Described by aircrew "as 1000 rivets flying in close formation" this remarkable aircraft, whose lineage goes back through the Lincoln to the Lancaster, served the RAF for no less than 43 years. Designed in 1946 to meet a requirement for a Liberator replacement in RAF Coastal Command, the Avro Type 696 Shackleton (originally designated Lincoln ASR.3) flew for the first time on 9th March 1949, powered by four Rolls-Royce Griffon engines. It was the first British four-engined aircraft with contra-rotating propellers. The first of seventy seven production Shackleton MR.ls entered service with No 120 Squadron at Kinloss, Scotland, in April 1951 and by the late 1960's the Shackleton was being replaced by the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod. The Shackleton MR.2 had modifications that included a ventral ASV radome, while the MR.3 incorporated some radical design changes, with an altered wing shape, wingtip tanks and a tricycle undercarriage.
The MR.3 was later fitted with Armstrong Siddeley Viper turbojets in the outboard engine nacelles, being designated MR.3 Phase 3 [i.e. MR.3/3, which had the usual 4 Rolls Royce Griffin piston engines that drove the counter rotating props and two Viper jets in the rear of the outboard engine pods, for extra boost]. This amazing aircraft had an endurance of around 24 hours without refuelling, which is quite remarkable.
WR977 was built in the late 1950's and saw service with 220, 201, 206, 203 and 42 Squadron. It finally retired in 1971 and was subsequently stored at RAF Finningley. Newark Museum members, who dismantled and transported it to Newark by road, arriving in May 1977, saved this aircraft from the scrap yard.
My Dad was the navigator on this particular aircraft during the 1950's/60's cold war.
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tyro (20042) 2014-04-22 1:53
Now this is right up my street! What an interesting and informative note you have written. And how wonderful that this was actually the very aircraft in which your Dad flew as navigator! (And so nice to see that, like me, you also spell your own "Dad" with a capital "d".)
This is a lovely photograph of this beautiful aircraft and the counter-rotating propeller quite rightly takes pride of place in your composition. Lovely light and fine vibrant colours and excellent details and sharpness too.
P.S. Reading that this magnificent aircraft was equipped with Rolls Royce Griffon engines reminds me of an inteersting fact. The Griffon was a successor to the Merlin engine, made famous by the Supermarine Spitfire to which it was fitted. One embarrasing problem that supercharged engine had was that, if it was subjected to negative "g forces", the carburettors flooded causing the engine to stall in mid-air. Engineers worked hard to try to rectify the problem but the eventual very simple and elegant solution was conceived by a very junior female engineer, Miss Beatrice ("Tilly") Shilling - a simple restrictor with a small opening which allowed enough fuel to pass to the carburettors to allow full power but which didn't allow the passage of excess fuel which caused flooding. Much to the amusement of airmen, this clever development became known as "Miss Shilling's orifice"!
- Copyright: marion morgan (jester5) (1994)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-03-18
- Categories: Transportation
- Camera: Canon PowerShot SX40HS
- Exposure: f/4, 1/800 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-04-21 14:57