Re: What could replace the P-3?

Date:         26 Apr 98 03:44:40 
From:         malc@mci2000.com (Malcolm Weir)
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On 18 Apr 98 00:49:16 , "Neil Gerace" <geracen@wantree.com.au> caused to
appear as if it was written:

>Now, consider a hypothetical situation where the RAAF had the money to
>replace its venerable P-3C Orion ASW planes with some new model. Say it
>wanted to convert an exisiting but up-to-date airliner to fill the role.

Why would they want to?  The USN has an ongoing block modification program
on their P3's to update the mission systems, but the basic airframe is fine.

>Now my question is, which one? In my 'International Dictionary of Civil
>Aircraft' which purports to list every type of civil plane still in
>service -- the Lockheed Electra which the P-3 came from is still in
>there -- there doesn't seem to be a 4-engined airliner around any more
>that's about the P-3's size.
>
>All planes in the P-3's weight class (~ 65 tonnes) are twins, and the
>Avro RJ115, the only new quad in the book smaller than the A340, is way
>too small.
>
>I'm assuming such a plane would need four engines for safety during long
>patrols at sea, not merely because the P-3 has four engines. Is this
>right?

No.  Evidence: Japan's E767 AWACS aircraft are long-loiter platforms, and
only have two engines.  Australia's favorite strike aircraft, the F-111,
only has two engines.

>Here's a wild idea: how about a four engined 737-600? Who makes
>turbofans in the 10-12,000lb class needed to replace half of a CFM56?

Why bother?  Look at the 737-200 based "Surveiller" aircraft used by
Indonesia.  Or, more immediately relevant, look at the "Wedgetail" AEW
platform proposed to the RAAF... a 737-700 with an AWACS mission suite...

Neil, I think the RAAF is ahead of you...  <Grin>

>Neil Gerace

Malc.