Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Mighty War Hoover

Yes, It Can Carry Weapons!
Fill'er Up!

Yes, boys and girls, it's the Mighty War Hoover. Also known as the S-3 Viking, Tuna's old ride.

So why do they call it "the Hoover"? Listen carefully!

Makes sense now, right?

So what are S-3 people like? Let's take a look. (I wonder if Tuna knows any of these guys. Hell, I wonder if Tuna is one of these guys!)

Well, I'm sure some of them are normal. Right? Tuna? A little help...

Blog Buddy Spill posted this S-3 Cutaway back in October. I reproduce it here. (Or you can chase the link, I won't be offended, really.)

Now the Hoover could carry a lot of stuff (as you can see in the diagram above). Here's a more exhaustive list from Wikipedia. (Where else?)

Specifications (S-3A)
General characteristics
  • Crew: 4 (Pilot, 2× Naval Flight Officers, Sensor Operator/TFO)
  • Length: 53 ft 4 in (16.26 m)
  • Wingspan: Unfolded: 68 ft 8 in (20.93 m)
  • Folded: 29 ft 6 in (9.00 m)
  • Height: 22 ft 9 in (6.93 m)
  • Wing area: 598 ft² (55.56 m²)
  • Empty weight: 26,581 lb (12,057 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 38,192 lb (17,324 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 52,539 lb (23,831 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric TF34-GE-2 turbofans, 9,275 lbf (41.26 kN) each
  • Internal fuel capacity: 1,933 US gal (7,320 L) of JP-5 fuel
  • External fuel capacity: 2x 300 US gal (1,136 L) tanks
  • Maximum speed: 429 kn (493 mph, 795 km/h) at sea level
  • Mach 0.79, 450 kn (514 mph, 828 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,100 m)
  • Cruise speed: 350 kn (405 mph, 650 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 97 kn (112 mph, 180 km/h)
  • Range: 2,765 nm (3,182 mi, 5,121 km)
  • Ferry range: 3,368 nm(3,875 mi, 6,237 km)
  • Service ceiling: 40,900 ft (12,465 m)
  • Rate of climb: 5,120 ft/min (26.0 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 68.5 lb/ft² (334 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.353
Up to 4,900 lb (2,220 kg) on four internal and two external hardpoints, including:
  • 10 × 500 lb (227 kg) Mark 82 bombs
  • 2 × 1000 lb (454 kg) Mark 83 bombs
  • 2 × 2000 lb (908 kg) Mark 84 bombs
  • 6 × CBU-100 cluster bombs
  • 2 × Mark 50 torpedoes
  • 4 × Mark 46 torpedoes
  • 6 × mines or depth charges
  • 2 × B57 nuclear bombs
  • 2 × AGM-65E/F Maverick missiles
  • 2 × AGM-84D Harpoon missiles
  • 1 × AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER missile

The two underwing hardpoints can also be fitted with unguided rocket pods or 300 US gal (1,136 l) fuel tanks.

  • AN/APS-116 sea search radar, maximum range 150 nmi (173 mi, 278 km)
  • Upgraded on S-3B to AN/APS-137 Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR)
  • OR-89 forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera with 3x zoom
  • AN/ARS-2 sonobuoy receiver with 13 blade antennas on the airframe for precise buoy location (Sonobuoy Reference System)
  • AN/ASQ-81 magnetic anomaly detector (MAD)
  • AN/ASN-92 Inertial navigation system (INS) with doppler radar navigation and TACAN
  • Up to 60 sonobuoys (59 tactical, 1 Search and Rescue)
That's a lot of stuff!

So, does the S-3 have ejection seats? Why yes, yes it does...

Emergency Egress - Viking Style!

Photo of the trials of the ejection seats of the (then) new Lockheed S-3 Viking at
the U.S. Navy Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, California (USA), in 1971.

Now Tuna claims that the S-3 is cousin to the Warthog. Perhaps we can get him to explain that to us some day. (Now I'm not saying "Tuna, you got some 'splainin' to do..." but, well actually, yes, I am saying that.)

But if we're all really, really nice to him, perhaps some day Tuna will regale us with tall tales of his Viking days. Back when Tuna wore the gold wings of a Naval Flight Officer and helped keep the Commie hordes at bay.

We can only hope!

For those with a greater interest in the S-3, check out the Viking Association website. It's pretty cool.


  1. I'm impressed, not only with the shout-out, but the speed at which you put this post together with a ton of photos and vids from all over. I just made that comment late last night! As for the cousin comment, both the venerable Viking and the worthy Warthog have the mighty General Electric TF-34 Turbofan engine. With this baby kicking out 9275 foot lbs of static thrust, jamming the throttles into MIL would feel like...you were laying your head on a down pillow. Yeah, not very fleet of foot, the 450mph/.79 mach wouldn't get you there fast, but you could bring all your friends, your skis, a couple of ice chests, and plenty of luggage. I'll regale you of some Viking stories in a future post, but this being the teenangster's 15th B-day, I must rejoin the party. Thanks for the great post.

