The 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.
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.
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.
The Boeing P-8A Poseidon is intended to conduct anti-submarine warfare, shipping interdiction, and to engage in an electronic intelligence (ELINT) role. This will involve carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-shipping missiles, and other weapons. It will also be able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle.