Lockheed P-3C Orion

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joefremont
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Lockheed P-3C Orion

Post by joefremont » Sat Jul 03, 2021 4:56 pm

A member recently asked about adding some P-3 Orion's to there fleet. Currently the P-3 is in the database but marked as 'special use' but nobody is operating it. The P3 was used as a Maritime patrol aircraft and could be loaded with more than 20,000 pounds of ordinance and Sonobuoys in it bomb bay and under wing racks but the interior was filled with consoles for the crew to operate her and there was not much space for 'cargo' left over.

Now there were some that were built or converted by the military into VIP Transports (VP-3A) or utility transports (UP-3A) but those were variants of the P-3A. Some surplus aircraft have been converted by civilian operators into water bombers but as far as I know they are not configured to carry cargo.

There is also a 'civilian' version of the aircraft in the form of the L-188 Electra, from which the P-3 wad derived.

So the question is, should we allow airlines to purchase a P-3C, and if so, how many passengers and how much cargo should it be able to carry.
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joefremont
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Re: Lockheed P-3C Orion

Post by joefremont » Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:59 am

For now I have reclassified the P-3 as a military aircraft, as it is really a combat aircraft, not a transport. True some P-3 have been converted to civilian use as water bombers for fire fighting, but not as transports. As we don't really have a way to simulate contract firefighting I see no useful reason to have the P-3 in the list of available aircraft, especially as the L-188 Electra, the civilian aircraft the P-3 was derived from is available.

Don't agree, please give me an argument to convince me.
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Re: Lockheed P-3C Orion

Post by hojalataphp » Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:03 am

Greetings Thank you for opening this debate

I am the user who requested the incorporation of the Orion to the shopping list.

After reviewing and documenting myself, I understand that this Airplane MUST NOT BE CARGO, the model that can be operated for cargo is the L-188 since the Orion has a TIMELY job.
However, give the opportunity to request it upon request in the event that an airline engages in research or tries to simulate the work carried out by this aircraft. :mrgreen:
CEO Jose G Crespo
Transcarga Intl Airways VIRTUAL
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joefremont
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Re: Lockheed P-3C Orion

Post by joefremont » Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:00 pm

I think the point of this platform is to simulate civilian airlines, and I think we should need a plausible reason why a civilian airline, flying civilian missions would want to operate this aircraft. We generally don't consider non military government organizations to be 'civilian' for this purpose. Fire bombers operate in a strange space, they are civilian operated and really could fly for anyone but the only organizations that would plausably contract with them are government run fire departments. Where I live the California Department of Forestry contracts with some of these 'airlines' to have there aircraft on standby so when needed they can drop water or fire retardant on active fires. Currently we don't have a way to simulate this, and you can't easily place cargo into the tanks that fire retardant would be carried.

Some old warbirds are used to give passenger rides, the Collings Foundation operates some WW2 aircraft that they have used on tours where they will take paying passengers up for short rides, I myself have flown on there B-17 for a 30 minute ride (it was very cool), they also had a B-24, B-25 and TP-51 mustang at the same event I went to, but these are all historic aircraft that have been out of service for some time.

The P-3C is a different animal, it is not a historic aircraft, it is still in service, its normal missions are going out on a patrol where its 'payload' consists of bombs, torpedos, missiles and sonar buoys. Some have been converted to other missions, but those operating for 'research' include the NOAA and NASA and the US Customs and Homeland Security departments but these are either different variants of the P3 or heavily converted so they are now something very different from a standard P-3C.

There are variants of the P-3 that I think would fit well in our platform, like the UP-3A and VP-3A but are both transports and we would need to find a civilian airline that actually operated them as transports rather than converting to fire bombers. I think the thing to note is the P-3C is a specific variant of the P-3 Orion, it is not a general substitute for every variant ever produced.

Note on the fire bombers, from what I read those P-3 that have been converted were converted from P-3A's rather than P-3C's. I suspect that by the time the navy is done with there P-3C's they will be so worn out that they will not be safe for civilians to fly.

But please, if I am wrong about the fire bombers not carrying cargo find a reference and let me know. If you have a different opinion please put it forward, I can be convinced otherwise.
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Re: Lockheed P-3C Orion

Post by joefremont » Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:23 pm

Additional note on firefighting aircraft. it seams many military aircraft are often given to the contractors at little or no cost, or given with the government retaining title so the contractors can use them specifically for firefighting. In these cases I think we can consider them to still be government operations.
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