HICKORY, NC (September 16, 2017)…The Hickory Aviation Museum is looking forward to the arrival of a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion at 11:30 on Wednesday the 20th which will be flying here from NAS Jacksonville.
P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. The aircraft is easily distinguished by its distinctive tail stinger or “MAD Boom”, a magnetic anomaly detector used for the magnetic detection of submarines.
The P-3 Orion is still in use by numerous navies and air forces around the world, primarily for maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
The P-3 has an internal bomb bay under the front fuselage which can house conventional Mark 50 torpedoes or Mark 46 torpedoes and/or special (nuclear) weapons. Additional under wing stations, or pylons, can carry other armament configurations and various other sea mines, missiles, and gravity bombs.
This aircraft used its various attributes in Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Pakistan and Somalia. It had civilian uses in customs and border patrol, fire suppression, NASA research and hurricane hunting.
A total of 734 P-3s have been built, and in 2012, it joined a handful of military aircraft that have seen over 50 years of continuous use by the United States military. The U.S. Navy’s remaining P-3C aircraft will eventually be replaced by the P-8A Poseidon.
The museum is proud and fortunate to be the steward of this great aircraft. The museum opens at 10:00am is free to the public.
Information provided by Don Baldwin