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#2849 2008-07-31 13:11 GMT-5 hours    
ST. LOUIS, July 29, 2008 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] began final assembly of the second P-8A Poseidon for the U.S. Navy on July 24 in Renton, Wash. The aircraft, S1, is the program's static test vehicle and will be used to test the airframe's structural strength.
The start of final assembly follows Spirit AeroSystems' delivery of the aircraft's fuselage to Boeing. S1 is one of five P-8A test aircraft -- three flight-test and two ground-test -- that the Boeing-led team of CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems and GE Aviation is building for the Navy as part of a System Development and Demonstration contract.
During full-scale static testing in Renton, external loads will be systematically applied to the airframe to validate that the P-8A can withstand the loads it will be subjected to during its service life. Boeing Commercial Airplanes will install about 4,000 sensors and other types of measurement instrumentation on the airframe for these tests.
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Boeing Commercial Airplanes are working together to build the P-8A, a military derivative of the 737-800, on a new final-assembly production line in Renton. This third line takes advantage of the proven efficiencies, manufacturing processes and performance of the highly reliable Next-Generation 737. The Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C aircraft. The P-8A will provide the Navy increased capability in long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.


Jorge Molina

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#2851 2008-07-31 16:28 GMT-5 hours    
I'm still a little skeptical about this aircraft. I don't know how fuel efficient a 737 will be when they are flying below 1000 feet hunting submarines and dropping sonabuoys.

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