Lockheed P-3 Orion


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Lockheed P-3 Orion

When in August 1957 the US Navy needed an advanced ASW/maritime patrol aircraft, the urgency was highlighted by the fact that they were prepared to accept a development of an off-the-shelf civil aircraft to meet the requirement. Lockheed proposed a developed version of the L-188 Electra, gaining an initial research and development contract on 8 May 1958. The third Electra airframe was modified as an aerodynamic prototype for early evaluation by the US Navy, flying from Burbank in August 1958. This was followed by the Lockheed YP3V-1 operational prototype, late named Orion, which first flew on 25 November 1959. The first production P3V-1 was flown on 15 April 1961, with initial deliveries being made to US Navy Patrol Squadrons VP-8 and VP-44 on 13 August 1962, by which time the type had been redesignated the P-3. Retaining the basic airframe structure of the Electra, the new aircraft differed by having a fuselage shortened by 2.24m and modified to incorporate a large weapons bay together with new avionics an,d utility systems. Mines, depth-bombs, torpedoes or nuclear devices can be accommodated in the weapons bay, and there are 10 under-wing pylons for a variety of stores. The major changes in the 30 years since the Orion entered service have been in avionics equipment and capability, and more than 640 have been built to date, with the type continuing in production (now at Marietta, Georgia) until 1995/56 for South Korea, who ordered eight P-3C Update Ills in December 1990. Other Orions are in service in Australia, Iran, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain and in the USA with the Navy, the Customs Service, NASA and NOAA. Potential operators, probably of surplus USN aircraft, remain Thailand and Greece. Following the assembly in Japan of four P-3C aircraft from Lockheed-built components, over 100 of the type is being licence-built by Kawasaki for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force. In addition, 21 examples of a derived version known as the CP-140/140A were delivered to the Canadian Forces.

Lockheed P-3 Orion

 MODELP-3C "Orion"
 ENGINE4 x Allison T56-A-14, 3661kW
  Take-off weight64410 kg142000 lb
  Empty weight27892 kg61492 lb
  Wingspan30.38 m100 ft 8 in
  Length35.61 m117 ft 10 in
  Height10.27 m34 ft 8 in
  Wing area120.77 m21299.96 sq ft
  Max. speed761 km/h473 mph
  Ceiling16460 m54000 ft
  Range7700 km4785 miles
 ARMAMENT9000kg of weapons

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100
Arthur E Bowen, e-mail, 09.10.2016 20:06

Stationed with VP-17 Dec 70 thru Sept 73. AWC Sangely Point,U-tapao Naha and Cubi point. Was on patrol when number three engine went into overspeed. Flight Engineer couldn't slow it down. We got the radioman out of his seat. Thought we might lose the propeller. Finally got it shut down. When they removed the prop we found the shoulders holding the prop inplace had expanded 3 inches. We that close to have the prop come off. Spent 2 months as Detachment Chief in U-tapao and was really happy to get back to Cubi.


BILL G. RHOADS, e-mail, 17.06.2016 14:10

Coming from the "Black Shoe" side of the Navy as an enlisted "Radio" operator to the "Airdale" side was a tremendeous change for a 20 year old. I was a Radioman 2nd class and flight comm on LN8 and LN21 of VP-45 NAS Jacksonville from July 1966 to Sept 1968. Was a great experience for travel and life experience. We had P3 A and P3 B models and were converting to C's when I left the Navy


Brent Temple, e-mail, 11.05.2016 12:29

AD-1 John Able? Anti-Aircraft Able? The flight engineer that would write these kind of discrepancies: Bleed Air Valve-Fast to open, slow to close or massive oil leaks-----Ground Pounder Responce-A-799 (Cannot duplicate discrepancy...


Ross Kells, e-mail, 25.11.2015 19:53

I flew the P-3 for US Customs from 87-95. We had slicks with the APG-63 (F-15 radar) and the P-3AEW with the E-2 round radar mounted up top. Excellent airplane with great legs!


mike richardson, e-mail, 19.04.2015 23:26

I was in patrol squadron forty as a aviation metal smith from 72-78. I am looking for cruise books from that time period. all mine were destroyed. thanks...


Rick Smith, e-mail, 03.03.2015 01:53

I was in vp-5 for my first deployment of three in Keflavik Iceland. I was also the fortunate one to have been the ordnanceman to have had the fortune of receiving the only aircraft of nine to not have had cold weather oil seals placed in the engines. We lost most of the oil out of the engines and turned back. I was amazed at hoe we were able to come in on one engine which was also out of oil. I owe my life to the p3 orion. whata gal!


Gerald Lillie, e-mail, 23.01.2015 18:27

80 year old retired ATC. VP-9 (1965-1968). Previous to that I was in the P2V squadrons. Went to NAVPRO,Lockheed, Burbank in 1969 to 1973 where I retired after 4 years of accepting all those beautiful P3's you guys flew in. Had the priviledge of flying on numerous occasions with Chuck Yeager while I was there. Was involved with the S3A also. Attended the first rollout of the S3A and tragically I was there for the first fatality too. Give a salute to LCDR Cunnard for trying to bring it in but failed. In VP-9 did all the usual deployments. 2 tours to Vietnam by way of Okinawa and Sangley Pt. Loved ADAK, AK, That's where I made Chief!


mike, e-mail, 25.03.2014 02:37

Guys and girls
All you P3 people out there, have a look at this and get one. They are great.. web site teespring dot com /P3ASW2


Jim Sigmond, e-mail, 22.12.2013 01:01

Mech on P5-M's, P2V-5's & 7's, P3A, B, & C's. F /E P3 A,B, & C's. Served VP-30, 31, 6, 30, 56, 5, AIMD JAX, and retired from VP-49. I had the honor of serving some of y'all (PooBear) for one, I was lucky enough to fly with Bob Shaw, and Blinky Brennian, the sharpest F /E's I ever knew. The P3 was the best, we were honored to sit center seat.


