Saturday, August 30, 2008

P3s. Courtesy Alex

Some more great aircraft photography from Alex.
In this shot, Alex has captured the final stages of gear retraction.
Another fine shot. Of particular interest for me, because these aircraft, (P3 Orions) are what I worked on while in the RAAF. 11 Squadron (P3Bs) and 492 Squadron - which was the maintenance squadron of 92 Wing - that wing then consisting of 492 Sqn, 10 Sqn (P3Cs), and 11 Sqn (Bs). These days it's all Cs, but when I first joined, 10 Sqn still had Neppys - P2V Neptunes.

An interesting story on Neptunes from Wikipedia on the 'Truculent Turtle';
"...Loaded with fuel in extra tanks fitted in practically every spare space in the aircraft, the Turtle set out from Perth, Australia to the United States. With time, the aircraft has come to be called "Truculent Turtle" but, in fact, its nickname was simply "The Turtle"; which was painted on the aircraft's nose (along with a cartoon of a turtle smoking a pipe pedaling a device attached to a propeller). With a crew of four (and a nine-month-old gray kangaroo, a gift from Australia for the Washington, D.C zoo) the plane set off on September 9, 1946, with a RATO rocket-assisted takeoff. Two and a half days later, the Turtle touched down in Columbus, Ohio, 11,236.6 miles (18,083.6 km) from its starting point. It was the longest unrefuelled flight made to that point—4,000 miles (6,400 km) longer than the USAF's B-29 Superfortress record. This would stand as the absolute unrefueled distance record until 1962 (beaten by a USAF B-52 Stratofortress), and would remain as a piston-engined record until 1986 when Dick Rutan's Voyager would break it in the process of circumnavigating the globe...".

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