View Full Version : New Nimrod - first flight? (& a DC6?)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
26th Aug 2004, 17:39
I live a few miles SW of Woodford airfield (no GA unfortunately ). This afternoon I heard loud 'big aeroplane' noises, and climbing out of Woodford, still on the extended centreline, was what looked like the new Nimrod, with a black Tucano in formation off its right wing. It looked Nimrod-ish....... but different, so that's my assumtion. Plus I know they are building it there. I also know that first flight is overdue (or was, last weekend) awaiting a few last minute fixes.

I wonder if this was first flight? Especially with the Tucano presumably as observer? They turned left, out toward the east, and I assumed they'd be heading NE out over Yorkshire and the North Sea as Woodford test flights usually do, but a few minutes later they were back overhead, runway heading, still in formation, at several thousand feet. Then they went into (or over) cloud. Didn't see them after that.

And earlier today (about noon), I was cycling in Delamere Forest when the lovely sound of radial engines echoed around the trees. A 4-engined airliner (DC6?) probably climbing out of Liverpool skirted the forest at about 2000 feet. Lovely!


26th Aug 2004, 18:29
Yep, the MRA.4 made it first flight today, and the chase plane was a Pilatus PC-9. Landed at Warton AFAIK.

26th Aug 2004, 18:49

26th Aug 2004, 20:28
Re the DC-6 have a look at http://www.xsorbit3.com/users/nwanforum///index.cgi?board=move&action=display&num=1093446922

Full story there.


P.S. they do make a lovely noise.

London Jets
26th Aug 2004, 21:54

Have you any more pictures, or is it just the one?


26th Aug 2004, 22:01
I have credited the photographer on the mil forum but could not remember his/her name to do it here as well. There is another photo which you can see along with appropriate credits at this address:

Nimrods first flight (http://www.airliners.net/discussions/military/read.main/22439/)

Compass Call
26th Aug 2004, 22:15
Anybody know what the 'Sticky Up Bits' on the wing tip pods are? Are they something that BWOS has added and will think up a use later?:E


27th Aug 2004, 06:51
I'm a bit worried that this thread has appeared on History & Nostalgia!

I know it's really a DH 106 but even so....

Spot 4
27th Aug 2004, 08:16
History & Nostalgia!

History can be in the present and indeed future, and whilst it may be some time before the Nimrod is welcome at Shuttleworth, it is the grandaughter of Comet, and a first flight is history. If it gets to the squadrons may be another matter.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
27th Aug 2004, 09:11
First flight of a new type; a historic moment, innit?


Hen Ddraig
27th Aug 2004, 16:21
I was out in the hills about 5 miles SW of Hawarden yesterday (26th) and saw the Nimrod, PC-9 combination heading NW in the general direction of Valley. Looked very impressive but seemed very slow. It's nice to know they have got one flying at last.

Hen Ddraig

Time to spare, go by air.

29th Aug 2004, 11:48
Amazing. A political decision based on vote winning. A lot of money into an old Airframe when a perfect "off the shelf" Orion was available to fly here and get converted using British manpower.

Spot 4
29th Aug 2004, 17:38
The present Nimrod has proved itself better then the P3 Orion / C140 Aurora many times over the last three decades. What is needed is an aircraft that will still do the job in thirty years+, but that is not what you will read in the average tabloid.

There are a lot of people of the "What cold war, wheres the threat" brigade who appear totally nonchalent to the fact that although the world has changed since the USSR, it is still changing and those submarines are still out there, and that is before you move onto the Customs & Excise - Imigration tasks that the Nimrod mates dont like to talk about.

I wonder if a new "R" model is in the pipeline.

29th Aug 2004, 19:40
I really cannot see that remanufactured Nimrod's have a massive
advantage over new build Orion's . Certainly the Nimrod's new intakes look perfect for birdstrikes in the maritime enviroment
and generally the airframe side of things looks distinctly 'added on 'after the initial design. I am sure it will work but I cannot see how the cost vs the number of aircraft received can be justified.

29th Aug 2004, 22:10
The present Nimrod has proved itself better then the P3 Orion / C140 Aurora many times over the last three decades
Having flown operationally on both types, each has its own advantages/disadvantages - N. Atlantic higher level surveillance, yes, I would prefer the Nimrod - Pacific surface surveillance, P3 every time, thanks. Horses for courses....

30th Aug 2004, 10:32
A lot of money into an old Airframe when a perfect "off the shelf" Orion was available to fly here and get converted using British manpower.

Good idea. :rolleyes:
That would have been another nail in the coffin of the British Aircraft Industry.

Mind you it is pretty much gone now. The Nimrod MRA.4 first flight was probably the last first flight in this country of a major aircraft project.

Where did it go wrong?



31st Aug 2004, 12:53
It all went wrong many times. We have a great product but then unfortunately the Government at the time get too involved and loose faith, the TSR2 for example.
The VC10 proved to operate cheaper than the 707; the RJX would have been a winner even after 9-11, etc etc.
Every so often we don`t have a good product, the Nimrod that was replaced by an "off the shelf" AWACS and now this. . .

1st Sep 2004, 19:12
We should have replaced the Shack with the Atlantique in the first place.

Genghis the Engineer
15th Sep 2004, 11:17
I can't make this, but in my in-tray this morning was details of a (presumably hurriedly arranged) lecture on the subject.

Main details are:-

"Nimrod MRA4 - 1st flight"

By John Turner, Chief Test Pilot, Nimrod and Strategic Aircraft

30 September 2004, 1800 with refreshments from 1730. Bill Boeing Lecture Theatre, Royal Aeronautical Society, 4 Hamilton Place, London.

The presentation describes the Nimrod MRA4 project and its esign evolution then discusses the organisational, technical and training issues that arose in progressing a new-design large military aircraft to its first flight. It shows how these were resolved or circumvented on MRA4 against the background of current procurement and engineering processes. It concludes with a description of the flight itself and some of the lessons learnt. History will reveal whether this was the last first flight of a large aircraft in the UK.

No tickets required, visitors welcome.