View Full Version : Avro Shackleton on M25 today. Where from and to?

15th Oct 2014, 22:18
A Shackleton rear fuselage on a low loader was heading clockwise on the North West section of the M25, near the A404 junction, around 15:00 today. Does anyone know where it was from and where it was going?

15th Oct 2014, 22:46
WR974, ex-Charlwood, enroute to Bruntingthorpe.

Forward fuselage and centre-section are already there, not sure about the wings:


16th Oct 2014, 06:42
Yes, it was parts of WR974 from GAM to Brunty. Two loads, main/rear fuse on one load and the major sections of the mainplanes on another, plus a bomb door. Only part remaining, one rear mainplane section. (Just not quite enough room on the trailers!) .
Departed GAM 13:30-14:00.


16th Oct 2014, 18:20
Thank you DaveReidUK for the photo & ID & PMMills575 for the further details.

Nice to see that it wasn't off to become saucepans just yet. I did keep an eye open for more bits on subsequent vehicles, but didn't notice any.

16th Oct 2014, 18:34
There is a photo blog somewhere about the guys who are dismantling and rebuilding the Shackleton.

16th Oct 2014, 19:34
Shot I took of her when she was whole, at GAM, three plus years ago: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8444765528/in/photolist-dSeCzE-9QBto8-dS93MH

Great to see she's going to a good new home.

16th Oct 2014, 19:51
For those of us who have only seen the Shack from the air whilst taking off or landing at LGW over the years, why has it been moved ? Am I imagining that it used to do engine run-ups in the very recent past, or was that elsewhere ?


16th Oct 2014, 19:59
No matter how many times it's explained to me, I still can't get the idea of how two COUNTER rotataing props are more powerful than one. :confused:

16th Oct 2014, 20:23
SHJ: I may be wrong, but the Shack at the GAM did not look, to me at least, when I visited there in May 2011, like it was capable of running any of its engines.

PAXboy: a former crew member on the Coventry Shack (which recently taxied under its own power) explained it to me like this; the only way the designers could harness the tremendous power of the Griffons(?) fitted to the Shackletons, was to use two (necessarily contra-rotating) propellors. He said that if a single prop had been used, it would have had to be so large that its blades would have fouled the ground, without absurdly extending the undercarriage.

I repeat the above however, as definitely a non-engineer; and on another forum, where I put up this explanation, someone asked how then did Corsairs and Mustang harness 3000 bhp in the Reno races, using a single prop? I just had to say I didn't know.

ie could someone with engineering expertise please definitively (if possible) explain?


16th Oct 2014, 21:06
The Oracle of all that is true on the Internet says.

16th Oct 2014, 21:51
Thanks Munster, but you need to revise that link slightly, to:

Contra-rotating propellers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra-rotating_propellors)

Other one doesn't work properly.

16th Oct 2014, 21:57
Well, Ive sent them to, welcomed them from and been with them in many strange places but never a motorway. May she arrive safely, albeit bit by bit and enjoy many admirers at her new home.

16th Oct 2014, 22:24
SHJ: I may be wrong, but the Shack at the GAM did not look, to me at least, when I visited there in May 2011, like it was capable of running any of its engines.AFAIK, it's several years since they have been run up (and note that we're talking here about GAM's other Shack, WR982, not the one that's gone to Bruntingthorpe).

Shackleton WR982 Anniversary engine run - YouTube

16th Oct 2014, 22:57
Thanks for that Dave. And here's a link to a photo of that handsome brute WR982, that I took on my visit to the GAM in May 2011:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15368671217/

And also a link to a video that I shot of the Coventry Shack running up its engines back in June of 2004:


And a link to how it now looks, in 1950s RAF Coastal Command colours:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5649977201/in/photolist-jiJdAe-9BgBo2-972YZr-9HEXJq-9HC6CD-8Ut2T5

Does anyone have a video of its recent taxi run?

