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Boeing completes structural integrity of P-8A Poseidon airframe

The P-8A Poseidon during test flight. A Boeing photo

SEATTLE (BNS): Boeing has completed structural integrity of the airframe for US Navy's long-range maritime surveillance aircraft P-8A Poseidon which will now be prepared for live-fire testing.

The airframe structure, S1, underwent full scale static testing from May 2009 till January 2011. Put to 154 different tests, it sustained loads equal to or greater than those expected to occur during operational flights, with no failure of the primary structure.

During 74 of the tests, the airframe was subjected to 150 percent of the highest expected flight loads, Boeing said.

The company will begin refurbishing the airframe in September to prepare it for live-fire testing at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, California.

Fatigue tests on its second ground-test vehicle, S2, will begin later this year, it said.

The P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft is based on a Boeing 737-800 airframe with state-of-the art equipment for maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft is being designed to replace the US Navy’s P-3C Orion aircraft.

The US Navy plans to buy 117 P-8As, the first of which is expected to be delivered by 2013.

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