Inflight 200 IFP3SPEC002 Lockheed P-3C Orion USN VQ-2 Sandeman, 158206, NAS Whidbey Island, WAUSN Aviation Centennial 2011
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Lockheed P-3C Orion
2011 marked the 100th anniversary of US Naval Aviation. To celebrate the occasion, numerous active Naval aircraft were repainted in eye-catching schemes and exhibited at military events throught the US. Many aircraft were painted in retro-style schemes mostly from the WWII era, while others were painted in more modern schemes. This particular aircraft was painted in the markings of an EP-3B "Black Rat" from the late 1960s.
Designed as a replacement for the P2V Neptune Anti-Submarine aircraft, the P-3 Orion was first flown in November, 1959. The aircraft is based on the Electra turboprop airliner, with the addition of a sensitive Magnetic Anomoly Detector, located far from airframe interference in a distinctive tail boom "stinger". An internal bomb bay can house torpedoes and even nuclear weapons while anti-ship missiles or bombs can be carried on underwing pylons. The P-3's original mission was to track Soviet submarines during the cold war, however it is now in service with numerous countries including Australia, Canada, Germany and Japan, to name but a few.