    1. Oh yeah, to answer your questions, yeah, we're pretty normal, but the bar was taken out of the back of the S-3 due to budget cuts. The first video wasn't me, but it was my first squadron- the World Famous VS-21 Fighting Redtails. That vid was a bit after I left the squadron and after they had moved to the USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63) when the USS INDEPENDENCE was decommissioned. Great pic of those ejection seat tests by the way- first I'd ever seen that one. Those test pilots survived just fine by the way.

    2. For future reference, Google Images can be your friend with the right search term. It can be very frightening as well!

      The cousins thing, same engine, now I get it.

    3. Oops, almost forgot, please wish the Teenangster a Happy Birthday.

      Oh and aviators? Normal? Yeah, right...

      Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  2. The mail gets there faster in an S-3, than it ever did in a Stoof.

    1. Ah yes, the Navy S2F-1 Tracker or "Stoof". I'm glad you brought that one up. I Googled it. I predict there are Trackers in the blog's future.

  3. A very versatile bird. Not only a good ASW ac, but a great Maritime "sea conrol" attack bird as well. (shipping, flak towers, harbors, locks, etc.) I once asked AW1 Tim (an old P-3 guy) how long it would take to get a couple of squadrons worth out of the bone-yard and reconstituted, crews trained, etc, and he said "a couple of years." Tuna? Sound about right? JUST like the F-111, we threw away a very useful (and needed) capability for what? We STILL got nada, zilch, to show for the sacrifice......just as both the PLAN and Russian sub threat is growing again.. and their use against growing Iranian shore emplacements and light/fast boat threats helpful.

    1. Governments, being manned by politicians and bureaucrats, have no soul, no intelligence and no clue.

      I think I've mentioned gubmint stoopidity before.

    2. Getting the planes back into working order would probably take longer than getting crews trained. They could speed up the process by putting in the P-8 Neptune computer systems though, and even training P-3 types for jet/CVN work. I'd love to see it, but we're a too broke and too shortsighted to make it happen imho. Our procurement methods are made for oversight and fairness, not getting (or keeping) the best product in our sailors hands.

    3. Re: oversight and fairness - are those synonyms for inefficient and politically correct?

      I think they are. But that's just me. Who used to wear the uniform and now is a defense type worker. Been there, seen that.

  4. ...at the U.S. Navy Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, California (USA), in 1971.

    Wow, what a co-inky-dink. I was at Boron AFS in '71 and we used to sit out on the back deck o' the radar tower and watch the light shows (parachute flares) over China Lake in the summertime (we were easily amused). Lotsa stuff that goes boom happens there.

    Nice post. Except for the cheesy music.

    1. 1) IN DETEGENDO PRINCEPS, detecting the leader or prince? Methinks Google Translator's Latin ain't all that great.

      2) I really did a double-take on the home station of the 750th Radar Squadron.

      3) I did forget to issue a "cheesy music alert". My apologies.

      4) I would have been there too watching the light show. Stuff that goes boom amuses me. As long as it's far enough away.

    2. In re: IN DETEGENGO. As I recall, the motto was supposed to mean "Leading, or first, detector." That was our mission: long-range detection, tracking, and intercept.

      In re: double-take? Edwards? Or the various and sundry Air Divisions the unit was assigned to? We were (administratively) assigned to 26 AD (March AFB) down in Riverside while I was there but had a support agreement with Edwards, which was about 20 miles away.

    3. Ah, that translation makes perfect sense.

      The double take is the name of the base Boron. My first glance saw something else entirely. Once I looked closer, it was one of those "Ah ha!" moments. (As in I have heard of it. Over at your place. And there's no way anyone would name a place Moron AFS. Would they?)

  5. I've seen the video of the carrier landing (without the enhancements) before
    The closest I have ever been to an actual carrier landing ...capture would probably be a better word... is from the signal bridge of a tin can on plane guard station
    The most fun the old tin cans can have is trying to maintain station during flight ops

    1. From what my son and oldest daughter tell me, performing duties as the plane guard on a modern destroyer can be interesting at times.

      Actually seeing traps from the signal bridge of a can must have been pretty intense.

      I had no idea you were a Navy vet IT. I guess I have not been paying attention. Pretty awesome.

  6. Actually they ARE looking at putting the S-3s back on the boat... As C-2 replacement and Texaco again... :-)

    1. Now that would be nice. And actually make sense.

  7. Yep, and faster too... C-2s are S.L.O.W!!!


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