Finally, here's a link to all of my photos of Shackletons taken over the years. Highlights include the one at Strathallan, back in 1976 (don't think there are too many shots of that knocking around); and WR965 at the 1973 Biggin Air Fair. Also shots of the MR.3 at Newark Air Museum; and the MR.2 in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, which is the only one preserved under cover/in a building, I think:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157648744360406/

Anyone got any shots of SAAF machines, or of RAF ones "back in the day?"

17th Oct 2014, 05:37
WR974 was sold to a new owner at Bruntingthorpe. This was a part of the rationalisation of the airframes owned by Gatwick Aviation Museum, due to two main reasons. Firstly, we do not have sufficient engineering staff to keep all aiframes from slowly corroding away, so it was decided to move airframes on before they became so bad that they could not be recovered. In this way we could concentrate our resources on a core number of airframes. This has already given us impetus and brought the Lightning ZF579 to a point where we are ready to light up its two zero time Avons. Secondly, our continual issues with the local council regarding getting our collection under cover showed our willingness to be flexible about the aircraft and the sensitivity about the issue.

As regards running Shackletons, we often see comments that we had, in the past, run both aircraft, sadly we have never run WR974(K). The last time WR982(J) was run was 2009. We are at the early stages of bringing 982 back to a runnning state, the plan being to run her next year. We keep the Griffons oiled and lubricated and turn them on a regular basis. We have just repeated this process and have recently cleaned and lubricated the engine control runs. More similar work will be carried out during the next months. Fuel cost has been the primary reason that runs have not been carried out in the last few years.

The Griffons from WR974 were retained and will eventually be put through a restoration process over the next few years, the aim being to replace all of the current engines on WR982 by restored units.

We wish the guys at Bruntingthorpe all the best putting K back together and look forward to seeing her looking good.


17th Oct 2014, 06:34
Thankyou for the explanation, a rational decision that I wholeheartedly agree with. Better to keep less airframes in good condition, than more in a lesser state. I didn't realise that there were two Shacks at Gatwick, did they arrive under their own power back in the day ?


17th Oct 2014, 06:57
Both airframes arrived by road in 1988 from Cosford.

17th Oct 2014, 09:20
Comments have been made about the Contra props and how they worked, it is correct they were needed to absorb the horses developed by the Griffon 58 but also needed to be able to transfer that power into the pulling of the of the Shack through the air, you may also notice the rear prop blades were a different profile and longer than the front prop blades, this was necessary due to supersonic tip speeds was discovered to be trying to bend the tips together thereby would have been quite problematic to flying under maximum power, ..I am not sure if the rear blades were made longer or the front blades shorter and fatter,

Also the Hybrid Mustang that was owned and flown by Gary Levitz at Reno, used Griffon 58's , that were fitted direct to the engine bearers with just a sliver of leather to act as a washer between the surfaces, the Contra prop sets were cut down rather crudely so that ground clearance would allow the take off and land back without fouling the runway, when I say crudely..it was done with a simple power hacksaw and finished with an angle grinder, it really is no wonder that the Mustang eventually broke up when going flat out killing Levitz in the process, I sold many used and zero timed Griffons to his aircraft builder in the early 90's along with all the various bits for the remaining Shack Griffon 58's ie Electric ignition systems and all the coils, plugs condensers, ECU's CSU's and all the prop spares, and many box's of new unused after refurbished props.
I did offer them around the UK but no one at the time had any interest, I had at one time many newly refurbed and fully cocooned Griffons in my warehouse, and many boxes of props, a visitor from the USA to my premises almost bought everything that would go into two 40 ft containers. before anyone try's to find me, I have nothing left.. except picture's!

Peter RB

Richard Woods
17th Oct 2014, 10:52
Hi all,

For those that asked about WR963 (G-SKTN) taxying at Coventry, here she is a few weeks back doing just that -

Avro Shackleton WR963 Short Taxi 27-09-2014 - YouTube

We lost a brake sac in the port wheel, so we need to change that out before we do it again and we'll resume taxying in the new year. As with everything else it keep the systems in good order and stops various things seizing through lack of use.

Work still continues on returning her to flight; we're working at getting the NDT inspections done to determine if the hours left on the spar booms are usable or not given how long she's spent outdoors.

pm575 - We're all looking forward to seeing 'Juliet' awaken!