Charles Doran, e-mail, 12.02.2013 06:23

Flew 6,000 hours as a TAR FE and only had one true engine in flight emergency shut down. Flew all kinds of missions from ASW to serfops to SAR and many IUT flights from '76 to '94 with Vp-64, 66 and 93. Never felt unsafe in the mighty Orion. Most of my time was in A and B mods. Loved the tube design. Worked great for crew coordination. Never cared for the Charlie tube design. My takeoffs and landings are equal speaking well for the aircraft. Not sure the P8 will ever be able to meet the standard set by the P3. It was and still is a very versatile platform. History speaks loudly for the mighty P3 Orion.


John T. steele Lcdr Ret., e-mail, 18.01.2013 22:01

What about the EP-3A(RB-32&31) of VQ-1. Flew that plane 1969-1971 in and out of Vietnam(Atsugi to Danang). Even made a two engine flight from Taiwan to Guam. Great plane outstanding in bad weather and good.


Steb, e-mail, 04.01.2013 00:24

I was in VP-44 (73-74) and later VP-60 (79-89). I recently started building 1 /25 scale custom 22ga flat stock brass aircraft weather vanes for people. My first project was a P-3 since having been a tin bender I can still remember every inch of A and B models.


Kevin, e-mail, 09.11.2012 22:06

Where all the VQ-1 guys? 1981-84 in Guam?


Ron Severson, e-mail, 08.10.2012 07:38

P3A Flight Engineer 1963 VP-46. VP-46 was first west coast squadrons to bring P3's to Moffett and first to deploy to Alaska (1964).


Steb, e-mail, 16.08.2012 02:16

George the Crook? VP-44(73-74),(VP-60 79-89).



"Swede" Swanson ATC ret, e-mail, 01.08.2012 07:08

I enjoyed the P3A and B from '63 and '64 in VP-31 det Alpha,'65-67 in VP-22, the B in VP-40, then the Charlie in VP-40 came in and took my radio seat away from me. Lovedthat window seat!!!!
I recognize quite a few names on here. They should all register on VP NAVY website and find good buddies.I did.I've been retired since Dec '78. My crew 7 had Buno 151391 in Vp-22, and it is still fighting fires today with a big 00 on its nose and tail. Wonderful bird!!!!


Gene Caldwell, e-mail, 18.07.2012 21:09

VP-49 1963-1966. I was an AX and flew with Cmdr. Campbell on crew one. Went to the Paris airshow in 1965. The Cmdr. flew a P3 full of men to my wedding near NAS Willow Grove PA. I met a lot of great guys and had a lot of fun. Caught a Soviet sub on the suface while flying with the alert crew when their jez operator was grounded. That Adak deployment left a lot to be desired.


Chris Stanley, e-mail, 21.06.2012 01:55

My son is finishing up training at NAS JAX (VP-30) in August 2012. Going to be stationed in Hawaii. As you know the P3 is to be phased out, making room for the P-8. If this happens, and he gets booted, what career options does he have in the civilan realm with FE skills? What are his options?


Johnny Marshall, e-mail, 31.05.2012 22:29

VP - 10 Brunswick Maine. 68 to 72 Go Red Lancers
Was an AW Radar, Ecm, and Jez. Live now in Florida where
VP-10 now lives Jax. Love the plane and went almost everywhere on it. Love the 2am sun in Iceland, the volcanos in Sicily, the short runways and girls in "Bermuda and the wine in the Azores. Spent my 21st birthday in Barcelona with 5 women. And of course there was Rosey and Gitmo Live by Don Joulian now and keep in contact with Dennis Morrison both AT's


Charlie Maher, e-mail, 22.05.2012 19:41

As one of your customers for m any years, I showed my Podiatry
Physician your catalog with the great selection and low pricing

of walking shoes. He was greatly impressed!

I told him that I would contact you, for him, to have you send
copies of your current catalog for him to give to his patients, who
need special wide shoes.

Was assigned to WST at Patuxent River during the development of the the P3. The YP3A had no bomb bay, as the luggage compartment was still in place. Then engines and props where still of the Electra. It was a daily grid to get all the test done on the YP3A, before the arrival of the 1st P3A and the establishment of things like the NATOPS manual and weight and balance establishment. One flight was from Patuxent River, New York, to the west coast over the Worlds Fair, to Burbank, to Jacksonville Fl then back to Pax River. 4 souls on board, and rubber water tank inside the fuselage to simulate, weapons, electronics and a full crew. Another flight went around the world, testing Horizontal Discharge wicks in place of the standard nylon carbon impregnated type. I could go on, but it was a great tour with P3's in VP-44, Iceland and VP-45.


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