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.
| MODEL||P-3C "Orion"|
| ENGINE||4 x Allison T56-A-14, 3661kW|
| Take-off weight||64410 kg||142000 lb|
| Empty weight||27892 kg||61492 lb|
| Wingspan||30.38 m||100 ft 8 in|
| Length||35.61 m||117 ft 10 in|
| Height||10.27 m||34 ft 8 in|
| Wing area||120.77 m2||1299.96 sq ft|
| Max. speed||761 km/h||473 mph|
| Ceiling||16460 m||54000 ft|
| Range||7700 km||4785 miles|
| ARMAMENT||9000kg of weapons|
|Ross Kells, 25.11.2015|
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, 19.04.2015|
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, 03.03.2015|
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, 23.01.2015|
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!
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, 22.12.2013|
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, 12.02.2013|
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., 18.01.2013|
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.
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.
Where all the VQ-1 guys? 1981-84 in Guam?
|Ron Severson, 08.10.2012|
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).
George the Crook? VP-44(73-74),(VP-60 79-89).
|"Swede" Swanson ATC ret, 01.08.2012|
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, 18.07.2012|
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, 21.06.2012|
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, 31.05.2012|
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, 22.05.2012|
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.
|Gary Bishop, 10.05.2012|
I flew as Plane Capt. on SP2H, something over 1,000 hrs VP24 based at NAS Norfolk we transitioned to P3Bs and moved to Pax River. I was FE on crew 8 LR8 2,000 hrs with deployments to RR Puerto Rico, Lajes AFB Azores and Keflavik Iceland. 1966-1969
|Marcus Hill, 21.03.2012|
AWC (in the end) VP-31 staff(70,72), VP-17(72-73), VP-9(73-77), VP-94(77-90) 4000 hrs. I can't imagine a better job or a better airplane to do it in. Talk about search lights. So back in '74 we are about 3 hours into a pilot trainer flight. I'm sitting in the strbd aft bubble when the FE comes back and peers out my window. Asking me if I remember if there was a search light there when we took off! No I didn't recall one way or the other so we finished the flight wondering where the damn thing had fallen off. It seems that after the '73 gas crunch they took the search lights off of our P-3B's but didn't really tell anybody about it. Scary thing was that none us noticed on preflight that it was missing!
Or the time I made a twenty mile radar run in on what turned out to be a floating palm tree on the IO-1 track.
Or on my last cruise in '90 we had a Soviet SSBN cut the sonobouy cable. Closest CPA I ever had. What a trip.
Cubie/U-Tapao '73, break off my legs rip out my arms but don't send me back to U-Tapoa.
Naha '72 got left behind in the barracks for Typhoon Rita.
Started out as a Julie operator and switched to JEZ when I got to VP-17 and then they traded their A's for B's in the fall of '72 and I upgraded to SSII with George Lyons as my SSI and moved up to SSI the next year.
Anybody remember the FLIR kit for the B model. An A-4 droptank with a bucket hanging down and the scope for it was at the Stbrd fwrd observer station. The drive for the bucket was underpowered, if you tracked around to look aft and you were making more than 180knts it didn't have enough power to turn the bucket around to the front. Flight deck had to slow down before you could look forward again.
Lots of fun, I'd do it all again if they asked. As much as we pissed and moaned I can honestly say those were the best years of my life.
|Nick Cercone, 08.03.2012|
My intro to aviation....26 years in the USN/USNR and 22 of those years where in the FE seat, 5000+ hrs and I remember alot of it!! Dear friends made and lost.... P3A/B/C update III's. Was fotunate to go out to the West Coast and pick up the "New" ones in 88. I still remember taking the plastic off the seat!!
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?