SEATTLE: Boeing P-8A Poseidon test aircraft T-1 successfully completed its first flight April 25, taking off from Renton Field at 10:43 a.m. and touching down at Boeing Field in Seattle at 2:14 p.m. The P-8A performed a series of flight checks, reached a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet, and landed after three hours, 31 minutes in the air.
“This is a significant accomplishment for the P-8A team, as it moves us one step closer to delivering the next maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft to the warfighter,” said Capt. Mike Moran, P-8A program manager for the U.S. Navy. “Today’s flight is a clear demonstration of the program’s commitment to delivering this critical capability on time and the result of a tremendous effort by the joint Navy/Boeing team. I commend Boeing for putting its ‘A-Team’ in place on this program and enabling the Navy to leverage Boeing’s experience, expertise and, more importantly, dedication to make this aircraft a reality.”
Prior to takeoff, the P-8A team completed a limited series of flight checks, including engine starts and shutdowns. During the flight, test pilots performed airborne systems checks including engine accelerations and decelerations, autopilot flight modes, and auxiliary power unit shutdowns and starts.
“This is an exciting day for the P-8A program and a tribute to the hard work of the entire team,” said Bob Feldmann, Boeing vice president and P-8 program manager. “We understand the needs of the U.S. Navy and maritime patrol community, and we are dedicated to meeting every one of our future milestones on or ahead of plan.”
The integrated Navy/Boeing team will begin formal flight testing of the P-8A during the third quarter of this year. Before that, Boeing will paint the aircraft, install additional flight test instrumentation and conduct a series of ground tests.
The P-8A, a derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, is built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation. The team currently is assembling and testing the first five P-8As.
The Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world’s largest space and defense 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 Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.