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Lockheed P2V Neptune


Anti-Submarine Warfare / Maritime Patrol Aircraft


United States | 1947



"The Lockheed P2V Neptune series was an exceptional aircraft in service with the United States Navy and Air Force during the Cold War years."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/19/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The P2V Neptune series of aircraft was one of the more successful post-war designs for America, with service that spanned decades for a handful of American-friendly countries. The system was designed by Lockheed Corporation from the outset as a land-based maritime patrol and reconnaissance platform. The system proved so versatile and effective, that the base production model spawned a large series of variants in specialized roles.

The P2V Neptune was a twin engine high-wing monoplane design. Sporting various Wright-brand powerplants throughout its production run, the aircraft featured outstanding range. A most identifiable feature being the single large rudder on the empennage, though the overall gangly design of the nose was another memorable feature. The Neptune split time between the United States Navy and the United States Air Force, though it is widely remembered for its service with the Navy branch.

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The Neptune got its start as early as 1944, where two XP2V-1 prototypes are delivered with 15 production P2V-1 models. Initial models featured an impressive armament of cannons and heavy caliber machine guns of which 6 x 20mm cannons were mounted in a battery in the nose while 2 x 20mm cannon sat in a tail turret. 2 x 12.7mm machine guns are also part of the early arsenal though many of these weapons were later removed as needs for the platform changed. Internally, the Neptune was geared for military success with specialized equipment and anti-surface vessel weaponry. Chief among these weapons were the ability to carry torpedoes, mines, bombs of various weights and even externally-held high-explosive rockets (underwing).

Aircraft personnel amounted to ten in most versions. The P2V-2 was the first to do away with the nose turret armament, and instead, extended the nose assembly. The P2V-2S was an anti-submarine specialized variant while the P2V-2-2N was a cold weather derivative that was fielded with skis. The P2V-3 series brought about an early warning variant while the P2V-4 saw new and improved turbo-compound engines installed along with wingtip tanks and an APS-20 radar as standard. The P2V-5 was the first model offered up for export while the P2V-6 saw a revision to the series' defensive armament. The P2V-7 proved to be the ultimate incarnation for the P2V series featuring the MAD boom installation in place of the rear tail turret. This variant proved to be the final production variant and saw many -5's and -6's brought up to this standard. Designation of the system was then changed to SP-2H after 1962.

The United States Air Force maintained the Neptune as the RB-69A while other designations existed for specialized Southeast Asia-operating systems. The Neptune was also license-produced in Japan. Over 75% of all produced Neptunes went into service with the United States Navy and would later be replaced by another Lockheed product - the P-3 - throughout the 1970's. relegating the P2V series to supporting roles until complete withdrawal from active service.

One of the more well known Neptune aircraft remains the P2V-1 Neptune known as the "Truculent Turtle" which set a world's distance record in 1946 by flying non-stop from Australia to Ohio (Columbus). The distance for this specially-modified aircraft covered some 11,236 miles.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Lockheed P2V-4 Neptune Anti-Submarine Warfare / Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
2 x Wright R-3350-30W superchargered piston engines developing 3,250 horsepower each.
Propulsion
314 mph
505 kph | 273 kts
Max Speed
24,698 ft
7,528 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
2,807 miles
4,518 km | 2,440 nm
Operational Range
1,100 ft/min
335 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Lockheed P2V-4 Neptune Anti-Submarine Warfare / Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
7
(MANNED)
Crew
77.0 ft
23.47 m
O/A Length
100.0 ft
(30.48 m)
O/A Width
28.0 ft
(8.53 m)
O/A Height
41,548 lb
(18,846 kg)
Empty Weight
79,999 lb
(36,287 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Lockheed P2V Neptune Anti-Submarine Warfare / Maritime Patrol Aircraft .
STANDARD:
6 x 20mm M-24 cannons in nose
2 x 12.7mm machine guns (on deck)
2 x 20mm M-24 cannons in tail

OPTIONAL:
Mission-Specific Armament can include the following (all ordnance held in internal bay unless noted). Maximum bombload capacity of 4,800 lbs:

6 x 100lb bombs
6 x 500lb bombs
4 x 1,000lb bombs
2 x 2,000lb mines
2 x 1,600lb bombs
4 x Mk 24 mines
4 x Mk 34 mines
4 x 1,200lb torpedoes
2 x A.R. 11.75 inch
16 x HVAR 5 inch rockets (underwing)
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Lockheed P2V Neptune family line.
XP2V-1 - Prototype Model Designation of which two examples were ordered in 1944.
P2V-1 - Initial Production Model Designation
P2V-2 - Sans nose turret; extended nose assembly.
P2V-2S - Specialized ASW Variant
P2V-2-2N - Specialized Arctic Variant with skis.
P2V-3 - Improved engines.
P2V-3C - Specialized Carrier Variant
P2V-3Z - Command Transport Variant
P2V-3W - Early Warning Radar Search Variant
P2V-4 - Fitted with turbo-compound R-3350 engines; standard APS-20 radar; wingtip fuel tanks.
P2V-5 - First version offered for export
P2V-6 - Reduced capability radar; improved defensive armament positions.
P2V-7 - "Ultimate Neptune"; fitted with Westinghouse J-34 wingtip pods; tail turret replaced by MAD boom system; sans nose armament altogether; redesign cockpit; designation later changed to SP-2H; Many P2V-5's and P2V-6's retrofitted in this way; final production version.
SP-2H - New Designation replacing previous P2V designations; all defensive guns were now removed from the design.
RB-69A - Conversion Variants for USAF usage.
OP-2E - Specialized Variant for Southeast Asia usage.
AP-2H - Specialized Variant for Southeast Asia usage.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Lockheed P2V Neptune. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1,036 Units

Contractor(s): Lockheed - USA
National flag of Australia National flag of Canada National flag of France National flag of modern Japan National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Portugal National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States

[ Australia; Canada; France; Japan; Netherlands; Portugal; United Kingdom; United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (314mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1036
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE
VIP SERVICE
RECONNAISSANCE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Lockheed P2V Neptune Anti-Submarine Warfare / Maritime Patrol Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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