Peter-RB - as I've said before, I wish you still had your stock of parts! We're still hunting down the overhauled props you sent out to the USA. ;)

Kind regards,

Rich Woods
Shackleton Preservation Trust

17th Oct 2014, 12:40
On the basis of the above comments, do we therefore assume that the Shackleton that is going to Bruntingthorpe will not be restored to running condition? I suspect that a lot of people well be very disappointed if this is the case. I think most people assumed that the whole point of going to Bruntingthorpe was so that aircraft could move under her own power?

I hope Gatwick's Sea Vixen will be looked after in this rationalisation process. It is a unique aircraft in a unique paint scheme. Let's hope it stays that way :)

17th Oct 2014, 17:16
XS587 Sea Vixen will not be going anywhere, it is a core component of the collection and will in time be restored to running condition. Some work has been carried out in the past couple of years on treating corrosion. We are hoping that our latest planning application is approved. If it is, the Sea Vixen will be housed inside and therefore a lot of the problems caused by being outside will simply not occur.

I was told this week that the Shack will become a gate guard, of course plans change!


17th Oct 2014, 18:42
Great video Richard, thanks for posting link to it-and I've "Liked" and "Favourited" it.

Thread drift: here's a link to the photo I took of the Sea Vixen when I visited GAM in 2011:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15371796708/

18th Oct 2014, 05:49
Two of the reasons for the Shackleton/Griffon's contra rotating propellors were that the Shack inherited the Lincoln's wing including its' engine spacing distances, and that while the Reno Racing pilots can handle all that torque from a conventional propellor on take-off the average military pilot, on a bad day, might not.

18th Oct 2014, 06:42
I'm confused.

you may also notice the rear prop blades were a different profile and longer than the front prop bladesBut it's the front prop that has the larger overall diameter, is it not ?

Allan Lupton
18th Oct 2014, 08:00
It's worth remembering that the rear propellor of a contra-prop can absorb more power than the front. In simple installations such as the Griffons in the Shackleton I'm not sure how much account is taken of that, but when the two props have separate power sources various schemes have been used.

18th Oct 2014, 12:12
Other than practical considerations, would 3 or 4 contra-rotating props produce more power or would all the eddys cancel each other out ?


18th Oct 2014, 20:59
For ultimate efficiency, a single blade is what you need. There are practical difficulties of course, but always use the fewest blades you can for efficiency, more blades for less noise / less space.

More than two rows? Only in ducts, ie in jet engines!

19th Oct 2014, 00:23
There are practical difficulties of course, but always use the fewest blades you can for efficiency,As was originally the case on the Taylor J-2 Cub, with its single blade propeller:



It turns out the reason for the single blade is to acheive an automatic variable pitch prop:


20th Oct 2014, 10:10
I may be mistaken on the prop location, I really only saw them fitted to one of my engines after we cut, a damaged tip set down so as to fit to the engine sitting in my office reception, along side it relative from slightly earlier years the Merlin.

Peter R-B

Four Wings
21st Oct 2014, 21:42
The Shack: always described to me as 10,000 rivets flying in close formation. But am I now one of the few left that actually saw Shacks and their 'predecessors' the Lincolns in action?
In 1953 I used to watch Lincolns from Changi flying a short circuit over Johore Bahru bombing terrorist camps then in 1966-67 Shacks from Khormaksar doing similar short circuits bombing terrorists in the Radfan. So local that in both cases I could hear the crumps of the bomb bursts.
Were these in fact the only times either aircraft were used in action?

22nd Oct 2014, 01:54
These flew lots of bombing sorties up in the Radfan mountains of the Yemen during the Aden "small war".

22nd Oct 2014, 04:48
I once heard the Shackleton described as being like an elephant; grey and wrinkly on the outside and very smelly inside.

