Canadian Warplanes 5: Lockheed CP-140 Aurora and CP-140A Arcturus

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora and CP-140A Arcturus, RCAF

(Mike Kaehler Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140115), CFB Comox, British Columbia, Sep 2019.

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (18), (Serial Nos. 140101-140118), CP-140A Arcturus (3), (Serial Nos. 140119-140121) for a total of 21 aircraft.

The Lockheed Model 285D, CP-140 Aurora is a maritime patrol aircraft based on the Lockheed P-3 Orion airframe, but mounts the electronics suite of the Lockheed S-3 Viking. The name Aurora refers to the Roman goddess of dawn who flies across the sky each morning ahead of the sun.  Aurora also refers to the Aurora Borealis, the "northern lights", that are prominent over northern Canada..

The Lockheed CP-140A Arcturus was a related variant used primarily for pilot training and coastal surface patrol missions.

Detailed records of all known RCAF and Allied aircraft flown by Canadians may be viewed on line in the Canadian Aircraft Serials Personnel Information Resource (CASPIR). The CASPIR website is researched, coded, maintained entirely by Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) volunteers with only one staff assisting periodically. This work has taken several years, and is unlikely to be finished as continuing research leads to “new finds” and rediscovered Canadian aviation heritage and history.  The CWHM volunteer team looks forward to continuing to update and correct the record as additional information and photos are received. For the Aurora, check here. For the Arcturus, check here.

(Anthony Noble Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140110), RAF Greenham Common, Berkshire, UK, July 1981.

(Rob Schleiffert Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140107), April 1985.

(Rob Schleiffert Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140115), CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

(RCAF Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140101), shown in the foreground, with the Canadair CP-107 Argus, which it replaced, on the ramp at Burbank, California.  The photo was taken on 25 Jan 1979.  The first of 18 CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft (Serial No. 140101) was rolled out during a ceremony at Lockheed's facility in Burbank, California.  It flew for the first time flew on 22 Mar 1979.  All P-3's including the CP-140 and 140A were built at Burbank.  Assembly was to be transferred to Marietta, Georgia in 1992.  The Aurora never left Burbank.  A year later, Aurora Conversion Course No. 1 commenced at Burbank for aircrew instructors from 404 (Buffalo) (MP) Squadron.  The Canadian Forces accepted the first CP-140 at Greenwood on 29 May 1980.  As of 1 Sep 1980, six aircraft were on strength with the squadron.  (Chris Charland)

(RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140101).

(DND Photos via Francois Dutil)

Canadair CP-107 Argus and Lockheed CP-140 Aurora.

(CAF Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140109), dropping a Survival Kit Air Droppable (SKAD). Note bomb bay doors are open and the external sono launch tubes have a red line around their outer perimeter, aft of the wing.

(Aldo Bidini Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140107).

(Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140107), based at CFB Comox, British Columbia, 1993.

(airforcefe Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140107), operating out of CFB Comox, British Columbia.

(Pedro Aragão Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140107), CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

(RCAF Photo via Steven Tutty)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140104).

(Mike Kaehler Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140112) retracting its landing gear on take off, CFB Comox, BC.

(Sebastien Kasten Photo)

Lockheed CP-140A Arcturus (Serial No. 140113), in service with the RCAF, operating out of CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

(John Davies Photo)

Lockheed CP-140A Arcturus (Serial No. 140119), landing.

(Ken Mist Photo)

Lockheed CP-140A Arcturus  (Serial No. 140120), operating out of CFB Comox, British Columbia.

(Mike Kahler Photo)

Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (Serial No. 140110), No. 407 Sqn with the  No. 3 engine feathered.  The aircraft recovered safely at its home base of CFB Comox, British Columbia, July 2019.

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