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RAF Lockheed P-2 Neptune

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RAF Lockheed P-2 Neptune

Old 30th Dec 2012, 23:31
  #21 (permalink)  
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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.
It was indeed. Both Coastal Command and Fighter Command Communications Squadrons were based at Bovingdon in 1956 when I was there as a member of FCCS.
Devons and Ansons were the standard workhorses for conveying C-in-C's, AOC's and others to the various stations in their commands.
Metropolitan Comms Flight used to be at Hendon and became FCCS I believe, but am not sure when the move to Bovingdon took place.

Last edited by Warmtoast; 30th Dec 2012 at 23:34.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 02:49
  #22 (permalink)  
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Metropolitan Comms Sqdn was at Northolt after Hendon closed. Fighter CCS and Coastal CCS were both at Bovingdon, joined by Bomber CCS when Booker closed as an RAF station in about '63, then the three amalgamated to form Southern Comms Squadron.
Last Neptunes I saw were operating off the Shetlands in Sep '72, when I was briefly stationed at Sumburgh as part of my ATCO Cadet training. They seemed to operate a patrol which took them southbound off the east coast of the islands, and never called Sumburgh approach, whilst Nimrods always did. I presume the Neptunes were Norwegian or Dutch.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 03:00
  #23 (permalink)  
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The RAAF also operated Neptunes. Twelve of then if a recall correctly, replacing Lincolns.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 05:48
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The RAAF operated three marks of Neptune, (P2V4/5 and SP2H), 36 airframes in total. The P2vs entered service with 11 Sqn in the early 50s (1952-53?) and the sP2Hs with 10 Sqn in the early 60s (1962?). The P2Vs were before my time, but people who'd flown them told me they were not much more than Hudsons on steroids, but the SP2Hs were pretty capable ASW platforms in their day. They had a novel 'fuel dump' system - lighting up the two JP3s mounted outboard under the wings. This reduced fuel on board about as fast as any modern day fuel dump system!
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 06:23
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Andu I am sorry that your information is wrong.

The RAAF operated 24 Neptune aircraft

2 P2V4 that were modified on the line by Lockheed to P2V5 standard to almost the same as the other 10. These were modified over the years and all guns removed and the MAD stingers and jets installed. These were operated by 11 Squadron.

10 Squadron took delivery of 12 PV5F in 1960 I believe.


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Old 31st Dec 2012, 06:49
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In terms of capability, the Argentinian Naval Aviation Neptune was still capable of assisting their aircraft in destroying our shipping. On top of that it** was costing us a lot of money in the mid 80's. Night after night it would trundle inbound before descending and disappearing off RADAR at the point we scrambled. Did we ever manage to get to it?

** Well as I remember it was a Neptune, but must stuff I've read since said they were retired by 86 so I can't confirm.

I recall doing the practice loading of Deep Sea Sunshine onto them (Dutch operated) down at St Mawgan. Close up, they looked astonishingly old and the thought of them lugging that sort of stuff around made me nervous.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 06:57
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The RAF's budget must have been ridiculous in those days.
We were fighting a war. A cold one perhaps, but very real for all that. We didn't get a chestful of medals for it, but we were defending the nation directly - which is what the armed forces are supposed to be for.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 06:58
  #28 (permalink)  
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ARI ...

How ironic as I believe the Argentinian Neptunes were ex RAF !

Best ...


Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 31st Dec 2012 at 07:06.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 09:29
  #29 (permalink)  
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Coff, remind me who sold them an aircraft carrier and escorting destroyers? And some old bombers.

Then our cousin sold them a fair bit of useful kit too as did our old enemy.

Really the arms trade has a lot to answer for or we should embed auto-destruct mechanisms in all the kit we sell.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 09:40
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I believe one of the ex RAAF Neptunes is still flying out of Perth. An old mate of mine is involved with it.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 10:05
  #31 (permalink)  
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PN ... sadly $'s are the currency of Satan at times ... as is the £

Fareastdriver ... any chance we could get at bit of handling info from your mate ?


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Old 31st Dec 2012, 10:12
  #32 (permalink)  
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Andu I am sorry that your information is wrong.

The RAAF operated 24 Neptune aircraft
Col, you can see where I went wrong. I didn't read the small print. See: ADF Serials - RAAF A89 Lockheed P-2V Neptune I just counted the number in the left column.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 10:17
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As Shack crew in the 50/60s. we found our frquent task was to watch a Neptune on one.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 11:31
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On my first Herc squadron we had an Air Engineer who had been on Neptunes.
My recollection from chatting to him is that due to the complex nature of the
engines flying on one was not exactly an uncommon occurrence . Must be someone out there who can enlighten us.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 12:25
  #35 (permalink)  
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Here is a pic of the SP-2H Neptune 0708/2-P-112 in the Air Naval Museum placed at Puerto Belgrano Naval Base, within Comandante Espora Air Naval Base. I understand that on May 4th 1982 this plane, when piloted by Corvette Captain Ernesto Proni Leston, detected the destroyer HMS Sheffield and gave her coordinates to the Super Etendards armed with Exocets

Here is a pic (©Wayne Mutza) of WX512 in storage at Silloth North England in April 1958 for delivery to Argentina.