22nd Oct 2014, 05:11

I am puzzled by your comment "Two separate power source's for the Shack Contra Prop"

We took apart a very old Griffon 58(to see how things worked) and the simple answer to the two power sources are a set of differential gears that fed of the front part of the crankshaft, that in turn fed one big power transmission shaft which was the rear prop, with a slightly smaller and longer power transmission shaft running through the larger one to power the front prop, all this superb engineering was what could be called , very accurate but very steam age and bordering on the agricultural in size of gears and huge ball and roller bearings, according to the RR people I spoke with to get detailed drawings for said engine the power division was equal, looking at the gears and shafts it really cant have been anything but equal.


22nd Oct 2014, 06:50
Peter, as I read it, Alan was referring to an engine/prop arrangement such as the SARO Princess rather than the Shack's Griffon:

The Princess was powered by ten Bristol Proteus turboprop engines, powering six propellers. The four inner propellers were double, contra-rotating propellers driven by a twin version of the Proteus, the Bristol Coupled Proteus; each engine drove one of the propellers. The two outer propellers were single and powered by single engines

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saunders-Roe_Princess).

I think the Brabazon had a similar arrangement driven by Centauruses?

Any others?

Allan Lupton
22nd Oct 2014, 08:15

I am puzzled by your comment "Two separate power source's for the Shack Contra Prop"

You would do well to be puzzled, had I written that. To save you scrolling back I wrote:
In simple installations such as the Griffons in the Shackleton I'm not sure how much account is taken of that, but when the two props have separate power sources various schemes have been used.

If that is not clear enough I cannot and will not help it, but it seemed clear enough when I wrote it that I was contrasting the Griffon/Shackleton props with those driven by separate power sources (e.g. Macchi MC72, Fairey Gannet, Brabazon and SARO Princess, etc.).

23rd Oct 2014, 05:43
Good morning Alan,

Quite possible that mistaken understanding was due to the Talisker" night..!


23rd Oct 2014, 21:04
Although the RPM will be equal on the Griffon's differential gear driven contra prop, it should be possible in theory at least, to have different pitches on the two propellers so the rear one could absorb more power.

I can believe that on push/pull aircraft like the Cessna Skymaster and Dornier 335 the rear prop would be in the slipstream of the front one and would thus need higher pitch anyway. Can anyone say if this is this also the case when the two sets of blades are right next to each other as on a contraprop?

24th Oct 2014, 22:02
XS587 Sea Vixen will not be going anywhere, it is a core component of the collection and will in time be restored to running condition.

Delighted to hear it! It's a unique and fascinating aeroplane. I had grave fears that it would be sold-off and some numpty would paint it grey and white! I wish you well with your efforts to preserve it.

I hope the Shackleton that has gone to Bruntingthorpe will eventually move under its own power. The prospect of seeing (and hearing) four Griffons and two Vipers at full power is an exciting one. I can almost see the tail fins waggling already :)

25th Oct 2014, 06:37

From my simple "agricultural" eye of engineering , when we ( my mechanics and I ) started to dismantle the front end(prop end) of the Griffon 58 we removed all the streamlining then started on the hydraulic feathering pot , this in turn was connected to the front prop, which was connected to the two way thrust bearing(this had a rotary oil tank and I cannot remember its name) this in turn was connected to the rear prop, all these Prop to bearing connections were highly engineered straight bars with gear teeth cut into the diameter of the pull/push bars, when any command from the cockpit to alter the pitch of the props was made the props worked in unison, it seems it was unable to offer alternate pitch degrees to the twin set of blades, unless some initial offset was put in at the final assembly of the prop sets. the hydraulic was fed by an internal oil tube coming from the front of the gear casing thru the center of the prop shaft set, and the rotary oil tank pitch change bearing it seemed had a service life of 100hours but all the record cards I ever saw suggested that these were changed almost weekly, when the Shacks were in service, it was the failure of these parts that caused the loss of Pelican 16 into the Southern Sahara desert whilst it was on its way to the UK for a refurb

Perhaps a more enlightened aero engineer could make my explanation easier to grasp!

