The P2V Neptune did not serve in WWII, though it was designed during the war. The project was begun as a private venture at Lockheed-Vega on December 6, 1941, in an effort to design a Navy patrol aircraft with greater range and load carrying ability than was currently available. Due to Lockheed-Vega's preoccupation with war-time production of other aircraft, the P2V project proceeded slowly until 1944, by which time the need for a new land-based patrol bomber had become urgent. In 1944 the Navy ordered two prototypes and 15 production examples of the P2V. By then the Vega division had been absorbed into Lockheed, though the aircraft's designation (P2V) continued to reflect its Vega origins. The P2V-1 carried a crew of seven, a range of electronic equipment, and a weapons-bay large enough for two torpedoes or twelve depth charges. Protection was provided by three gun turrets, each of which carried two .50 caliber machine guns. First flight of the XP2V-1 was on May 17, 1945, with the Neptune seeing first operational use in March of 1947. The Neptune became the mainstay of Navy land-based patrol squadrons for 15 years, and was kept in production until April 1962, appearing in seven main varieties and numerous minor variations.
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)
Lockheed P2V-1 Neptune
Type: Patrol and anti-submarine search Crew: 7-10 Armament: six .50 cal machine guns two torpedoes or twelve depth charges Specifications: Length: 75' 4" Height: 28' 6" Wingspan: 100' 0" Wing area: 1,000 sq. ft Empty Weight: 33,720 lbs Gross Weight: 61,153 lbs Propulsion: No. of Engines: 2 Powerplant: Wright R-3350-8 Horsepower 2300 hp each Performance: Range: 4100 miles Cruise Speed: 176 mph at 1500 feet Max Speed: 303 mph at 15,300 feet Climb: 1050 ft/min Ceiling: 27000 ft
(go to Lockheed page)
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