Aviation Spotters Online

Aviation Spotters Online

A brand new RAAF P-8…….From the Air!

As we approached Renton for a quick look before heading north to Everett, my mind was already planning the shoot at the Boeing factory.  What was the sun doing, cloud cover etc.

We were cleared to conduct photo ops on the eastern side of the airport which gave us a good angle to work with.

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The main Boeing production factory at Renton, WA.

At first I noticed the 737 fuselages sitting outside, still on their train transports.  I was told this was rare to see as they usually only come out at night.

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The train brings in the completed fuselage sections for final assembly.
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A selection of civilian 737’s in various stages of construction.

After taking a few shots of the usual line up of 737’s, I noticed a P-8 in the distance.  It was only as we got closer I realized my luck……the first Royal Australian Air Force P-8 Poseidon out in the open on the flight line!

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My catch of the day, the first RAAF P-8 Poseidon getting ready for its first flight.

This was an amazing catch for me and for just a brief moment I forgot all about Everett!

As much as I love the P-3C Orion, I am looking forward to the P-8 entering service with the Australian Air Force.  I’ve included some specs below (from the Air Force website) for those who aren’t up to speed with its capabilities.

This aircraft is a serious piece of kit with the RAAF website also mentioning its 11 hard points “… five in the bomb bay, four under the wings and two under the fuselage and can carry over 22,000 pounds (10,000kg) of weapons. All the hard points have digital weapon interfaces. The aircraft has an extensive communications suite of over 10 separate radios and data links across the VHF, UHF, HF and SATCOM spectrums … and an advanced electronic support system that is a derivative of the system fitted to the EA-18G Growler”.

 

Manufacturer Boeing
Role Maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response
Crew Pilot, co-pilot, mission specialists
Engine Two CFM56-7 BE(27) engines each with 27000 lb thrust
Airframe Length: 39.5 m, height: 12.8 m
Wingspan 37.6 m
Weight 85,820 kg (max)
Max Speed 907 km/h
Range 7,500 km
Ceiling 41,000 feet
Capacity Sonobuoys, 11 weapons stations
Weapons Self-Protection Measures, Lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo, AGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles

Keep checking the website for my full article on my photo flight throughout Seattle.

Also a massive thank you to the team at Atomic Helicopters at Boeing Field for making the flight possible!

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