SEATTLE, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Boeing's P-8A Poseidon aircraft T3 has completed its first flight test in Seattle and will now join two other P-8A test aircraft for additional scrutiny.
T3 is the P-8A program's mission-system and weapon-certification aircraft.
The P-8A is an anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to replace the Navy's P-3 fleet. The service plans to buy 117 of the aircraft. Initial operational capability is planned for 2013
Boeing, in a news release Monday, said that during the 2-hour, 48-minute flight from Boeing Field late last week, Boeing and U.S. Navy test pilots performed airborne systems checks including engine accelerations and decelerations, autopilot flight modes and auxiliary power unit and engine shutdowns and starts.
"At Pax River, the Boeing and Navy team will use some of the ground test data we've gathered in Seattle for in-flight separation and delivery accuracy tests that will occur later this year," said Chris Ahsmann, P-8A chief engineer for Boeing.
Two other P-3 test planes are at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for additional ground and flight tests.
The T3 is one of six flight-test aircraft that are being assembled and tested as part of the U.S. Navy System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing received in 2004.