PPRuNe Forums

Go Back   PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Forgotten your Username/Password?

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 28th Dec 2012, 16:05   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Sussex UK
Age: 56
Posts: 4,494
RAF Lockheed P-2 Neptune

Royal Air Force Coastal Command operated 50 odd P2V-5s, designated Neptune MR.1s as a stop-gap maritime patrol aircraft until the Avro Shackleton entered service. I understand they were used for Airborne Early Warning experiments as well as for maritime patrol.

My question ... How good was the Neptune as an AEW/MP platform as compared with the Shack ?






Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 28th Dec 2012 at 16:18.
CoffmanStarter is offline   Reply
Old 28th Dec 2012, 16:28   #2 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 71
Posts: 10,452
CS, I recall they were all held at RAF Silloth prior to being returned to the US. The P2V was in service with the RNlN in the 1970s. I guess it might have been quite good. As good as the Shack? I don't know.

RAF Neptune fates

A few picies here too.

Neptunes of Great Britain

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 28th Dec 2012 at 16:34.
Pontius Navigator is online now   Reply
Old 28th Dec 2012, 16:30   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta
Age: 45
Posts: 1,250
Certainly better than no MPA...

Sorry, someone had to say it.
Roadster280 is online now   Reply
Old 28th Dec 2012, 17:12   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Penzance, Cornwall UK
Age: 74
Posts: 365
I expect they were quieter inside than the Shackletons!
Rosevidney1 is offline   Reply
Old 28th Dec 2012, 17:28   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: SOUTH OF EGQS
Posts: 38
Argentinian Neptunes

I believe the Neptunes were fitted with the APS-20, the same radar that was fitted to the Shackleton AEW Mk 2s.

As to how good the Neptunes were in comparison the the Shackletons, I reckon it was all down to the quality of the operator, as I am sure Pontious & Wenslydale will probably confirm.

During the Falklands conflict the ex-RAF Neptunes which were operated by the Argentinians were used to try to find our Task Force but I do not think they wre used in the AEW role.
caped crusader is offline   Reply
Old 28th Dec 2012, 20:08   #6 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 71
Posts: 10,452
CC, provided they were squawking or had 4 contra-rotating turbo props the Shack was the bees knees. Best I had was a pickup at 200 miles and lost contact some hours later at 225.
Pontius Navigator is online now   Reply
Old 28th Dec 2012, 21:08   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 1,111
Quote:
4 contra-rotating turbo props
- I assume that's a typo . I flew a number of times with the Cloggies in their P2's - thoroughly enjoyed it, and yes it was much quieter than a Shack. She was pretty quick a low level too ....
reynoldsno1 is offline   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 09:54   #8 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 71
Posts: 10,452
Reynolds, at 200 miles? No they were definitely huge turbo props
Pontius Navigator is online now   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 09:59   #9 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 71
Posts: 10,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by reynoldsno1 View Post
the Cloggies in their P2's - thoroughly enjoyed it, and yes it was much quieter than a Shack. She was pretty quick a low level too ....
Towards the end of their life one was doing an air display, possibly at Den Helder, when at approaching 300 kts (I was told) the co-pilot's hatch lifted. The senior officer in the co's seat grabbed it and hung on but I believe the pressure blew the tail cone off.

Not sure how true but a good yarn.

I have also seen a Shack doing 300 kts over the salt lake at Akrotiri. It was trialling the rear crew parachute explosive drogue deployment. I believe it worked but the risk of a live drogue gun in the cabin was assessed as too high.
Pontius Navigator is online now   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 10:46   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South of the M4
Posts: 926


I took this photo at Biggin Hill during the 1954 Royal Observer Corps "Recognition Day". It shows RAF Neptune MR1 WX547 from the Fighter Command Vanguard Flight (1453 Flight) based at Topcliffe in Yorkshire.

Vanguard Flight Neptunes carried out some of the initial Airborne Early Warning Radar trials over the North Sea, but acording to Google they were not a success (see quote below).

Quote:
By the 1950's, the Royal Navy and RAF had started the development of AEW systems. The Royal Navy ordered the development of an AEW Fairey Gannet, whilst using the AN/APS 20 radar equipped Douglas Skyraider from the US as a stopgap, and the RAF set up the "Vanguard Flight", also known as 1453 Flight, equipped with Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune's. They were not a success, and the flight was disbanded after 3 years. Therefore, the only operational AEW systems in use by the British armed forces up until 1970 were operated by the Royal Navy.
Warmtoast is offline   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 12:52   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: nr Ely, Cambs
Age: 51
Posts: 205
Fairly sure there was an ex RAF Neptune for sale in the States a couple of years ago. Owner was hoping that someone in the UK would buy it and put in on the airshow circuit. Not aware of what happened after that though. Any ideas?
brokenlink is offline   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 13:04   #12 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Sussex UK
Age: 56
Posts: 4,494
Thanks Chaps ... all good stuff ... much appreciated

I guess it goes to show how important the British Aircraft Industry was in our economic recovery post WII.

