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How capable was the Shackleton for ASW?

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How capable was the Shackleton for ASW?

Old 3rd Apr 2018, 08:45
  #21 (permalink)  

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True. Heard Air Traffic once, talking to a Shackleton. "Can you give us your best speed? Anything in three figures will do".
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 08:50
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True. Heard Air Traffic once, talking to a Shackleton. "Can you give us your best speed? Anything in three figures will do".
I remember a transit in an AEW2 up the coast from the Neatishead area back to Lossiemouth into the teeth of a headwind and watching us being overtaken by an Intercity 125.
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 08:57
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Flying on Q in the VC10K some way up North, we were cleared to RTB, as was an AEW Shacklebomber. Who asked us to rely a message to Lossie as his HF was U/S. Having copied down the usual C/S, position, level, next and ETA, we asked:

"Could you confirm the ETA - is that today?"

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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 09:51
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All too true - 160 kts cruise/range speed, but you could always surprise people. Vne was supposedly 300kts - during a trial at Boscombe in the early days of AEW we were asked (told) to go at 'max chat'. 80 inches of boost, water meth engaged and 2800 rpm had us passing 320kts as we approached the airfield, easily overtaking a Jaguar that was also recovering, and as for the Harvard that tried to bounce us.............! Mind you after 5 mins the water meth ran out (it was normally only used for take off) and the decel was rather rapid.
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 14:31
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There was a parachute trial at Akrotiri about '72, where a dummy was bailed out to trial an Vulcan rear crew parachute that would use a drogue gun deployment. It involved the Shack doing high speed runs at 300+.
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 15:13
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Back in the 1950s, our family holidays were usually in Cornwall. One year (I think it was 1956 or 1957), we had a week in an hotel in Bedruthan Steps....

....which is about a mile from the upwind threshold of St Eval's westerly runway. One night I was in the bedroom which I shared with my brother when a Shacklebomber took off - the growling got louder and louder and LOUDER, then the whole building shook and shuddered as the aircraft went overhead at not a great altitude!
Apologies for the thread drift, but Beags just reminded me of one of my favourite Nimrod stories.

Sunday morning 6am, high summer, not a breath of wind, already 20deg in still air.

Long range ops sortie, max all up weight. Runway 30.

As I peered out my wee AEO's bubble window at the tents in the Trebelzue campsite, about 50 feet below my bum cheeks, wondering at the effect on the eardrums of four Speys at max chat insulated by nothing more than a tent wall and some Cornish morning air, all I could think was...

"morning campers"
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 16:20
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Originally Posted by Cazalet33 View Post
Feckin' Lancasters. Way older design than Liberators.

Partly pressurised: 'cos they had more holes at the front than at the back.
Not that much

