NASA Glenn’s S-3 Viking Aircraft flying over downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
Built to replace Grumman’s venerable S-2 Tracker antisubmarine aircraft, the Lockheed S-3A Viking entered service on 20 February 1974 with Air Antisubmarine Squadron FOUR ONE (VS-41) Shamrocks. After VS-28 was disestablished, the last Viking was re-assigned to the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC)- Aircraft Division at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Maryland. The jet served as a test platform and research aircraft at NAWC Pax River until she was retired in 2005. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) acquired her for research soon thereafter.
Today the last Viking built wears registration number N601NA and NASA tail number 601. Since then the remaining “War Hoover” S-3B Vikings in Naval service have all been retired- the last of them in 2016. N601NA is literally the very last S-3B Viking. N601NA may be the only aircraft that was both the last one of its kind built and the last one of its kind to be airworthy.