Peter R-B

25th Oct 2014, 08:56
The two way thrust bearing was called the translation unit. If it failed, although you could feather the front prop, the rear prop was uncontrolled, and the dynamics of props are such that it would go fully fine. You would get, not a full blown overspeed, but a fast windmill producing a lot of drag.
Had one catch fire and fail on a Mk 3 in '66. We were heavy and could barely maintain height. Started the Vipers, but at that time they were only able to be run at idle or 100% (that was later changed), and they could not be run at 100 for long. Ended up jettisoning fuel with the Vipers running, which had not been cleared. Geoff Grimsdale was the captain.
The oil line to operate the pitch change came through drillings in the sump of the engine. If a piston failed, the con rod was then likely to chop through the sump, so that both props went fully fine and oversped. Don't know about Pelican 16, but this was I believe the cause of the Culloden Moor crash landing (Pop Gladstone) and the Indian Ocean ditching (Hugh Blake)
The straight bars with teeth were called rack bolts. It was possible for one to fail, in which case the front prop and two blades of the rear prop could be feathered, but the one blade would go fully fine. A slow windmill, but lots of vibration.
To get oil from the rotary oil tank to the rack bolts there were spring operated pistons in cylinders attached to the oil tank. Every 5 hours in flight it was necessary to lubricate the T.U.s. This involved increasing the RPM to 2600, then reducing down to the feathering gate, doing one engine at a time. At high revs the centrifugal force pushed oil into cylinders, at low revs the springs pushed the oil out to the rack bolts.
All this from memory. Now, what did I have for breakfast? Damn, I think I forget to have breakfast.
P.S. As regards prop pitch settings, Joe Ashworth's book quotes Front prop fine pitch 23 degrees, feathered 90degrees, Rear prop 24 fine, 91 feathered.

25th Oct 2014, 09:29

Thank you, far more enlightened and far more accurate that I could ever have been, re the Translation units, I finished up with around 400 boxes of the things when all the stock was being disposed of, the good ones went to the pylon racers the rest we stripped down and scrapped, that's how I saw so many service cards, and later when I met with the Pelican 16 crew, they came up to my warehouse to try and get hold of many priceless spares, they explained their flight ended by the failure of the TUs on two engines on one wing, leaving them flying in a giant circle with not enough control to land properly, or indeed make to a good enough landing strip, all the crew and pax survived the resultant desert night landing , but it was a very great loss to the SAAF people losing Pelican 16

Peter R-B

28th Oct 2014, 11:45
Thanks Peter R-B & Oxenos for the info on the contra-rotation and pitches. So only 1 more on the back prop? Not as much as I was expecting. I hope the Europrop TP400 (A400M) engine designers have taken note of everything learned from the years of experience gained with design and maintenance of contraprops.

28th Oct 2014, 13:18
I hope the Europrop TP400 (A400M) engine designers have taken note of everything learned from the years of experience gained with design and maintenance of contraprops.I expect they did, hence their decision not to use them. :O

28th Oct 2014, 14:03
Re the TU lube

Post HB's accident and the subsequent engineering investigation, we were down to doing the TU lube every 2 hours - apparently to guarantee the lubrication as oxenos described. On the AEW the initial thought was as the engines were run at a much higher RPM (2200 IIRC, as opposed to 'high boost, low RPM on the MR) to provide the power for the AN-APS 20 radar it wouldn't be necessary; events quickly proved the idea wrong (although not catastrophically), so we reinstated the evolution. Even so the TU's could fail - the sparks coming from between the spinners in the middle of the night does wonders for the adrenaline when a long way from land!

