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8 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About The Boeing P8-A

Published: 03 Jul 2019   updated: 12 Jul 2019


From Boeing UK

The Royal Air Force will take delivery of its first Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft later this year, and in the aerospace community, we're getting pretty excited about it. Based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, and named after the Greek god of the sea, the nine new P-8As will be a new sight in the skies above the UK. 


Air Tattoo visitors will get to see a U.S. Navy P-8A at the airshow this summer, and to whet your appetite, are eight facts you probably didn't know about the P-8:

1. The P-8A borrows its airframe from the 737

A military aircraft whose body is a commercial airliner? This may sound surprising but it is true and thus the P-8A is called a "commercial derivative"- derived from a civil aircraft frame. It makes sense to use the worlds most popular and reliable single-aisle plane and adapt it for military needs.   

2. The P-8A is pretty fast

The P-8A has a top speed of 490 knots or 564 mp/h (907 km/h) and can fly up to 41,000 feet (12,496 m). 

3. The P-8A is engineered to survive for 25 years. 

The P-8A, even under harsh maritime flight regimes, has a service life of 25 years or 25,000 flying hours. It's a relief to know our borders and seas will be protected by these planes for a quarter of a century.  

4. The P-8A can control unmanned air vehicles

An aircraft that controls another aircraft is not something you hear every day. The P-8A's ability to control unmanned air vehicles gives it extended sensor reach. 



5. It can stay flying, land, and not need to refuel 

It can travel for 2,400 nautical miles, patrol an area for more than eight hours, land and not need to refuel. The P-8A is essentially the aircraft equivalent of Forest Gump - it just keeps running and going. 

6. It can do just about, well, everything

The P-8A is considered a multi-role aircraft for a reason, so where do we begin to list everything that it can do? It can carry 30% more sonobuoys than any maritime patrol aircraft currently in service as well as torpedoes, anti-ship missiles and more. 

7. The P-8 is used by leading countries in the world

The P-8A has been in service since 2012 with the U.S. Navy, and fleets are also operated in India and Australia. New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Norway, and the UK will start flying P-8As soon!

8. The P-8A doesn't have a lot of passenger space

The P-8A offers the world's most advanced anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, but it isn't set up for passengers. The crew is typically two for a flight and seven when on mission. 


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