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GRUMMAN S2A TRACKER IN SERVICE BY THE NETHERLANDS NAVAL AIR ARM In the year 1960, under the Mutual Defense Aid program (MDAP). The Netherlands received the first batch of 28 S2A Grumman Trackers. The Trackers were to be stationed on the carrier Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman and the Naval Air Base “Valkenburg”. Major maintenance was carried out on the Naval Airbase “De Kooy” The 28 Trackers were registered 146/173. Powered by two Curtiss Wright R1820-82 radial engines, generating 1575 HP each. The plane was certainly NOT under powered. Armament consisted mainly out of torpedoes, rockets and depth charges. To search the patrol area, the operator could use a very powerful search radar. This radar was located in a dome in the belly of the aircraft. This dome could be lowered to make full use of this device. To detect minute variations in the earth’s magnetic field, the Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), was housed on the extreme back of the plane. This boom could be extended. The S2A and the SH-34J Sikorsky helicopter were the onboard equipment for the Dutch carrier to hunt submarines. Normally, six to eight trackers and four to six helicopters were carried during operational trips. These former British Fleet carriers were rather small for the big sized Tracker. To my knowledge, none crashed during start or approach. The plane could be catapulted into the air, or make a free start from the back of the flight deck. THE SCALE MODEL 1/72 SCALE HASEGAWA/REVELL To my knowledge, this model was first presented in the seventies, so it was manufactured the old way. The Tracker was a rather large airplane in wing sizes. To reduce this, I disconnected the outer wing halves, so that the original wing fold was established. To enhance the model, I purchased the following Eduard sets: Bomb Bay/Exterior and Cockpit set. To place the metal Bomb Bay in the model, all plastic coverings in this area were removed. The metal bomb bay is rather flimsy, so a very careful approach had to be taken. Once in place, the corners were extra supported by Evergreen beams. The cockpit escape hatches were removed. On the deck, during the start and approach, these were always open, to ensure a quick escape for the pilots with ditching. The operators had their own escape hatches above their heads. These were closed. Opening was possible from the in and outside. On the back of the aircraft, I made one more hatch, this contained the dinghy. I improved the landing gear bays and the front landing gear. From metal tubing, I made the MAD boom on the backside. This can be extended or retracted. The S2 was painted with XTRA Colors and the airbrush used was the Revell Master Class. Decals were from the Revell box and Dutch Decal. The model was sealed with Humbrol Medium Gloss Cote. SERIAL 160 In the Revell box, it contains the decals for serial 160. This particular aircraft has the following history: Bureau Number 148282. From 1960 until 1968, carrier based on board Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman (R81) From 1968 until 1976, land based (Mostly Naval Air Station Valkenburg) 1976 until present, stationed at the Military Aviation Museum, located at the village of Soesterberg in the Netherlands. Model Photos made by Joris de Neve, webmaster modeling club Eeklo (Belgium) Real pictures from the website www.vlaggeschipsmaldeel5.nl . This site is regularly updated by Webmaster Steven Visser, a former Naval NCO technician, who served on the carrier in the sixties. The carrier is also available in the scale 1/400. This set contains the plastic model, resin update for the angled deck configuration and numerous etch sets, including the (Large) Holland Signal Radars. Questions about all of this, just ask me. Regards, Derek The Netherlands. Next time on ready for inspection: "Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman" in 1/400 scale, including many Trackers on deck.
THE NEPTUNE P2V-7/SP-2H IN SERVICE WITH THE ROYAL NETHERLANDS NAVY: NAS=Naval Air Station NAF=Naval Air facility RNLN=Royal Netherlands Navy MLD= Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (Naval Air Arm/ Royal Netherlands Navy) On the 21 off august 1961, it was decided by the Dutch Ministry of Defense that the Royal Netherlands Navy was to acquire 15 Lockheed Neptunes air frames type P2V-7B. These aircraft were to be numbered 200/214. The reason for this acquisition was a large conflict with Indonesia over the Dutch colony Papua New Guinea. To strengthen the presence of the Dutch armed Forces in the region, the choice fell on the Lockheed Neptune. These aircraft were to be armed in the nose section with four Hispano 20mm machine guns. Eventually eleven aircraft were flown from Lockheed Burbank to Naval Air station Biak in Netherlands New Guinea. The chosen route was: Burbank-NAS Alameda-NAS barbers Point-NAF Kwajalein to Biak, a flight from more than 6000 miles. They were to form Squadron 321. Four Neptunes (209-210-211-2120) were flown directly from the factory to the Netherlands for crew training and evaluation. Neptune registration number 200, crashed on the 11th of May 1962 at the airport of Mokmer, after fire in the starboard jet-engine. On landing, it lost all hydraulic pressure and ended in a ditch. It was written off. In august 1962, the conflict came to an end. In that same year the Neptunes flew back from NAS Biak via Tan-Son-Nhut-Katunayake-Karachi-Basra-Athens and finally to NAS Valkenburg. Only ten aircraft were to return. After the return to the Netherlands, the strength was fourteen aircraft. All were posted to the 320 squadron at NAS Valkenburg. Eventually, the machine guns in the nose were removed and replaced by the transparent nose section and after further anti submarine modifications renamed SP-2H. On the 23 of January 1965, Neptune (212) crashed in the North Sea. It was then decided to increase the squadron with four ex- French Navy Neptune aircraft. These were numbered 215/218. To note: Is that the 212 was “hijacked” by two aircraft mechanics. After take-off from the runway at Naval Air Station Valkenburg, the 212 crashed in the North Sea. Both mechanics lost their lives. The Navy lost a very precious airframe. After this incident, you were shot without any questions if you got near the parked Neptunes. Taking part in many military exercises and patrolling the oceans in the cold war period In 1982, the last operational Neptunes were phased out and replaced by the P-3 Lockheed Orion. For thirty years, this beautiful aircraft did sterling service for the RNLN.The specific sound of the Wright R-3350 18 cil, accompanied by the Westinghouse J34-WE jet engines were over. LONG RANGE MARITIME PATROL AIRCRAFT (LRMPA) THE COCKPIT ACCESS PANEL IN OPENED POSITION, FOR A BETTER VIEUW IN THE "OFFICE". NOTE ACCESS LADDER "THE OFFICE" THE EDUARD BOMB BAY. ALWAYS OPEN AFTER THE AIRCRAFT WAS SHUT DOWN. FRONTAL VIEUW OF THIS BEAUTIFUL AIRCRAFT. NETHERLANDS NAVY STENCILS AND THE ROUNDELS. (EXCELLENT DECALS IN THE REVELL BOX) IF ANY QUESTIONS ARISE, JUST SHOOT. FOR MORE PICTURES SEE " THE AIRLINERS NET " SEE ALSO THE GROUP BUILD OF THE NEPTUNES IN "WORK IN PROGRESS" REGARDS FROM THE NETHERLANDS, ORION.-