Lockheed P-3C Orion

Lockheed P-3C Orion

About the Aircraft

Lockheed P-3C Orion

The Hickory Aviation Museum’s P-3C Orion Bureau Number 156515 is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation. VP-30 flew this aircraft into Hickory Regional Airport from NAS Jacksonville, FL September 2017. Coordinated by Kyle and Kregg Kirby.

The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine warfare and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1962. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily distinguished from the Electra by its distinctive tail stinger or "MAD Boom", used for the magnetic detection of submarines.

Over the years, the aircraft has seen numerous design developments, most notably in its electronics packages. Numerous navies and air forces around the world continue to use the P-3 Orion, primarily for maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare. A total of 757 P-3s have been built, and in 2012, it joined the handful of military aircraft including the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Lockheed U-2 that have seen over 50 years of continuous use by the United States military. The Boeing P-8 Poseidon will eventually replace the U.S. Navy's remaining P-3C aircraft.

National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Lockheed/Lockheed Martin/Kawasaki Heavy Industries
First flight 25 November 1959
Introduction 13 August 1962
Status Active
Primary users United States Navy 17 Other Countries
Produced 1969–1990
Number built Lockheed -650, Kawasaki – 107 total of 757
Propulsion 4 x Allison T-56-A-14 Turboprop Engines
Unit cost US$36 million (1987)
Lockheed P-3C Orion BuNo 156515

Interactive Tour

Explore this 3D interactive tour of the Lockheed P-3C Orion.

General Characteristics


Crew: 11 (12, prior to elimination of in-flight ordnanceman in USN aircraft)
Length: 116 ft 10 in (35.6 m)
Wingspan: 99 ft 8 in (30.4 m)
Height: 38 ft 8 in (11.8 m)
Wing area: 1,300 ft² (120.8 m²)
Empty weight: 77,200 lb (35,000 kg)
Loaded weight: 135,000 lb (61,400 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 142,000 lb (64,400 kg)
Powerplant: 4 × Allison T-56-A-14 turboprop engines
Horsepower: 4,600 shp (3,430 kW) each
Maximum fuel capacity: 8,955 gallons (33,898 liters)


Maximum speed: 411 kts (750 km/hr)
Combat radius: 1,346 nmi (2,490 km) 3 hours onstation at 1,500 ft
Ferry range: 4,830 nmi (8,944 km)
Service ceiling: 28,300+ ft (8,625 m)
Rate of climb: >3,140 ft/min (16 m/s)

Armament/Hardpoints: 18 total. 10 wing (AGM-64 Maverick, AGM-84 Harpoon, 500/1000/2000 bombs) and 8 bomb bay (MK44/46/48/54 torpedoes, B-57, various mines)