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Truesdale’s Neptune Finds

13 March 2012

Truesdale’s Neptune Finds

Reader John Truesdale is a well traveled person enjoying a well earned retirement. Like many of us he has been fascinated with aircraft from a young age and luckily he has especially sought out the unusual aircraft as his subjects. Equally fortuitous John has the skill to make detailed models of what he has seen and photographed. He offered a pair of nearly rare Lockheed Neptune subjects — as seen below:

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Lockheed DP-2E Neptune with yellow wings and orange tail — photo by John Truesdale

This aircraft has the designation of DP-2E, or P2V-5F, having the missions of target towing or drone controlling mother ship — carrying and launching a pair of Ryan Firebee drones. John Truesdale took the above photo then used his model building skills to produce an exhibit of how it would have appeared back in the day.

Lockheed DP-2E Neptune with yellow wings and orange tail model — photo and model by John Truesdale

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Lockheed AP-2H Neptune — photo by John Truesdale

John Truesdale also spotted this Neptune, above, modified for ground war as opposed to submarine patrol. The Navy had modified a few Neptunes as AP-2E for SIGINT missions in support of U.S. Army operations in the Vietnam War. Later the AP-2E version was modified into the AP-2H ground attack Neptune. Modifications were many and significant: the MAD boom was removed as was the ASW radome, a 2 x 20mm gun position was installed in the tail, also installed was a blister under the nose for a low light TV camera system and forward looking infrared radar (FLIR), a ventral blister which housed tracking radar, side looking airborne radar (SLAR) on the aft fuselage sides — ground attack armament was installed by way of 40mm grenade launchers and 7.62mm Miniguns as well as wing mounted stores. His model, below, shows how an AP-2H looked when armed for bear — looking for trouble over the Ho Chi Min trail perhaps?

Lockheed AP-2H Neptune model — photo and model by John Truesdale

Our thanks and appreciation to John Truesdale 🙂

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