LMP737
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1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:36 pm

The Navy last week to delivery of the latest version of the venerable Hawkeye. When the last Super Hornet and JSF are flown to the desert an E-2E will pick up the crew.  http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=198071

http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=89628
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:15 pm

Cool!

Are these all-new airframes or are they rebuilds?
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:26 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
Are these all-new airframes or are they rebuilds?

All new airframes! While on the outside they may look like like the E-2C on the inside its a completly new airplane. The brochures DEVILFISH posted links to has some good interior views.
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RaginMav
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:09 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 3):
All new airframes!

Interesting, I had no idea they were still building this 'ole thing! It's nice to see a major revamp of the design.

Two questions:
1) Other than increased transit speed and increased (unsupported) loiter time, what advantages or additional capabilities does the USAF's E-3 offer vs. the E-2D?

2) What's next for AWACS aircraft? While I'm sure both the E-2 and E-3 have years of service left, what can we expect 20+ years from now? Advancements in radar technology (AESA)? Airframes (unmanned, possibly?)

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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:18 pm

In the brochue it mentions that they will add inflight refueling for a future upgrade. Cool!
 
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:03 pm

Still no APU in the damn thing.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:25 pm

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 4):
Interesting, I had no idea they were still building this 'ole thing! It's nice to see a major revamp of the design.

Except for the brief period of time when they moved the production line from Calverton to St. Augustine its been in production since day one.

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 4):
Other than increased transit speed and increased (unsupported) loiter time, what advantages or additional capabilities does the USAF's E-3 offer vs. the E-2D?

It's kind of hard to compare the two in the sense that one is designed for carrier ops and the other is not. Of course the the E-3 has a bigger dish and more people operating the system. On the other hand the E-2D has newer electronics which usually means it will be easier to maintain.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:43 pm

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 4):
2) What's next for AWACS aircraft? While I'm sure both the E-2 and E-3 have years of service left, what can we expect 20+ years from now? Advancements in radar technology (AESA)? Airframes (unmanned, possibly?)

E2D has AESA, according to Wiki:

Quote:

The E-2D features an entirely new avionics suite, including the new APY-9 radar, radio suite, mission computer, integrated satellite communications capability, flight management system, improved turboprop engines, a new "glass cockpit", and the added capability for air-to-air refueling. The APY-9 radar features an Active Electronically Scanned Array, which adds electronic scanning to the mechanical rotation of the radar in its radome. The E-2D will include provisions for either one of the pilots to act as a Tactical 4th Operator, who will have access to the full range of the mission's acquired data.
Lockheed says:

Quote:

The AN/APY-9 radar has a solid-state silicon carbide-based transmitter with higher power for extended range, and digital receivers to increase sensitivity. The surveillance envelope of the UHF radar is about 250 percent larger than the E-2C's and can ‘see’ smaller targets and more of them at a greater range.

And VectorSite says:

Quote:

The AN/APY-9 is a "hybrid" radar, with the antenna rotating to scan the sky, but featuring a high-resolution passive phased array / electronically steered subsystem to focus on specific targets. The AN/APY-9 has improved processing and greater sensitivity, allowing it to observe a volume of airspace three times greater than that of the E-2C's AN/APS-145 radar. One of its significant new features is "space-time adaptive processing (STAP)" software to allow the radar to pick up targets in rough terrain and urban sprawl -- reflecting the more varied operational environments faced by the US Navy in the 21st century. The radar is complemented by an advanced digital ESM and an infrared imager, with the operational avionics system performing "sensor fusion" to produce a single annotated "map" of the airspace environment.

The operational avionics system features a new glass cockpit and three workstations with three 43 centimeter (17 inch) color flat-panel displays. Although the E-3D leverages heavily off of Hawkeye 2000 software, about two million lines of code have been added, providing much greater integration of the pilot, copilot, and three systems operators. The improved integration allows the pilot or copilot to lend a hand as a systems operator. The E-2D is fitted with uprated Rolls-Royce T56-A-427 engines to deal with higher takeoff weight.

