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Renton-built P-8I makes its first flight
Boeing's first P-8I aircraft for the Indian Navy completed its initial flight Wednesday, taking off from Renton Municipal Airport just after noon and landing two hours and 31 minutes later at Boeing Field in Seattle.
During the flight, Boeing test pilots checked systems, including engine accelerations and decelerations and autopilot flight modes, and took the P-8I to a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet prior to landing, according to a Boeing press release.
In the coming weeks Boeing will begin mission systems installation and checkout work on the aircraft at a company facility near Boeing Field.
"The P-8I program is progressing well and we are looking forward to this potent platform joining the Indian Navy as part of its fleet," said Rear Adm. DM Sudan, assistant chief of Naval Staff (Air), Indian Navy.
Based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, the P-8I is the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for the U.S. Navy. In order to efficiently design and build P-8 aircraft, the Boeing-led team is using a first-in-industry, in-line production process that draws on the company's Next-Generation 737 production system, according to the company press release.
The P-8I is the first of eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft Boeing is building for India as part of a contract awarded in January 2009.