2013-04-05 / Front Page

If you move it, they will build

MRRA to move plane, clear way for development
BY JT LEONARD Times Record Staff


A P-2V5 NEPTUNE on display at Brunswick Landing must be relocated, according to Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority officials, in order to make way for a group of professional office buildings scheduled to be built. 
JT LEONARD / THE TIMES RECORD A P-2V5 NEPTUNE on display at Brunswick Landing must be relocated, according to Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority officials, in order to make way for a group of professional office buildings scheduled to be built. JT LEONARD / THE TIMES RECORD BRUNSWICK

Anyone know how to move a 66-year-old warplane?

If so, Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority wants to talk to you.

To make way for redevelopment of several acres along the entrance to former Brunswick Naval Air Station, the P-2V5 Neptune currently on display will have to be relocated a halfmile further down Admiral Fitch Drive.

Eventually, it will be on permanent display adjacent to its third-generation cousin, the P-3 Orion, at the intersection of Pegasus Street and Fitch Drive.

Aviation Services Manager Marty McMahon released a request for proposals on Wednesday seeking contractors capable of installing a new display pad, disassembling the plane, moving it and putting it back together in its new permanent spot.

At the time of the base’s official closure in 2011, both planes were on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation. After closure, the museum transferred ownership of both planes to MRRA, so they could remain on site at the newly renamed Brunswick Landing as reminders of the area’s Cold War-era submarinehunting heritage.

Both the P-2 and P-3 were manufactured by Lockheed Corp. The P-2 was introduced into military service in 1947 and ultimately retired in 1984. However, as recently as 2007, P-2Vs remained in use as civilian fire suppression aircraft, dumping tons of retardant foam on wildfires in the western United States.

Like its successor, the P-2 showed a relatively large surface-area tailfin and rudder, as well as the trademark extended tail boom housing a hypersensitive magnetic anomaly detector. The maritime anti-submarine warfare variants also carried a searchlight in the starboard wingtip’s forward nacelle, a search radar housed in the belly-bulge underneath the fuselage.

It also was one of the first military production planes to carry both piston powered and jet engines. The under-wing mounted jet engines could be used for short-field or aircraft carrier take-offs and sprint evasion maneuvers.

Brunswick Landing’s P-2V5 is being moved to make way for a group of professional office buildings scheduled to be built by Topsham developer Priority Group.

jtleonard@timesrecord.com

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