The US Navy finally retired the Lockheed S-3 Viking earlier this week, performing a final flight from Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, California. It’s operational career ended in 2009 already, but three were retained for service with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-30.
The S-3 Viking first flew on 21 January 1972 and started its operational career two years later, serving as an anti-submarine platform. It’s size, shape and hoover-like engine sound made it very recognizable aboard US aircraft carriers.
Later in it career it also flew as an electronic warfare platform and as an carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft. Most of the 188 Vikings built ended up in storage at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) in Tucson, Arizona.
At least one aircraft escapes that fate, though. It will fly for NASA for some time to come.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Two Vikings overfly Naval Base Ventura County, California. (Image © US Navy)