28th Oct 2014, 16:09
Pretty sure HB's crash was due to a piston failure, rather than T.U.
I was on the Sqn. (205) at the time and flew on one of the S.A.R. sorties, flying around the dinghy all night. Their position was such that it was a long time before they could be rescued.
The story we got on the Sqn was that a piston failed, releasing its con-rod, which chopped through the sump, cutting the oil lines between the constant speed unit and the pitch change mechanism. This caused the props to overspeed. It also caused a fire, as the induction system would still be sending fuel into the cylinder.
The crew's attempts to feather the props simply sent more oil down the broken lines to feed the fire. The fire then spread back into the wing, where there was no way of extinguishing it. They were high (for a Shack) as the were going to over fly Sumatra. Before they could get down to sea level the wing burnt through and broke off outboard of the engine. (An outer, I think No.4)
This left them with a loss of lift on that side, and only one aileron with which to counteract the resultant roll. Remarkably, they did not lose control, but were not able get the wings level, so that the aircraft hit the water one wing low. As it cartwheeled, the nose forward of the cockpit was ripped off.
The only survivor from the forward part was the engineer, who stepped out through the cockpit into the water. It was, of course, the survival of the engineer which gave the investigation so much information.
He and the two survivors from aft found themselves in the water with only their Mae Wests. However, as the aircraft sank, a dinghy broke out of its wing stowage, inflated, and surfaced next to them.
I was on the squadron for another 2 years after that, and a further 8 months on Mk. 3s before converting to the Nimrod, and do not recall 2 hourly T.U. lubes. It was necessary to increase revs from time to time to burn the lead deposits off the plugs (tetra-ethyl lead for octane rating) and I vaguely recall that that was every 2 hours,but that was not related to the T.U.s.
I can well imagine the T.U.s on the AEW not being happy with a steady 2200. It was the increasing and reducing of the rpm which caused the lubricating pistons to move in and out against their springs, forcing the oil to the rack bolts. At a steady rpm, even a high one, they would not have moved.

29th Oct 2014, 10:31
I am grateful for the explanations as to how the TUs worked, in our inquiring minds, we thought it was something to do with the RPM, that fired the lube stroke, but we were not too sure, the good thing is I gave several old ex service guys good steady 2/3 days a week of work stripping things down to scrap them, they saved all the service cards "they thought they would be needed" I treated them royally as one would to that sort of chap. Sadly I was running out of room at my warehouse, due to my hobby becoming a small empire,..it was the sobering comments from my father who reminded me that pistons were all being replaced by Jets and Turbines, so reluctantly I agreed with him and started a nearly three year scrapping job, and only now are people looking for what I sent to the furnace. sods Law really but we all had loads of fun..:ok:

Peter R-B

Richard Woods
29th Oct 2014, 10:51
Don't worry too much Peter. There's quite a bit of what you managed to sell still kicking about, and we know where a good amount of it is. Hopefully we can persuade those that have them to part with some props and TU's. :ok:

29th Oct 2014, 12:18
Was in Smiths today and saw the magazine "Aviation Classics" which is dedicated to the Shack. An excellent collection of pics and info, so I actually bought it istead of standing there reading it!

29th Oct 2014, 12:42
Thanks for the information Croqueteer. Will look out for that magazine. Many years ago I put in a sealed bid for a flight in a Shackleton and got it. One of the best days of my life.

29th Oct 2014, 15:11
:sad:I know what you mean. Many years ago I put in a sealed bid for Hastings and got the Shackleton!

29th Oct 2014, 15:47
I too placed a sealed bid for a firecracker.....and got Mrs R-B..:ouch:

30th Oct 2014, 13:45
That reminds me of God offering Adam some company in the form of this super being, lovely, brains, brilliant conversation, super cook and an all round perfect companion, but Adam would have to pay with an eye, left arm, right legand one ear. Adam, whilst interested, thought it a bit expensive. What would you give me for a rib?

2nd Nov 2014, 08:21
In his #14 Proplinerman asks for shots of SAAF Shackletons, which prompted me to dig up those I photographed in South Africa (Cape Town and Swartkop) in 1992 and re-scan them.

I've put them on my aviation website at The Shackleton - English-for-Flyaways (http://english-for-flyaways.de/thumbnails.php?album=154) and hope the link works.

I am indebted to Bo Burger for flying me in to Swartkop that Sunday back in '92 (round robin in a Cessna 172 from Lanseria).

One day I'll get round to scanning the other exhibits...


2nd Nov 2014, 17:34
atb1943: link does work. Nice photos-many thanks.

