Lockheed P2V-7B Neptune

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The P2V-7B was a variant of the Neptune, in which 15 were built specifically for the Royal Netherlands Air Navy. This variant had no nose glass glaze as 4 20mm cannons were installed there. Unit 210 (picture above) was used for crew training and by KLM, in 1985. It is based at Lelystad Airport.

Background & Operations:
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In August 1961, as a response to Indonesian attacks on Dutch New Guinea, the Netherlands decided to purchase the P2V-7 variant. Between September 1961 and February 1962, the 15 newly designated β€œP2V-7B” were built at Lockheed’s Burbank plant and delivered (11 sent to Biak NAS in Dutch New Guinea and 4 to the Netherlands for crew training). These units were operated by Squadron No.321. The P2V-7B saw action against Indonesian infiltration in Dutch New Guinea on bombing/strafing patrol duties. It was reported on 17 May 1962, a Neptune shot down an Indonesian C-47. Eventually, the conflict stopped in September 1962, with Indonesia gradually controlling West Papua after the truce. Just 10 P2V-7Bs were sent back to the Netherlands. Only 2 Neptunes were lost in accidents. Serial number 200 crashed at Mokmer Airport due to a fire in the right jet engine in May 1962. During landing, the hydraulic pressure was lost and crashed into a ditch. The unit was written off. On 23 January 1965, No 212 crashed in the North Sea, near the town of Katwijk. It took off from Valkenburg NAS by two mechanics for a drunk prank (revealed in a investigation). The rest of the P2V-7Bs were transferred to No 320 squadron, to replace the the Grumman S-2 Trackers. The fleet were supplemented by 4 French Navy SP-2Hs. The 7Bs too would be converted to the SP-2H variant.

Specifications:
Dimensions:
Length: 27,94 m Wingspan: 31,7 m
Height: 8,94 m Wing area: 92,9 m2
Weights:
Empty weight: 21570 kg Max. start weight: 34573 kg
Performances:
Max. speed: 635 km/hr
Cruising speed: 315 km/hr
Range: 5930 km Service ceiling: 6830 m
Miscellaneous:
Engine type: Two Wright Cyclone R-3350-32W-A2 rated 3750 hp each plus two Westinghouse J-34 W-E jet engines rated 1540 kg thrust each
Armament: 4 20mm cannons and 5 bomb racks that can hold bombs and torpedos.

Sources:

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