Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Goodby Nimrod

 The first Nimrod MR1 aircraft flew in 1967 as an airborne search and reconnaissance aircraft.  With the design based on the successful Comet 4, this was a well tried airframe.  This aircraft was a replacement for the RAF Shackleton search and rescue aircraft
By the mid 1970's the nimrod fleet was upgraded to AEW1.  With an all-around-view airborne radar system, this was the most effective of tactical command and observation platforms.  The primary roll of this aircraft became that of observing air and ground movements of military and civil traffic and directing RAF aircraft to targets.  The aircraft could be refuelled in the air and often carried two crews to enable long flight operations.
 Like all "Heavy Metal", this aircraft needs a long and straight landing approach.
 The aircraft flies very much like the Comet airliner.
 In the MR (Maritime reconnaissance) versions, the bomb bay would carry a mixture of dingies, depth charges, mines or torpedoes.  Additional fuel tanks could also be fitted to part of the bomb bay.
 The AEW (Airborne Early Warning) version was also able to carried a range of rescue kit, missiles and bombs.
The Nimrod fleet was decommissioned in  2010 and the last Nimrod finally flew in 2014.  Sadly, a fleet of new MRA4 aircraft were scrapped before they went into service as part of the Government Strategic Air review.  This amazing aircraft has now been replaced by 7 Boeing E3 Sentry aircraft.  This has significantly limited part of the strategic capability of the RAF.

Nimrod AEW3 at RAF Cosford Museum
Flight Sim Nimrod by Brian Franklin of SimShed

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