Upgrades are already in planning, such as an improved CEC capability and a capability to intrude into adversary radio communications networks. Regular software updates are scheduled, for example to add improved target identification, more systems automation, and improved datalink access -- with one goal ultimately to permit remote operators at ground or shipboard stations to act as additional E-2D crew members. The E-2D also has a "open architecture" to permit relatively easy upgrades of hardware. There is interest in adding a midair refueling capability and fuel tank outboard of the wing fold to increase endurance, and an E-2C has been fitted with a refueling probe above the cockpit for trials.

Sounds like an awesome system!

It's funny how these successful upgrade programs are so low profile...
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:10 pm

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 4):
1) Other than increased transit speed and increased (unsupported) loiter time, what advantages or additional capabilities does the USAF's E-3 offer vs. the E-2D?

A "national asset" (meaning "political") presence. An E-3 deployment gets media attention. An E-2 deployment gets no media attention.

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 4):
2) What's next for AWACS aircraft? While I'm sure both the E-2 and E-3 have years of service left, what can we expect 20+ years from now? Advancements in radar technology (AESA)? Airframes (unmanned, possibly?)

Both are and have been receiving continious system upgrades. Unmanned is the most logical next "big" step.

Quoting yanqui67 (Reply 5):
In the brochue it mentions that they will add inflight refueling for a future upgrade. Cool!

NOT cool. The Hawkeye's single biggest limiting factor has never been endurance, but rather crew fatigue. 3 crew doing what an AWACS' 13 member crew does for 7 hours straight is more than a bit draining. Nice to see they've finally adopted my 1983 recommendation: add mission capability to cockpit (replace co-pilot with an "operator"). The CV's would love IFR [launch one day, recover the next day] but the crew will be drained after 6-7 hours anyway. No way to in-flight replace them.

Quoting dragon6172 (Reply 6):
Still no APU in the damn thing.

It has been an option since E-2B days, but USN has never purchased that option.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 8):
It's funny how these successful upgrade programs are so low profile...

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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:00 pm

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 9):
Nice to see they've finally adopted my 1983 recommendation: add mission capability to cockpit (replace co-pilot with an "operator"). The CV's would love IFR [launch one day, recover the next day] but the crew will be drained after 6-7 hours anyway. No way to in-flight replace them.

I wonder how much time will be added to the training syllabus for pilots to help operate the system from the right seat.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:44 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 10):
I wonder how much time will be added to the training syllabus for pilots to help operate the system from the right seat.

The quicker/easier/cheaper option is to train a "mole" to perform the co-pilot functions --you can't land on CV from right seat anyway. We tried that for a few months in '83 (USN short on E2 pilots) and it worked. Only problem was that there was essentially nothing for the "mole" to do most of the flight since we had no access to the weapon systems from the front seats at that time. The other problem was that "moles" like the dark and were uncomfortable actually seeing not only what a CV landing looked like, but what it took in the way of acft control in order to land aboard a ship at sea. Best description: "I want to sit in the back, look out my porthole and see water-water-water-steel-crash." The trial program ended with no further action.... for obvious reasons. OTOH, if USN teaches them from the start, perhaps there would be a different result.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:15 am

Sounds to me like the senior pilot will be sitting in the right seat, commanding the aircraft, while the junior pilot actually flies the plane. And as if the British needed further support for making their carrier like the US and the French, as opposed to just for VSTOL aircraft. Why even have a carrier if you can't get an E-2D to be your eyes and ears?!
 
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:20 am

Quoting dragon6172 (Reply 6):
Still no APU in the damn thing.

It has been an option since E-2B days, but USN has never purchased that option.


So when there is "power on", does the aircraft have to be hooked up to air for equipment cooling or are there ventilation systems that handle that using the applied power....I only ask because GSE is a pain in the A#$.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:21 pm

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 11):
The quicker/easier/cheaper option is to train a "mole" to perform the co-pilot functions --you can't land on CV from right seat anyway. We tried that for a few months in '83 (USN short on E2 pilots) and it worked. Only problem was that there was essentially nothing for the "mole" to do most of the flight since we had no access to the weapon systems from the front seats at that time. The other problem was that "moles" like the dark and were uncomfortable actually seeing not only what a CV landing looked like, but what it took in the way of acft control in order to land aboard a ship at sea. Best description: "I want to sit in the back, look out my porthole and see water-water-water-steel-crash." The trial program ended with no further action.... for obvious reasons. OTOH, if USN teaches them from the start, perhaps there would be a different result.

