Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Grumman Guardian!

DH's friend in KC who is both a trainspotter, and planespotter, knew right away what the mystery plane at Toco was!  This is the ultra rare Grumman Guardian!

The Grumman Guardian was the original USN anti-sub warfare plane built specifically for that purpose.  It came in two different airframes, the Hunter (aka Guppy) and the Killer (aka Scrapper).  This particular plane is a Killer.  Note the bomb bay doors which are opened.  The Hunter variant had a radome underneath instead.  There were only 193 planes in the Killer configuration ever built.

A few weeks ago, this plane was in full Navy colors.  The tail color is more likely the dark navy blue, not black.  It also had the distinctive 4 bladed prop mounted at that time.  Apparently, someone is refurbishing her.  I'd love to get a serial# off her because there are only 5 known surviving Guardians.  This one is none of them, as far as I can tell.

Airworthy  (source Wikipedia)
On display
  • 123100 - National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida. It was the seventh AF-2S produced. The aircraft was operated as a firefighter until 1978. It was acquired by the museum in 1980. It is displayed in the colors of its first Navy assignment, though still carries the number "30" on the cowling, which for many years was the aircraft's call-sign as a firefighting aircraft;[14]
  • 129233 - Pima Air MuseumTucson, Arizona. This aircraft is displayed as it appeared while serving as an aerial firefighter with Aero Union in California. During this period the distinctive empennage with twin vertical stabilizers on each horizontal tail were removed to make a more conventional appearance.[15]
  • 126731 - Static display at the Commemorative Air Force's Mesa facility in Mesa, Arizona as a memorial to VAdm James B. Stockdale, who flew this aircraft early in his Navy career.[16][17]

What she is doing in Toco, at a tiny airfield, (besides being refinished apparently) is unclear.  Why in Toco?  What is here, that drew the owner to bring an ultra rare plane here?  I know there is an extensive warbird history at this field, but that was a LONG time ago.  I don't know if she flew in here, or was trucked in, but I bet there is a good story in there somewhere!


Per a wise gentleman on the web, who linked me some information on this plane, I know this is #126792 previously based in Ocala FL.  Also known as N9995Z, and based on the newest registry of record, it now makes sense why she is in Toco.  Mystery solved!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I blog for myself, my family and friends, and of course the Hounds! I love to read your comments, and I always read them all.

But if you are here just to shill your own product, or are a spammer, don't waste your time or mine.