Lockheed P2V Neptune

Overview

The Lockheed P2V (P-2) Neptune was produced in the United States and was produced in larger numbers, and flown by more air forces than any other post-war maritime patrol aircraft.  Originally designed as a long-range patrol-bomber for the United States Navy the first was not delivered to that service until December 1945.  Production ended in 1962 and by then approximately 1036 Lockheed P2Vs had been produced including 52 Neptune MR.1s for the Royal Air Force.  

Designed as a twin-engine, high-winged aircraft with a greater load bearing ability and range than its predecessors, the Lockheed P2V (P-2) Neptune was a key player in the developing maritime Cold War.  As the Cold War deepened the Royal Air Force operated its Neptunes for five years as an interim measure before the Shackleton became available in sufficient numbers to fulfill Coastal Command’s requirements entirely.

Always keen to grab positive headlines, the US Navy set a world distance record for a piston-engined aircraft in 1946 with an initial production Neptune named ‘Truculent Turtle’.  The record of 11,235 miles between Perth, Western Australia, and Columbus, Ohio was not broken until 1986

The P2V remained in United States Navy service until 1962, when it was largely replaced by the Lockheed P-3 Orion.

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