If they were to throw a NFO into the right seat how would that affect the E-2 pilot community? It would seem that while the right seater might not have a lot to do flying wise there is always the value of the more senior pilot showing the junior guy the ropes in an operational squadron.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:07 am

Awesome news for the Hawkeye community. It's amazing to realize that the E-2 made its first flight 50 years ago and is still going strong. One question I've always had that's a bit off topic is what the purpose of the intakes on the dorsal and starboard sides of the fuselage are - are they for equipment cooling?

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 4):


2) What's next for AWACS aircraft? While I'm sure both the E-2 and E-3 have years of service left, what can we expect 20+ years from now? Advancements in radar technology (AESA)? Airframes (unmanned, possibly?)

It's a good question and I'm not sure who has the answers to it. A decade ago the roadmap was clearer, especially with the "airframes" portion of the question being easily answered. The plan was for the USAF going with the 764-derived E-10 and the USN adopting the Common Support Aircraft which would have had variants taking care of the AEW, ASW, EW, ES, COD, and IFR roles once held by the E-2, S-3, ES-3, EA-6B, C-2, and KA-6. With the cancellation of those two programs though, I think your guess is as good as mine for what the future holds. That being said I wouldn't be surprised if 20 years from now we're seeing the AEW role handled by re-engined E-3s along with the E-2.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:37 pm

Quoting nutsaboutplanes (Reply 13):
So when there is "power on", does the aircraft have to be hooked up to air for equipment cooling or are there ventilation systems that handle that using the applied power....I only ask because GSE is a pain in the A#$.

There is no provision for external cooling air. There are provisions for two external power sources: one for general aircraft power the other for the equipment cooling ("vapor cycle") system. With 6+ TONS of avionics, there is simply too much electrical demand for a single source to handle if you need to turn on everything.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 14):
If they were to throw a NFO into the right seat how would that affect the E-2 pilot community? It would seem that while the right seater might not have a lot to do flying wise there is always the value of the more senior pilot showing the junior guy the ropes in an operational squadron.

Most tactical aircraft are single-pilot so I have never understood the need for two pilots in the "Hummer." Yes, it is quite exhausting (mentally) trying to fly within +/- 1 degree of pitch/roll for 6+ hours, but it can and is done regularly (few autopilot systems can handle the unstable airframe for more than a few weeks at sea without complete failure).

IMHO, seniority (read: experience) is significantly overrated, especially in a community where the entire mission is completely dominated by the NFOs. E-2 pilots in general have an ego problem unless/until they learn to grasp that the mission is entirely about getting the sensor platform (and operators) in the right spot (NFO decision), maintain that platform in the best configuration while "on-station," make safety-of-flight decisions (balanced against the NFO's mission-success decision) and also try to relieve as much non-mission critical (B.S.) "task loading" from the NFO's as possible. Bottom line is: the plane and the mission is all about the NFO's getting the job done. The pilot has a supporting role, not a primary role. The best E-2 pilots grasp that concept early and (unfortunately, on their own) learn how to operate the weapon system --at least the basics-- in order to better understand the NFO job and how they (pilots) can best to make the NFO job easier.

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 15):
One question I've always had that's a bit off topic is what the purpose of the intakes on the dorsal and starboard sides of the fuselage are - are they for equipment cooling?

Heat exchangers for the equipment and radar cooling systems. 6+ TONS of electronic equipment (including a 1+ MILLION watt radar] generate a LOT of heat and like any electronic system (think: any computer), all that equipment works best in a very controlled environment.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:04 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Thread starter):
When the last Super Hornet and JSF are flown to the desert an E-2E will pick up the crew.

Or maybe a reborn C-2D?.....

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http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ches-c-2a-remanufacture-study.html

Quote:
"The US Navy may launch a remanufacturing programme to extend the service lives of 36 Northrop Grumman C-2A Greyhounds by using tooling and components already developed for the E-2D.

[.....]

It is not clear how much additional service life the navy hopes to achieve by launching a remanufacturing programme. NAVAIR's announcement says the study will focus on remanufacturing the C-2A's fuselage.

