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U.S. Navy Patrol Plane Arrives For Northwest Naval Aviation Appreciation Day Oct. 30 at the Museum of Flight

P-3 Orion on view in parking lot, tours and program with navy flight crew

SEATTLE – In appreciation of Northwest naval aviation, The Museum of Flight presents a day of activities including the exhibition of a U.S. Navy Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion patrol aircraft in the Museum parking lot, and a 2 p.m. panel presentation in the Museum with P-3 flight crew members.

The four-engine Orion is based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and its crew will be available for questions at the plane throughout the day. The panel will be moderated by Cmdr. Steve Richards, who is a P-3 pilot and the commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Detachment Seattle. The program will be in William M. Allen Theater, and free with admission to the Museum. This event is the kick-off to a series of naval aviation programs to be held at the Museum of Flight in 2011 as part of the U.S. Navy Centennial of Naval Aviation. 

Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion
The P-3 Orion has been the U.S. Navy’s frontline, land-based maritime patrol aircraft since the 1960s. The most capable Orion version is the P-3C, first delivered to the navy in 1969. The navy implemented a number of major improvements to the P-3C during its production run. P-3C aircraft communication, navigation, acoustic, non-acoustic and ordnance/weapon systems are still being modernized within several improvement programs to satisfy navy and joint requirements through the early part of the 21st century. Originally designed as a land-based, long-range, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft, the P-3C’s mission has evolved in the late 1990s and early 21st century to include surveillance either at sea or over land.

Image: P-3 Orion with Mt. Fuji in the background. U.S. Navy photo.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for active military, $8 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

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