12 December 1971 Grumman C-2A Greyhound". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "29 January 1972 Grumman C-2A Greyhound". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "16 November 1973 Grumman C-2A Greyhound". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  17. ^ NAVAIR (November 1984). "Performance Summary" (PDF). Standard Aircraft Characteristics, Reprocured C-2A. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 

External links

  • US Navy C-2 fact file
  • US Navy Historical Center C-2A Factsheet
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