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Anybody shoot pics of Classic 737 N234SW?

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  • Anybody shoot pics of Classic 737 N234SW?

    Because its about to be shot at with something a tad more high explosive:

    After arriving at China Lake, the engines, auxiliary power unit, avionics and windshield were the only things removed from this 737, which was recently retired from the Southwest Airlines fleet.

    “It was so intact that the in-flight magazines were still in the backs of the seats,” said Gorish, who came across this aircraft while shopping for individual parts.

    The plane, which cost the P-8 Program about $200,000, landed at Armitage Field in December and was towed out to WSL where it awaits its first test, planned for this summer.

    The original P-8 LFTE plan called for the ground-test aircraft (S1) to arrive at WSL in 2012, when Gorish and his team were to perform several tests on the fuselage and both wings.

    “The test schedule for S1 was tight,” Gorish said. “It was going to be a challenge to get everything done in the allotted timeframe. Now, we can offload some of the tests planned for S1 onto this 737 airframe and complete all tests as planned.”

    The purpose of LFTE is to look at how the aircraft will actually be used, identify potential vulnerabilities and then reduce those vulnerabilities.

    “Our goal is to help the pilot and the plane complete the mission and return home safely,” Gorish said.

    The first LFTE test scheduled for the 737 will look at how the hydraulics in the tail portion of the aircraft react when hit with a threat. Another test will evaluate how the oxygen bottles will react to a ballistic impact in a fully pressurized cabin. Gorish and his team will build a surrogate refueling probe for the 737 to match the Poseidon’s and test that too. P-8’s fuel drain and ventilation system may also be tested on the 737.

    Gorish said since the 737 and its subsystems are fairly intact, these tests can be performed more effectively on the 737 vice S1. It is also anticipated that the 737 will be a source of parts to build-up S1 into a more representative P-8A surrogate.

    LFTE tests involve shooting various sections of the plane with different anti-aircraft rounds that it might encounter in theater. Engineers then assess the damage and use that data to improve an aircraft’s survivability.

    I do not have a link to the place where this was originally published.

    So, anybody wondering what happened to this aircraft - it wasn't so much broken up as shot up.

  • #2
    Southwest Airlines | Rapid Rewards - U S Navy Acquires SWA 737-300 - Navy gets SWA jet for live-fire testing It looks like the 737 platform will be the replacement for the Navy's P3. SWA pilots flew it in and the engines and apu were removed.

    Here's the link