Tag Archives: patrol

More of the RAF’s Poseidon Test Flying

In this recent post, I had an RAF Poseidon flying over the house.  A little while later, I was at Boeing Field when the same jet came back from a test flight.  Here are some shots of it as it rolled out after landing.  It wasn’t long after this that the jet was delivered to the RAF and made the trip to its new home in Lossiemouth.

US Navy P-8 Test Flight

Boeing Field always has the possibility of something interesting going on and a P-8 test flight for a US Navy jet was on the cards while I was there a while back.  Even better news was that it wasn’t a long flight that they had planned.  Consequently, I was going to be there for both departure and return.  Since the jet was lightly loaded, takeoff was not labored and they were well up by the time they were close to me.  Still, not a big angle on the jet with the light as it was.

I didn’t head to the approach end for the return as I was waiting for something else.  It did mean I was closer to the jet as it rolled out on is landing run.  The military ramp for Boeing is at that end of the field so the jet rolled to the end and turned off.  Heat haze is always a problem at this time of year but things looked surprisingly good considering.

Royal Air Force Poseidon

My Renton visit also produced a P-8A Poseidon.  I have seen plenty of them over the years but this one caught my eye because it is the fourth airframe for the UK’s Royal Air Force.  Sitting on the ramp on a sunny day with heat haze is not ideal but it was still worth a shot since, once it gets delivered, I am unlikely to get much of a chance to see it again.

The Second Batch of Indian P-8s Commences

This P-8 is the first jet for a second batch ordered by the Indian government.  I have to admit that I didn’t know that they had ordered more jets.  I could tell it was different because the earlier jets had ARK written on the fin and this one has DAB.  Maybe that is a squadron thing?  The P-8I for the Indians has a number of changes from the USN standard of jet.  It has a different radar mounted on the fuselage and also includes a MAD which was not part of the USN spec.  Here are some shots of the two jets to show the differences between them.

Lots of P-3s, or One P-3 Lots of Times

Paul and I headed to Whidbey Island on the hunt.  We would be happy to shoot a variety of stuff but P-3s were the goal.  Whidbey still has them but they are disappearing fast so get what we can.  As it turned out, we got a ton of P-3 action but it was all with the same plane.  It flew a bunch of circuits after returning from a training sortie and then finally landed.  However, it wasn’t done.  A crew change and they were back up.  That plane got some use that day.  We could hear another engine running but it obviously wasn’t going flying.  Here are lots of shots of one specific P-3 instead!

P-3s Coming Out of the Sun

When Ault Field is operating on 25, the aircraft taxi out to the departure end along a taxiway that gradually brings them into view from the crash gate.  The sound will usually precede them and, in the case of the P-3s, that is a pretty distinctive sound.  As the day wears on, they are coming at you out of the sun so a bit more silhouetted but that helps to make them look more interesting.  They pull around to the hold point, sometimes mixing in with the Growlers before departing off to the west.  This is a sight that will soon be gone as the P-8s take over.

Aussie P-8

With the progressive retirement of P-3 Orions around the world, the Boeing P-8 Poseidon is starting to take over as the dominant maritime patrol aircraft.  The US Navy is the principal customer, but Australia was relatively quick to order the type too.  They are now in the process of being delivered and I happened across one coming back to Boeing Field at the end of a test flight.  Since it was operating from their military ramp, it taxied back along the field after landing and right by giving me a good look at the configuration the Aussies have gone with.  India has been another customer and, before too long, the first of the RAF jets should make it through production.

P-8 in the Wild

Despite the number of them that are now in service, I have very little experience with the Boeing P-8 Poseidon.  I had only seen one flying and that was a test jet at Boeing Field.  When we got to NAS Whidbey Island, the P-3s were the thing I was more interested in but I certainly wasn’t going to turn down an operational P-8 for the first time.  It didn’t take long to get one.  We had not long arrived when one departed past us on the shoreline.

As we moved around for the arrivals, we got a bit more P-8 traffic.  Some arrivals showed up.  One was lacking in anything colorful for squadron markings but another included a bit more individuality.  I wonder whether we shall gradually see more color showing up on the jets or whether they shall be a fleet of bland, gray jets.  Fingers crossed!

Customs Citation

AE7I5235.jpgCessna Citations are not the most exciting business jets.  The original versions are particularly uninspiring with their simple design and unswept wing.  Normally I might not even bother if I came across one.  This example showed up at Davis Monthan while we were on the ramp and it obviously wasn’t a standard version.  It belongs to the Customs people.  I imagine it spends a lot of time looking at what is going on along the border.  Flying out of Tucson would support that idea.  I imagine the sensors on board are a lot more interesting than the plane itself.

Coast Guard C-130 in its Final Days

AU0E2027.jpgI wrote about the arrival of the C-27J Spartan in Coast Guard service. This means that the C-130s are going to be heading out. One the same day I saw a Spartan flying, one of the current C-130s took off. It was a nice illustration of what is now and what will be. I have seen the Coast Guard 130s around on a number of occasions but I guess they will soon be gone. Maybe I shall see them fighting fires somewhere.

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