Photographer's Note

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 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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Additional Photos by marion morgan (jester5) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 97 W: 66 N: 609] (2024)
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