Northrop also must analyse remanufacturing ideas that provide 'maximum use of common components and tooling with E-2D production', NAVAIR says."


Quoting Revelation (Reply 8):
It's funny how these successful upgrade programs are so low profile...

Perhaps nobody wants to broadcast that lower-cost options exist and work?

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 15):
and the USN adopting the Common Support Aircraft which would have had variants taking care of the AEW, ASW, EW, ES, COD, and IFR roles once held by the E-2, S-3, ES-3, EA-6B, C-2, and KA-6.

If the study results were positive, then a C-2D COD platform would be a shoo-in. As for the other roles - SEAHOUND anyone?
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:57 pm

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 16):
Yes, it is quite exhausting (mentally) trying to fly within /- 1 degree of pitch/roll for 6 hours, but it can and is done regularly (few autopilot systems can handle the unstable airframe for more than a few weeks at sea without complete failure).



It must have been nice moving onto the airline environment where autopilots are almost always working.  

Wonder if any changes were made to the flightcontrol/autopilot on the E-2 to make more reliable.

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 16):
E-2 pilots in general have an ego problem unless/until they learn to grasp that the mission is entirely about getting the sensor platform (and operators) in the right spot (NFO decision),


Same could be said, sort of, about the F-14. It was kind of pointless without the RIO there to run the weapons system.

It will be interesting to see what route the Navy takes regarding the right seat of the E-2D. Will they train an NFO to help the pilot with some tasks. Or will they stick with two pilots and just add some extra time to the training syllabus in order to train the pilots to use the system.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 17):
Or maybe a reborn C-2D?.....

That would be neat. By the sound of it the Navy is going to stick with remanufacturing them.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:55 pm

The USN is now conducting carrier suitability trials on the Truman with the E-2D.

http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=97134

http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=97109
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:08 pm

The V-22 could take over the C-2, E-2, ASW platform for the Navy.
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BladeLWS
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:29 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 20):
The V-22 could take over the C-2, E-2, ASW platform for the Navy.

and have no where near the loiter time and range the E-2/C-2 provides, and there would be no place to mount the radar, since the V-22 deck storage folding would prevent that. Now as an ASW platform for long range sonobouy, mine, dipping array, and torpedo work would be something to look at. As a battle group commander I would be very happy to have an ASW aircraft that could fly a couple hundred miles infront of me, drop a screen of sonobouy's, do some sonar dipping, and then zoom back to the carrier.
 
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:29 pm

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 21):
As a battle group commander I would be very happy to have an ASW aircraft that could fly a couple hundred miles infront of me, drop a screen of sonobouy's, do some sonar dipping, and then zoom back to the carrier.

And it could operate from more platforms.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:37 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 22):
And it could operate from more platforms.

Really not anymore than it already does due to its size. It would be a fairly expensive conversion to make a dedicated ASW platform that could only be operated from carriers. Now if the Navy were to make addon modules like the LCS has you could so something with that. Roll on pallets with presetup computers and equipment, stick a dipping sonar onto the interior and stick it through the bottom hatch, put a single reloadable bouy launcher out one of the side doors (maybe an issue in flight mode), and have bolt on racks to carry two torpedos next to the landing gear. This way you can take a stock V-22 and convert it into a battlegroup ASW platform within a couple of hours. Would be a good supplement to the P-3/737 when the fleet is outside of land based coverage.
 
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:02 pm

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 23):
Now if the Navy were to make addon modules like the LCS has you could so something with that. Roll on pallets with presetup computers and equipment, stick a dipping sonar onto the interior and stick it through the bottom hatch, put a single reloadable bouy launcher out one of the side doors (maybe an issue in flight mode), and have bolt on racks to carry two torpedos next to the landing gear.

That much weight and body drag would do miserable things to V-22's range.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:56 pm

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 23):
Now if the Navy were to make addon modules like the LCS has you could so something with that. Roll on pallets with presetup computers and equipment, stick a dipping sonar onto the interior and stick it through the bottom hatch, put a single reloadable bouy launcher out one of the side doors (maybe an issue in flight mode), and have bolt on racks to carry two torpedos next to the landing gear. This way you can take a stock V-22 and convert it into a battlegroup ASW platform within a couple of hours. Would be a good supplement to the P-3/737 when the fleet is outside of land based coverage.

