The US Navy’s first Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft T-1, completed a 3 hour 31 min maiden flight from Renton, Wash., on Apr 25., and later landed at Boeing Field. The second test aircraft T-2, is meanwhile being prepared for flight at Renton and is undergoing ground calibration and fuel system work according to Boeing sources.
The aircraft is a hybrid derivative of the 737 combining the fuselage of the -800 with the structurally heavier wings of the -900. The Navy plans to acquire up to 108 P-8As which will replace the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft from 2013 onwards. Today’s initial ‘positioning’ flight of the P-8A, originally scheduled for March 2009, marks only the start of functional check out flight tests. The formal evaluations begin in September with a ferry flight to the US Navy’s Patuxent River flight test center in Maryland where the main test campaign will be conducted. Some details of today’s flight timeline and a photo of T-1 lifting off can be found on Flightblogger.
737 with an attitude. The P-8A - coming to a patrol area near you soon. (Credit: Boeing)