This aircraft is one of two Lockheed Neptune P2V-7s operated by the Society. P2V-7 Neptune A89-273 (later designated SP-2H) was built at Lockheed’s Burbank plant in California, USA. The manufacturers serial number was No. 7273. Bauer No. 149,073, being delivered to the RAAF and arriving in Townsville on the 10 March 1962.
It was allocated to10 Squadron, which then operated out of Townsville, as an Anti-Submarine Reconnaissance aircraft, and was one of a total of 24 Neptunes operated by RAAF 10 and 11 Squadrons. It served with 10 Squadron from March 1962 until being retired from RAAF service in May 1977 when it was placed in storage at Townsville awaiting disposal. During its years of service A89-273 logged a total of 5476 flying hours.
Long after the aircraft was de-commissioned it was acquired from a private owner in Townsville by members of the Society in a partly restored condition.
Since its total restoration over 10 years ago, this aircraft has been on the Air Show circuit thrilling audiences with an imaginative flying routine. In November 1996, the Society commenced an extensive maintenance program on Neptune A89-273 from nose to tail, culminating in the aircraft being declared airworthy again in January 1998. All maintenance was carried out by our own engineering team.
In November 1999, the Society had great pride in returning 273 back to its old squadron at Edinburgh Air Force Base in South Australia to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the formation of 10 Squadron in 1939. Edinburgh is now the home base for this squadron. Neptune A89-273 VH-IOY is the only former RAAF Lockheed Neptune flying in Australia and is maintained, operated and crewed by members of HARS who maintain a high degree of maintenance and safety, and continually strive to maintain the aircraft in immaculate condition. With large amounts of spare parts and engines available it is anticipated that Neptune A89-273 will continue to be maintained in a flying condition and appearing at air shows throughout Australia for many years to come.
Purpose Long range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft
Length 28 m | 91 ft 8 in
Wing Span 37.7 m | 103 ft 10 in
Height 8.5 m | 28 ft
Wing Area 92.9 sq m | 1,000 sq ft
Maximum Take Off Weight 36,240 kg | 79,895 lbs
Empty Weight 22,650 kg | 49,935 lbs
Maximum Speed 664 km/h | 410 mph (375 kt)
Cruise Speed 302 km/h | 188 mph (175 kt)
Initial Climb Rate 536 m/min | 1,760 ft/min
Maximum Range 5930 kms | 3685 nm
Service Ceiling 11,750 m | 38,550 ft
Crew Total 10 aircrew
Search Light 70 million candlepower located on the starboard
Radar & Other Electronics Main radar housed in large ventral dome. Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) located in the (Stinger) glass fibre tail boom
Armament Two .05 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in dorsal turret, provision for underwing rockets and up to 8,000 lbs (3628 kg) of bombs, torpedoes, depth charges or mines. Equipped for day and night torpedo attack, mine laying, mast level bombing and photo reconnaissance. The Aircraft can carry a variey of equipment for use against ships and submarines.
Radial Engines 2 x Wright compound 18 cylinder R3350-32W air-cooled radial piston engines
• Maximum Power 2,610 kw | 3,500 hp
• Displacement 55 ltr | 3350 cu in
• Propellors 4 blade (steel), constant speed, full feathering, reversible.
Jet Engines – 2 x Westinghouse J34-WE turbo jet engines
• Thrust 1,542 kg | 3,400 lb