S2 (P16) Brazilian " Tracker "

by  Claudio Moura


The Brazilian Trackers history began before their arrival.
In 1956 the Brazil Navy (MB) bought the English HMS Vegeance carrier, baptizing the ship Slight Aerodrome "Minas Gerais". For that time and due to political reasons the Brazil Navy could not operate airplanes, so the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) created in 1957 the 1° Aboard Aviation Group (1° GAE).

In 1961 13 S2F-1 (S2A) arrived, bought directly to Grumman, and designated P16, receiving the registration number 7014 to 7026. They were seated at the Santa Cruz Air Base (BASC) in Rio de Janeiro, where also are the 1° and 2° Squadrons of the 1° Fight Group. They had as floating base the "Minas Gerais" carrier.
In 1965 these airplanes began to operate from the carrier, when in January the first P16 landing was achieved.
In 1976 the FAB received 8 S2E acquired from the U.S. Navy stock and designated in Brazil P16E, with the registration numbers 7030 to 7037.
With these purchases was formed the 2° Squadron of the 1° Aviation Aboard Group, which had all the first P16, renowned P16A, and the duty to train the personal for ASW missions. Actually the training is in charge of the 1° Squadron which has P16E.
During eight years service the P16A were transformed in transports UP16 (similar to the US2-B of the U.S. Navy) with the whole ASW equipment retired. Between 1976 to 1988 six S2E were acquired, which were used for logistical purposes, supporting the PE16E work on operation.
On August 13th, 1996 the last P16 (P16E 7034) operational flight was realized from the "Minas Gerais", concluding in this way the use of these ASW airships in the FAB.
Ten airplanes were lost in accidents and today five airships are preserved, the same ones are in:
"Museu Aeroespacial - Rio de Janeiro " (P16A 7016 and P16E 7037)
"Base Aérea de santa Cruz "(P16E 7032)
TAM air company museum (Air taxi Marília).
We also found in stock others 6 in the "Parque de Material Aeronáutico de San Pablo" (PAMA/SP), possibly the six logistics ones.
The available kits for modelers are of the S2A version by Hasegawa and Hobbycraft. It is not necessary to make any modification to realize this airplane with the Brazilian badges, only the use of FCM (72-02) decals.
For those who are interested in these airplanes history, I recommend the following places:


P16a.jpg (368324 bytes) P16b.jpg (289704 bytes) P16c.jpg (336396 bytes) P16d.jpg (307670 bytes)
P16e.jpg (332853 bytes) P16f.jpg (316214 bytes) P16g.jpg (294864 bytes) P16h.jpg (320104 bytes)
P16i.jpg (367382 bytes) P16j.jpg (360060 bytes) P16m.jpg (335904 bytes) P16n.jpg (356436 bytes)
P16o.jpg (388328 bytes) P16p.jpg (283122 bytes) P16q.jpg (295136 bytes)