6th Nov 2014, 16:40

Pelican 16( the 16 is the last number on the fuselage) is also in your pictures as a fully on it wheels working a/c, the only pictures I have seen thus far where the one's taken by the NATO rescue plane(I think it was a French Maritime Re-Con a/c that was tasked to find the downed Shackleton,) those pictures were given to my by a character called "Potty" Potgieter( i hope I have spelt his name correctly) he was a character and a half, but then all the crew were very easy to get on with and readily explained just what went wrong and then caused them to land at night in the desert, wrecking the A/c in the process. They had already stopped en-route to change an engine that was being carried in the bomb bay, but I seem to remember them saying they used the same TU which later caused the shutting down of that good engine, adding to the one on the same wing that was shut down earlier.
Peter R-B

India Four Two
6th Nov 2014, 23:43
What is the aircraft seen under the tail of Pelican 16 in atb's photo?

7th Nov 2014, 00:23
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura I think.

avionic type
14th Nov 2014, 19:32
I notice that another of the advantages of the contra rotating propellers is the lack of "Swing" on take off it was described to me as a straight forward take off as the Shack had no powered controls thus was much easier to control during take off than the Lanc and the Lincon. whether the pilot was giving me his ground crew ,a load of old guff I don't know but it semed a good idea at the time.

23rd Nov 2014, 10:00
@ India Four Two

Lauriebe is correct - I've dug out the original photo print and the aircraft is Ventura TS-306. Its full history is here:
Photos: Lockheed (Vega) 237 Ventura V Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/1991229/)

And here's one of it as 6498:
Photo: 6498 (CN: 237/6290) South Africa - Air Force Lockheed Ventura Mk.2 by Michael Eaton Photoid: 7278794 - JetPhotos.Net (http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=7278794&nseq=59)

IIRC there was a similar aircraft on a disused airfield we flew over but I can't locate the notes I may have made at the time. Also one outside the museum at Lanseria. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to get inside to see the Storch etc., though I'm sure my intrepid pilot would have made that happen had I pushed him! About a year later (1993) the Lanseria exhibits had transferred to Swartkop.


India Four Two
24th Nov 2014, 10:40

Thanks. I thought the original picture looked a bit "Ventura-like", but I couldn't see a tailwheel. I thought it might be a nose wheel aircraft, tipped back on its tail. :)

I had forgotten that the tail wheel was so far back and is thus conveniently hidden by the post in the foreground of your picture.

25th Nov 2014, 06:00
I'll have to see if I got a better shot of it, though I fear I was more interested in the MiG, of which I took several detailed photos. I was fortunate in that the exhibits were in daylight, there were various Mirages, Buccaneers, a beautiful F-86 and so on. Taxying to depart we passed several DC-3s, DC-4s, Pumas and rather incongruously a Beech Kingair that apparently had been impounded for drug running. Seems it is still there.

The lifeboat wearing the SAAF emblem intrigues me - would it have been underslung to drop on rescue missions I wonder? Was it an Uffa Fox design?

A fascinating trip.

edit: Wikipedia provides the gen as usual - the lifeboats were built by Saunders Roe...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airborne_lifeboat

5th Dec 2017, 09:29
Tried to post two photographs to go with the text below but not allowed to include URL's as I don't have '10 points'!

Came across this thread while looking for the registration of 'K'.
The photograph is of me and my mate Den Rees in Masirah, 1969. I did 13 hours in this aircraft flying from Masirah, halfway to the Maldives, square search pattern, back to Masirah. The first hour was very exciting, the other 12 did drag a little but still interesting!
(Link not allowed)

Attended the WR963 Dusk Engine Run at the weekend (2 Dec 2017).
(Link not allowed)

ex egbe
30th Dec 2017, 21:39
I don't think the shack at Long Marston is long for this world if the rumors are true. Looks like they're closing the drag strip to build more houses.
On a separate note I used to work for Air Atlantique many moons back when they had the 2 shacks knitted together in half of hangar 7. I was the one who dinked the rudder trim tab against the aileron of the other as we tried to wriggle them out in to the sunshine. Sorry boys. Its good to see the one at Cov running and rolling tho. Long may it last, although the long term future of CVT seems a bit uncertain.