Navy E-2C Hawkeye Visits Tulsa Air and Space Museum

Tuesday, March 17th 2009, 4:52 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell,

TULSA -- A Navy E-2C Hawkeye aircraft was at the airport today to visit with the day-campers at Tulsa Air and Space Museum. The 100-million dollar plane is used for early-warning and command and control missions.

"In today's modern military high-tech is the name of the game," said Lt. Commander Brad Sparks, one of the crewmen who brought the aircraft to Tulsa.  "The dome on top is actually the radar antenna, we can see in excess of 250 miles with that."

Jim Bridenstine is the Executive Director of Tulsa Air and Space Museum and is a veteran pilot is quite familiar with this sophisticated war bird.

The E-2C is the navy's counterpart to the Air Force E-3 Sentry, also known as AWACS.  Based at Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City, the E-3 -- a much larger four-engine jet -- is a familiar sight in the skies over Oklahoma. 

But Bridenstine says the E-2 is even more impressive than the E-3.

"It was designed to be much smaller to take off and land on carriers.  What an AWACS does with dozens of people an E-2 does with five," Bridenstine said.  "I've got 300 landings on an aircraft carrier with this particular aircraft, and every time I've been nervous."

The E-2C crew spoke to and had photos taken with the TASM day-campers.

"We were contacted by the museum and asked to come out here and support their aviation camp, show the airplane to the good kids at the camp, answer any questions and help educate the folks," said Lt. Commander Sparks.

For more information about the camps, you can visit TASM's website or call 918-834-9900.