So does anyone know if the Argies operated both P-2 and SP-2H variants or were P-2's converted ?


Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 31st Dec 2012 at 12:34.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 13:09
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OP's Q was which was best MPA, Neptune or Shackleton...and the A is of course a lemon. RAF believed long loiter over water was better on 4 than on 2; Liberators, which with ASV had closed the "Gap" in May,1943 and thus won the War, had to go in 1946 (or be bought and supported with scarce $), so we retrod Lancs. Pesky RN kept niggling for Maritime Air and even to Sandys/1957 found some Ministerial support for the evident logic (copy USN, please). The only reason feeble RAF procurement budget, 1948 took on Shackleton MR1 was that Tudor's failure meant something had to go into Chadderton as bridge to Vulcan. Avro and the entire military procurement process dribbled the programme...and then came Korea.

Under MDAP US loaned us (I have 52; others say 53) P2V-5/7 and part-funded 69 Shackleton MR.2. US did that (UK/France) in other cases of evident duplication (Noratlas:Packet), taking the view that any kit was better than Front Line emptiness. After July,1954 UK's priority into US taxpayers' pockets lapsed, so we dribbled Shackleton MR.3 as we returned MR P2V-7s. Much Coastal kit was US, common to P-2/3, either free on MDAP/MSP, bought, or licenced (e.g Gulton Industries Autolycus "sniffer"). W-34/Mk.101 Lulu NDB was taken under Project 'N', USMC custody at St.Mawgan/Macrihanish/Sigonella, shared access with RNethAF/USN, for inter-operation under SACLANT. There would have been no point in incurring expense/distraction of AWE to do a UK-solo NDB ex-fixed airfields. We did so from 9/2/1973,WE177A(NDB) for deployment at sea.

A to Q is: if you accept 4 beats 2, then...there's your A. If not, then inasmuch as more P2Vs flew longer with more Users, then that must have been "better".

Last edited by tornadoken; 3rd Jan 2013 at 18:51.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 13:18
  #37 (permalink)  
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Thanks Tornadoken ... that all sounds logical

Although I might be pushing my luck ... it would be good to get some info on the handling of the Neptune from some of our guys who flew it ... and perhaps the Shack.

Happy New Year all ...


Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 31st Dec 2012 at 13:19.
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 13:55
  #38 (permalink)  
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due to the complex nature of the
engines flying on one was not exactly an uncommon occurrence

But....the plus side is being huge Piston Radials....you could still fly on parts of one!
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 19:36
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A long time ago...

.....I watched as a Dutch Neptune came in to land at Bodo with his trailing HF aerial still out. He'd been struck by lightning and the aerial was welded to the bottom of the tube which held it away from the airframe. The lead weights which held it out bounced as it touched down and flew forwards in a great arc and the aerial wrapped itself around the prop. There was a very impressive screech as the engine stopped in a heart beat. Followed by a few days off.

The Neptunes used to have vey light whistling noisefrom the props as they taxied and a gentle moaning noise from the wheel brakes (air powered?). A vey evocative noise if heard on a dark night lying in one's pit in the mess at Kinloss. Mostly gratitude that it was someone else getting airborne at that time of the morning rather than me.

The Ancient Mariner
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 21:59
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The situation in Australia is as follows.

A ex USN P2V7 which was brought down here to conduct air fire fighting. My understanding is that it is now stored with engines run fairly often at an ex war time airfield at Cundernan, about an hours drive from Perth. When I last saw it, it had been painted in very smart fire fighting colours. There is talk that it will now be converted back to military standards.

HARS own at least three Neptunes again both are dash seven models, one is ex RAAF 10 Squadron and flies often. The other is ex French navy and was given and salavaged to HARS. It was flown back to Australia and I believe is currently being brought back to air worthy.

They have another one which is incomplete and I believe is used for spares.

The RAAF has an early one serial I believe 302, whilst it is complete needs lots of work to get it to display standards. If it is 302 then it started life as a P2V4 in company with 301. Both these aircraft were converted to P2V5 standard partly, but I believe the flight deck area was not converted.

There is another 10 Squadron aircraft, complete but in poor condition ar Dubbo, it is up for sale with little interest mainly I suspect because of the cost of removal.



Last edited by herkman; 31st Dec 2012 at 22:01.
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