Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Crews Aboard the Navy's New Sub-Hunter Get Less Tired

Crews aboard the U.S. Navy's new submarine-hunter are getting less tired during missions in part because the Boeing Co.-made plane flies much smoother than its predecessor, a company official said.
Fred Smith, director of global sales and marketing for Boeing's maritime surveillance and engagement business, recently briefed reporters on production and training programs for the P-8 Poseidon, a twin-engine jet based on the company's 737 commercial airliner.
Smith said crew members aboard the new maritime surveillance aircraft are better able to spot targets such as submarines and surface ships than its predecessor, the four-engine turboprop P-3 Orion introduced by Lockheed Martin Corp. in the 1960s, in part because they're less fatigued.
"Recognition differential is much higher on the P-8 because the operators simply have more situational awareness, because of the [newer] equipment and because [crew members] have less fatigue," he said during a briefing with reporters earlier this month at the company's offices in Arlington, Virginia.
"Not only is there more room, but it's just the physical nature of the airplane," he added. "The P-3 has short, stubby wings [that are] very inflexible and every bump out there at 200-300 feet over the water, you feel it -- you feel it vibrate through your body. Those large turboprops out there [provide] constant noise."
Whereas on the P-8, "it's much quieter on the interior of the airplane. The wings are out there absorbing the shock from the buffeting and it's just a smoother ride. It's a much safer ride, frankly. The pilots will tell you, it's much less complicated to operate than a P-3," said Smith, who noted that his own son recently transitioned from flying the Orion to the Poseidon.  more