The first Boeing P-8A Poseidon for the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) performed its maiden flight on August 9. Taking off from Renton Municipal Airport, Washington with a destination of King County International Airport, Washington commonly known as Boeing Field.
The aircraft - serial 9582 (c/n 66110/8796), flying with the US test registration N9582 and displaying RNoAF 333 Squadron markings - performed a flight with a total duration of two hours and 24 minutes, and reached an altitude of 41,000ft.
The maiden flight marks the next stage of production for this aircraft. Renton Municipal Airport is the facility for initial construction of the Boeing P-8A. Boeing Field is the checkout and installation facility of the P-8A programme. The aircraft will be installed with mission systems and tested at Boeing Field before delivery to the Norwegian Defence Material Agency later this year.
Serial 6582 nicknamed “Vingtor” is the first of five P-8As currently on order for Norway. The fleet of P-8As are to replace Norway’s ageing fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft currently operated by 333 Squadron. The squadron currently operate six P-3Cs and three DA-20 Jet Falcons, which the P-8As will also replace. No 333 Squadron currently operate the P-3C Orion from Andoya Air Station but, will move to Evenes Air Station for flight operations when the P-8A Poseidon is introduced to service with the RNOAF.
P-8 European programme manager, Christian Thomsen said, “The P-8 is a capability that will help Norway improve anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue missions, in addition to fostering valuable regional collaboration and interoperability with NATO nations.”