Japanese P1 Flys at RAF Fairford
Published: 16 Jul 2015
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has arrived at RAF Fairford in preparation for this weekend's Air Tattoo.
The JMSDF has sent two P-1s to the Air Tattoo, with the aircraft touching down Tuesday 14 July having left Atsugi, Japan, on July 10. Their journey took them via the United States including a stop at NAS Oceana, Virginia. From there, the jet made the non-stop flight across the Atlantic to the UK.
The Kawasaki's display was simple but effective, with a couple of low passes including one with the aircraft's weapons bay open. The aircraft, which looks rather like a Douglas DC-8 that has been through a hot wash, is a spritely performer, airborne in about 4-5,000 feet of runway, and a steep climb away. There were also hints of some impressive agility as the aircraft manoeuvred back toward the airfield.
The Kawasaki P-1 is arguably one of the most intriguing aircraft to attend the show in the last 15 years. Despite our interconnected world, there has been really very little coverage about the development of this mysterious maritime patroller, particularly when compared to Boeing's P-8 Poseidon or the BAe Nimrod. Here at the show, engineers are parking the P-1 next to the P-8 allowing visitors to make their own comparisons between the two submarine hunters.
Caption: Cdr K Sugimoto (in flying suit), VX51, Deployment Commander was met by Mr Alan Smith (left), Chairman of the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, and Mr Andy Armstrong (second from right), Chief Executive of the Royal International Air Tattoo. Also pictured is Capt Keizo Kitagawa, Defence Attache at the Japanese Embassy in London (right).