Following the final flights of the RNZAF’s Lockheed P-3K2 Orion fleet in January, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand has confirmed that an example will join its collection
The museum hasn’t yet stated which aircraft it will receive, as that is still subject to an official decision process.
Collections Manager Darren Hammond says: “The acquisition of a P-3K2 Orion gives us the unique opportunity to ensure that an example of this remarkable aircraft, and the story of its nearly six decades of service, are preserved for the nation. The level of care required to preserve an aircraft with the scale and complexity of the Orion does represent a step-change for us, but our specialist team of conservation technicians are ready for the challenge.”
The immediate priority will be ensuring that it can be securely housed on site at the Christchurch-based museum to protect it from the elements and prevent any deterioration. The Collections team is currently working on a detailed plan for enabling its initial storage in one of their hangars, while the museum works towards a new purpose-built facility for its long-term public display.