One of the US Navy’s E-2C Hawkeyes retired from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120 on May 9 and reported for duty at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.
The E-2 is an important addition to the National Naval Aviation Museum’s collection, said Phil Goodspeed, National Naval Aviation Museum spokesperson. Other museums with E-2s on display include the Air Victory Museum in Lumberton, New Jersey; the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York; and the USS Midway Museum at San Diego, California.
“Pensacola is where all naval flight officers are trained. They get their wings here, so it’s fitting for us to have a platform that’s very NFO-intensive for the crew onboard,” Goodspeed said. “The E-2 is a very familiar platform, since it’s been flying and a very visible part of naval aviation for half a century. That makes it a platform that the public is very aware of since it’s so long serving. Plus, they are unique with the large radome and draw attention whenever you see them.”
Modern aircraft, such as the E-2C that recently arrived at Pensacola, are an easy addition to the museum’s display. Since the aircraft are in working condition when they land — and typically have been in active use by the fleet — there is little lag time before they go on display for visitors.
“In the case of the E-2, it’s just pretty much as long as it takes to demilitarize and defuel [the aircraft] — a very short period of time. I anticipate sometime this summer it will be available for people to see,” Goodspeed said. “Modern planes like the Hawkeye arrive in excellent condition. Squadrons make it a point of pride to make sure they look like show pieces when they get here.”
For many, the E-2C is more than just an educational reference for those who have never flown an E-2. It is also important for those who have worked on or in an E-2 Hawkeye, from design and test through fleet service and maintenance.
Press Release, June 24, 2014; Image: NAVAIR