I would have liked to have seen the S-3 line repopened. An S-3C model with new avionics, new engines, FBW along with a composite wing, horizontal and veritcal stab to save on wieght. Did not happen though and never will. If the navy were to get a non-helo ASW paltform it would probably be a V-22 mod. I doubt we will see it.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:58 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 25):
If the navy were to get a non-helo ASW paltform it would probably be an F/A-18 mod. I doubt we will see it.

Fixed that for you  
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:10 pm

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 16):
few autopilot systems can handle the unstable airframe for more than a few weeks at sea without complete failure

Can you expand a bit on this? What makes the carrier environment so challenging for autopilots?
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BladeLWS
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:12 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 25):
I would have liked to have seen the S-3 line repopened. An S-3C model with new avionics, new engines, FBW along with a composite wing, horizontal and veritcal stab to save on wieght. Did not happen though and never will. If the navy were to get a non-helo ASW paltform it would probably be a V-22 mod. I doubt we will see it.

^ That along with the A-6F Super Intruder.
 
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:47 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 27):
Can you expand a bit on this? What makes the carrier environment so challenging for autopilots?

Not so much the CV environment as the limitations the CV puts upon the maint. crews trying to troubleshoot/fix the Hawkeye A/P system. To see what the A/P system is doing you need to spread the wings --connect the ailerons and free up the rudders. That is an EXTREMELY RARE occurance on a CVN... no matter how big the boat gets! Beyond that, it is normal --but more than most-- tactical acft A/P maintenance requirements.

The problem with the Hummer is that it is a dynamically unstable airframe. Built entirely around the radar system it is a 1950's design that has seen multiple complete replacements of the inner workings and only minor aerodynamic and flight system upgrades (not broken = don't fix it). The dome was designed to be aerodynamically and center-of-gravity neutral. By the time I left the fleet the dome was still aerodynamically neutral, but the weight was far-far-far from center-of-gravity neutral. Rotate that dome constantly for hours on end and you can see that the A/P has its work cut out for it trying to stay +/- 1 degree of perfectly level.

The baseline E2C (APS-125 system) had 1500lbs of lead ballast in the nose section due to all the increased system weight added over the years elsewhere. I kept recommending an APP (electrical, no air) and "mission set" in right seat instead of the weight, but....... Throw in three movable rudders each with 20 degrees of displacement and you get an idea of the problems an A/P system must cope with and the very small parameter it must remain within.

Did the USN do a complete redesign (including weight/balance issues) with the E-2D? Who knows. Normal Ops is to keep adding system capability (i.e., weight) and therefore increasing engine power (i.e., thrust) to an ancient airframe that was designed for "as close as possible to 10,000 hours wing life." It was not hard to find the cause of the many broken wing spars found in mid-life (~4-5k hour) E2C's in mid-80's. We were flying them much harder, faster, longer and more often than they were designed for. Thankfully, Grumman had a good sturdy design that has done far more than it was ever thought it could ever do.
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:41 am

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 26):
Fixed that for you

Thanks!  
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:07 am

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 29):
Did the USN do a complete redesign (including weight/balance issues) with the E-2D? Who knows. Normal Ops is to keep adding system capability (i.e., weight) and therefore increasing engine power (i.e., thrust) to an ancient airframe that was designed for "as close as possible to 10,000 hours wing life." It was not hard to find the cause of the many broken wing spars found in mid-life (~4-5k hour) E2C's in mid-80's. We were flying them much harder, faster, longer and more often than they were designed for. Thankfully, Grumman had a good sturdy design that has done far more than it was ever thought it could ever do.



I would think the Navy would have at least updated the avionics associated with the auto pilot. Those older systems get harder and more expensive to maintain as the years go buy. Companies go under or stop making parts. To put he same AP system into the E-2D while spending all that money on the radar makes little sense.

However, as both you an I know from personal experience what we think the Navy should do an what it actually does are often two different things.  
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RE: 1st Production E-2D Delivered To USN

Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:49 pm

Recently the E-2D was used in testing the new EMALS systen at Lakehurst. So much for the smell of dirty steam coming off the cats. Maybe the smell of ozone instead.  http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=108108

http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=107992
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