Warbirds. NASA geographical research planes. Experimental Cessnas.
Not my usual vernacular.
Yes, I work for an airline, and I've become increasingly interested in aviation. But at Oshkosh, I don't even qualify as a novice. I'm practically in the womb--I know nothing. I'm a guppie swimming with the dolphins: insignificant and infinitely less intelligent than my counterparts (at least when it comes to aviation... at least).
In an effort to learn more, I've soaked in pilot-to-pilot conversations, and wandered around talking to people in uniform. That's what led me to the P-3 Orion, which is conveniently one of two planes I hope to feature today on the blog.
Introduced some 50 years ago, the P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop aircraft, built by Lockheed Martin and this one is operated by the United States Navy.
The P-3 Orion is an anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare aircraft. The P-3 Orion carries up to 21 people, and this beast flies primarily out of Florida and Washington, deploying all over the world.
Inside of a P-3 Orion Propeller
Typically, the crew of this P-3 Orion flies ten hour missions.
P-3 Orion Crew Loading Up
The tail of the P-3 Orion plays a crucial role in identifying submarines. Most of the missions flown on this aircraft are top secret, and go unannounced.
Tail of the P-3 Orion
Lockheed Martin has currently built more than 700 P-3 Orion planes for navies and air forces around the world.