On paper two broadly similar platforms in terms of performance ...

Neptune Vmo 278 Kts, Op Range 1912 NM's - Shack Vmo 260 Kts, Op Range 1950 NM's.

It could be argued that the Neptune could have been more than a "stopgap" solution until the Shack entered service with the RAF. In pure financial terms buying "off the shelf fit for purpose" Neptunes would have been the cold hearted sensible option ... but yet the 188 Shaks built by Avro, along with other post war British aircraft designs, provided much needed employment.

If we discount the macro economic argument for a moment ... it would be really good to hear from anyone who has flown both types to get their perspective on both platforms.

It's interesting to speculate that had we gone down the Neptune route the RAF could well have taken the P-3 Orion for the maratime role. I know we then get in to the Nimrod debate following the commercial export failure of the Comet.


Best regards ... and Happy New Year !

Coff.
CoffmanStarter is offline   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 15:33   #13 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta
Age: 45
Posts: 1,250
Where did the money come from for all this?

188 Shackletons? That's rather a lot of 27L V12 engines burning a boatload of (highly refined) gas.

There must have been a couple of thousand aircrew for that many aircraft, not to mention airfields and all the support infrastructure.

Shacks were contemporaneous with V-Bombers, Canberras, Hunters etc, of which there was a thousand or more.

The RAF's budget must have been ridiculous in those days. Same for the Royal Navy with a dozen or more capital ships and escorts aplenty, not to mention the FAA.
Roadster280 is online now   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 15:53   #14 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bradfield CO11 2XD
Age: 72
Posts: 48
I can remember a Neptune at Bovingdon sometime in the mid 1950s,Shackletons were occasional visitors also,as Northwood was the Coastal Command HQ in those days, I guess Bovingdon was used as a communications airfield.Did Coastal Command have its own Communications Flight? The Metropolitan Comm. Flight was based at Bovingdon in those days.
Colin.
KING6024 is offline   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 16:46   #15 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 71
Posts: 10,452
Roadster, in the early sixties it was said the V-bomber cost 1M. It was our most expensive aircraft. Accounting for inflation that is now less than 40 MILLIONS. Now I don't know how much the Defence vote has increased in that time.

I do recall around 1971 a VSO, possibly AMP, was appalled that the RAF Manpower bill accounted for over half the RAF Vote. Which is more important? Could you draw an arbitrary division between manpower and equipment?

Of course not long after we were shedding lots of transport crews -Beverly, Argosy, Britannia, Comet, and then Canberra.
Pontius Navigator is online now   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 17:36   #16 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 1,629
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/foru...html#msg160089

Gibson's new book "Battle Flight" might be of interest.
LowObservable is online now   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 17:51   #17 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Sussex UK
Age: 56
Posts: 4,494
I understand that of the 188 Shacks built only 8 were exported to South Africa ... so thats a lot of metal built for the RAF ?
CoffmanStarter is offline   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 18:01   #18 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Sussex UK
Age: 56
Posts: 4,494
Not forgetting that a Mk4 Shack was proposed ...



Coff.
CoffmanStarter is offline   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 19:16   #19 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: morayshire
Posts: 522
Yeah but, no but, yeah but.........

......in those days there were Shack squadrons in Changi, Aden,Malta,Gibraltar. 3x squadrons at Bally kelly plus ASWDU, 3x sqadrons at Kinloss plus MOTU, and 2 squadrons at St Mawgan. Approx 15 basic crews of 10 men each plus execs and assorted gash bodies; plus all the groundcrew (until centralised servicing came in) and you're well on the way to your 2000 bodies. T'was a different world then, innit.

The Ancient Mariner
Rossian is offline   Reply
Old 29th Dec 2012, 19:50   #20 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 71
Posts: 10,452
Just to chip in, 20 V-bomber sqns would have about 2000 aircrew not including station, groups and command staffs. I would guess the other flying commands and air forces would have had similar numbers.

In 1961, not counting the small number of aircrew at Cranwell, the initial aircrew officer training intake was around 100 per month of which around 80 were pilots.

Given chop rates and deaths and assuming aircrew on 8 year commissions (some were on 5, others leaving at 12, 16 and 20) there would have been about 6,000 - 7,000 into productive service at that time. Aircrew above JOs were either wartime assimilated aircrew or Cranwell output.

When a Nav course graduated in 1991 they were told the RAF aircrew requirement was just 1,000.
Pontius Navigator is online now   Reply
Reply
 
 
 


Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 22:16.


vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
1996-2012 The Professional Pilots Rumour Network