B24 - First flight 29 December 1939

Lancaster - First flight 9 January 1941

Manchester - First flight 25 July 1939

(OK gestation of Manchester was longer than Liberator...)
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 16:52
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I remember asking to join airways at FL40 somewhere over central england in a Shack and being told the lowest available level on the airway was FL60. We replied "Is OK if we just borrow your beacons?"
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 17:14
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In its day I believe the Shackleton was as good as any ASW aicraft. ASV21, with a good operator, was an effective search and location radar against snorting diesel submarines. It also had great deterrance value. Only a brave (or foolish) submariner would continue to snort if he detected the prescence of an MPA. If he couldn't snort he couldn't chage his batteries. Without charged batteries he couldn't make progress submerged. Radar was always supplemented by visual lookouts who often spottted submarines. If a datum was established from a visual sighting or disappearing radar contact (sub going deep) a sub could be tracked and attacked using the Mk1c Sonics system. The advent of Minuturised lofar (Jezebel) buoys about the time that the Nimrod/P3 and Aurora came into service allowed passive (unalerted) detection of diesel and early (noisy) nuclear subs. All of these systems were dependant on the skill of their operators. Shackleton crews were widely acknowledged to be amongst the best in the world.
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 17:23
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Although we occasionally practised water meth take offs to check the sevicability of the system the only time I remember using it for real was to CLIMB to join the pattern at Nairobi International (Elev 5330 ft Temp about 35C) on the way to M (Daren't use the full word for fear of starting a whole new set of tales from Majunga) - Whoops!
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Old 3rd Apr 2018, 18:31
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Originally Posted by olddog View Post
In its day I believe the Shackleton was as good as any ASW aicraft. ASV21, with a good operator, was an effective search and location radar against snorting diesel submarines. It also had great deterrance value. Only a brave (or foolish) submariner would continue to snort if he detected the prescence of an MPA. If he couldn't snort he couldn't chage his batteries. Without charged batteries he couldn't make progress submerged. Radar was always supplemented by visual lookouts who often spottted submarines. If a datum was established from a visual sighting or disappearing radar contact (sub going deep) a sub could be tracked and attacked using the Mk1c Sonics system. The advent of Minuturised lofar (Jezebel) buoys about the time that the Nimrod/P3 and Aurora came into service allowed passive (unalerted) detection of diesel and early (noisy) nuclear subs. All of these systems were dependant on the skill of their operators. Shackleton crews were widely acknowledged to be amongst the best in the world.
Indeed. Before SSN's persistence was as important as performance. Even an Anson had value in keeping people mushing along at a few knots subsurface rather than 15 kt on top
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 10:52
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Should be 30 plus Shackleton air and ground crew for a gathering at Newark Air Museum on 1st and 2nd September. A good opportunity to ask them the same question.
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 13:23
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Originally Posted by Shackman View Post
Then came the AEW requirement and it was decided to fit the AN/APS 20 from the Gannet (and previously the Avenger!) in the 'youngest' airframes - and even they needed new mainspars after a few years service.
Lossiemouth in the mid-80's, 8 Sqn were robbing airframe spares off the gate guardian because they had less fatigue life than the AEW airframes they were currently flying.....
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 13:48
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Lossiemouth in the mid-80's, 8 Sqn were robbing airframe spares off the gate guardian because they had less fatigue life than the AEW airframes they were currently flying.....
One late Friday afternoon, the beer call on 8 Sqn was interrupted by a large crash from the hangar. The groundcrew had tried to tow one of the Shackletons out of the hanger but forgot to release the parking brake. They succeeded in pulling off the tailwheel (where the towing arm attached) and dropped the aircraft on its bomb doors (which were open) and tail fins. There was a search around gate guards and museums for the spares.
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 16:25
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Shortly after receiving the last of our aircraft on 8 Sqn, a leak was discovered in one of the tanks holding de-icing fluid (which was in a wheel well), and was apparently the same as that in the Lancaster. I was dispatched to Scampton with a number of groundcrew, where at that time (early '70s) there was a Lancaster gate guard. On arrival they removed the tank from the Lancaster (and replaced it with our leaking one), together with a few other 'common' bits and pieces, and duly flew back up to Lossiemouth.

On cleaning the item before refitting they found the original serial number - it was a Manchester part, but it fitted perfectly. Good old Avro!
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 19:04
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That is brilliant Shackman!
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 19:08
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Shackman, better tell the Pantons at East Kirkby. They are trying to get that one air worthy.
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 19:41
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Wasn't the Gate Guard at Scampton in the early '70s 'S' for Sugar (now at Hendon)?

S for Sugar was later replaced with the aircraft now known as 'Just Jane'.
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 21:14
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Ah, that's OK then.
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 21:48
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One late Friday afternoon, the beer call on 8 Sqn was interrupted by a large crash from the hangar. The groundcrew had tried to tow one of the Shackletons out of the hanger but forgot to release the parking brake. They succeeded in pulling off the tailwheel (where the towing arm attached) and dropped the aircraft on its bomb doors (which were open) and tail fins. There was a search around gate guards and museums for the spares.

Can this be true?
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