Sixth Boeing P-8A Poseidon Takes Flight
The Poseidon’s design is based on the 737-800 commercial airliner. In addition to the dozens of extra fuselage-mounted antennas and sensors not seen on the passenger version, the P-8A is fitted with the stronger wings of the 737-900, which feature raked winglets instead of the traditional blended winglets found on the -800.
Development of the Poseidon came after the Navy determined their aging P-3 submarine hunters needed replacing. The US Navy plans to order as many as 117 of the jets, while India’s air force has ordered 13, designated the P-8I.
To put into perspective the age difference in the two aircraft, the P-3 had its first flight 1959; the P-8 had its first flight 50 years later.
The P-8 is being tested at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, with an estimated in-service date of 2013.