The Reynolds-Alberta Museum added the 100th airplane to its collection with the official handover ceremony July 27.
The Conair Firecat, a firefighting aircraft developed by Conair Group of Abbotsford, B.C., was originally built as a Grumman S-2 Tracker, an anti-submarine aircraft that served with the Royal Canadian Navy from 1956 to 1990.
The Grumman S-2 Tracker is significant to the history of Canadian aviation as it was built in Canada at a time when much of the nation’s military hardware was purchased elsewhere. The plane helped revitalize Canada’s weakened aerospace industry following the cancellation of the Avro Arrow.
Conair Group, Canada’s largest provider of firefighting aircraft, purchased 35 surplus Grumman S-2 Trackers from the Canadian and U.S. governments as they became available and heavily modified them to fight fires, renaming them Conair Firecats. The Firecat turned over to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum was acquired by Conair in 1983.