Poseidon Partnership at the Pump

Air Force and Navy testers are teaming to certify the Navy’s new P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to receive fuel from boom-equipped Air Force tankers, officials at Edwards AFB, Calif., announced. Since the P-8 is the only current naval aircraft beside the E-6B Mercury equipped with a boom-compatible refueling receptacle, the Navy called on Edward’s 412th Test Wing for support. Edward’s modification shop was fully booked supporting Air Force test programs, so the Navy offered to instrument and modify Edwards’ KC-135 for the tests. “This is an outstanding example of utilizing trained personnel from other services to meet the needs of test programs,” said Leonard Roen, with Edward’s 412th Test Engineering Group, in a release. “This cooperation will significantly improve the data collection effort that would not have been possible without this sharing of trained personnel,” he added. Data from the flights will also be used to develop accurate refueling dynamics to the flight simulators used by P-8 pilots for training and proficiency. The Navy is procuring a total of 117 airframes to replace its P-3 Orion fleet. Testers from Edwards and NAS Patuxent River, Md., plan to begin P-8 certification flights with the KC-135 at the end of March.