USA: Boeing P-8A Poseidon Production Aircraft Completes 1st Flight

The first Boe­ing [NYSE: BA] P-8A Posei­don pro­duc­tion air­craft com­plet­ed its first flight on July 7, tak­ing off from Ren­ton Field and land­ing three hours lat­er at Boe­ing Field in Seat­tle. The P-8A is the first of six low-rate ini­tial pro­duc­tion (LRIP) air­craft Boe­ing is build­ing for the U.S. Navy as part of a $1.6 bil­lion con­tract award­ed in Jan­u­ary.

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Boe­ing P-8A Posei­don Pro­duc­tion Air­craft Com­pletes 1st Flight
Foto: Boe­ing

The first Boe­ing [NYSE: BA] P-8A Posei­don pro­duc­tion air­craft com­plet­ed its first flight on July 7, tak­ing off from Ren­ton Field and land­ing three hours lat­er at Boe­ing Field in Seat­tle. The P-8A is the first of six low-rate ini­tial pro­duc­tion (LRIP) air­craft Boe­ing is build­ing for the U.S. Navy as part of a $1.6 bil­lion con­tract award­ed in Jan­u­ary.

The suc­cess­ful flight marked LRIP-1’s com­ple­tion of final assem­bly in the company’s Ren­ton fac­to­ry and tran­si­tion to mis­sion sys­tem instal­la­tion and check­out in Seat­tle. Boe­ing will deliv­er LRIP-1 to the Navy next year in prepa­ra­tion for ini­tial oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty, which is planned for 2013.

This is the first P-8 that will go direct­ly to the fleet in Jack­sonville, Fla., so the aircraft’s first flight is an impor­tant mile­stone for the Boe­ing team and our Navy cus­tomer,” said Chuck Dabun­do, Boe­ing vice pres­i­dent and P-8 pro­gram man­ag­er. “We’re on plan to get LRIP-1 to the Navy in 2012.”

As the Navy’s replace­ment for the P-3 Ori­on, the P-8A Posei­don rep­re­sents the next gen­er­a­tion of mar­itime patrol and recon­nais­sance air­craft,” said Capt. Michael Moran, pro­gram man­ag­er for Naval Air Sys­tems Command’s Mar­itime Patrol and Recon­nais­sance Air­craft pro­gram office. “The fleet is active­ly prepar­ing to receive the LRIP-1 air­craft and begin the tran­si­tion.”

The Navy plans to pur­chase 117 of the Boe­ing Next-Gen­er­a­tion 737-based P-8A anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare, anti-sur­face war­fare, intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance air­craft to replace its P-3 fleet.

In order to effi­cient­ly design and build the P-8A air­craft, the Boe­ing-led team is using a first-in-indus­try, in-line pro­duc­tion process that draws on the company’s Next-Gen­er­a­tion 737 pro­duc­tion sys­tem. All air­craft mod­i­fi­ca­tions unique to the P-8A are made in sequence dur­ing fab­ri­ca­tion and assem­bly.

This is the first P-8A to include a new CFM56-7BE engine con­fig­u­ra­tion that is now stan­dard on all deliv­ered Next-Gen­er­a­tion 737s. The con­fig­u­ra­tion is an improved design that includes high- and low-pres­sure tur­bine mod­i­fi­ca­tions. Cou­pled with drag reduc­tion improve­ments that Boe­ing start­ed phas­ing into 737 pro­duc­tion ear­li­er this year, it will result in low­er fuel con­sump­tion and main­te­nance cost sav­ings.

Sep­a­rate from the pro­duc­tion con­tract, Boe­ing was award­ed a Sys­tem Devel­op­ment and Demon­stra­tion con­tract in 2004 to build and test six flight-test and two ground-test P-8A air­craft. The first four flight-test planes are com­plet­ing test­ing at Naval Air Sta­tion Patux­ent Riv­er, Md. The program’s sta­t­ic test plane, S1, com­plet­ed its test pro­gram ear­li­er this year.

A deriv­a­tive of the Next-Gen­er­a­tion 737–800, the Posei­don is built by a Boe­ing-led indus­try team that includes CFM Inter­na­tion­al, Northrop Grum­man, Raytheon, Spir­it AeroSys­tems, BAE Sys­tems and GE Avi­a­tion.

A unit of The Boe­ing Com­pa­ny, Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty is one of the world’s largest defense, space and secu­ri­ty busi­ness­es spe­cial­iz­ing in inno­v­a­tive and capa­bil­i­ties-dri­ven cus­tomer solu­tions, and the world’s largest and most ver­sa­tile man­u­fac­tur­er of mil­i­tary air­craft. Head­quar­tered in St. Louis, Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty is a $32 bil­lion busi­ness with 65,000 employ­ees world­wide.

Con­tact:

Kim­ber­lee Beers
Boe­ing Defense, Space & Secu­ri­ty
425–478-1869
kimberlee.l.beers@boeing.com