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Nimrod queries

Old 28th Apr 2020, 23:37
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Nimrod queries

Nimrod queries:

1) How would a Nimrod cope with a 6,600 ft runway? What constraints would it impose?

2) Does anyone have these figures for an MR.Mk 1/2?
Maximum normal take-off weight and maximum landing weight

Maximum (operational) zero fuel weight

Maximum overload take-off weight and maximum emergency landing weight

Design maximum zero fuel weight

Maximum normal landing weight

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Old 28th Apr 2020, 23:59
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Spent 3 years teaching aircraft performance on the OCU in the late 70's. Biggest problem in setting a calculation for an exam paper was coming up with a scenario where the aircraft was performance limited on take off. Something lunatic like a 6000 foot runway at the top of a 10,000 ft mountain with a temperature of 35C, a tail wind and a sloping runway.. Slight exaggeration, but for all practical puposes the aircraft was not going to be take off limited in any normal circumstances - could certainly cope with a 6600 ft runway - Gib is under 6,000 and I do not recall ever being limited there. All a long time ago, and the only figures which comes to mind are the Max T/O weight for the Mk. 1 being 177,500 lb, and the fuel capacity as 82,000. I think normal max. landing was 125,000, but I would not bet on it.
The aircraft was also cleared for 3 engine ferry take offs at a suitably low weight - I don't recall anyone ever doing one in my time - I left in '80.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 01:13
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I have a dim recollection of a plan to operate Nimrod MR2 from Stanley's extended (matting) runway, following a trial at 29 Palms.

Can anyone tell me any more?
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Old 2nd May 2020, 05:06
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My failing memory of the MR1 was 181,500 and 84K. MR1 ZFW was 97k ISTR MR2 was 101k and 82k max fuel but don't quote me Contrary to Oxenos I do recall being limited at Gib - limits to fuel load and PABTO.
I am sure someone has the books squirreled away somewhere and can give you definitive answers rather than fuzzy recollections.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 09:21
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Thanks NLH, fuzzy recollections are better than nothing!

I only had R1 figures to go on. Design maximum zero fuel weight = 99,500 lb

Maximum (operational) zero fuel weight = 106,000 lb

Maximum normal landing weight = 120,000 lb

Maximum normal take-off weight and maximum landing weight = 184,000 lb

Maximum overload take-off weight and maximum emergency landing weight = 191,000 lb
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Old 2nd May 2020, 12:00
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I have a dim recollection of a plan to operate Nimrod MR2 from Stanley's extended (matting) runway, following a trial at 29 Palms
The late Brian Essex; then OC 236 OCU; went out to 29 Palms with Tony Banfield (note: Tony not Ernie) to do the AM2 matting trial and presumably validate the short field landing procedure.

Weights as I recall:
MTOM
MR1 177500
MR2 184000
Normal Ldg 120000
Max Ldg for operational requirements 145000 (no special after landing checks required)
Max ldg 177500/184000
The overload figures existed, but it is unclear how the could be achieved.

I don't recall the ZFWs, other than the R1 had an option to operate at a higher ZFW than the MR. If this was used, and it was on a regular basis, then speed was limited to 235KIAS below 135000. It made the descent into Wyton a long drawn out affair!

On the OCU, arriving in the circuit at ~120K gave sufficient fuel for 6-9 rollers although I note that on one occaision we managed 14.

I can't recall ever being limited at any of the normal places we operated from or even the hot and high, e.g. Nairobi.

YS
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Old 2nd May 2020, 13:59
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I was sitting on a Jammer, (weapon loader) at the 27 threshold waiting to cross to the other side of Stanley's runway, when I was a little suprised by a Nimrod appearing out of the murk and setting down in front of me. Turns out a Mr Heseltine had hitched a lift down in one of his cabs for a visit. Got a rather grainy blurred pic somewhere from a battered old 110 camera I used to carry. As far as I remember That Matting runway was a little shorter than 6000 ft and it used to "walk" a little every time one of the F4 landed on, the RE's used to have to hitch up some large diggers and tow it back to it's correct position every few months...
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Old 2nd May 2020, 14:29
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I once did a ferry take off, it needed group authorization .
MK2 max fuel load was 84k.
Gib was limiting on fuel load, particularly for a midday takeoff.

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Old 2nd May 2020, 15:38
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I flew on the AM2 trial in 29 Palms with Brian Essex and Tony ('Banzai') Banfield. Tony was from Boscombe Down and not a Nimrod pilot; this led to an 'interesting' arrival onto the AM2 when Tony cut the throttles over the threshold - the 4g arrival didn't do much for the integrity of panels down the back of the aircraft or my neck! I remember we took an awful lot of fuel from the fuel farm, took it round the back of the hills to jettison it, and then landed again as soon as possible. The trial was all about operating on to and off of AM2, and time in the air was wasted time.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 17:36
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Hi Sargs,

The 51 Squadron ORB saysthat: Sqn Ldr Dicks left on the 24th (May) to join a Boscombe Down Nimrod Landing trial in California). I haven't yet had the pleasure of speaking with Ted Dicks, but another 51 Squadron chap confirmed your view:

"MOD made the mistake of asking Boscombe Down to flight check the mat’s viability, even though we said we should do it as it needed experienced pilots. The Test Pilots screwed it up and rolled up the mat, by landing incorrectly. The Nimrod could be difficult to land without practice, due to the large trim change with full flap. Get it wrong and it could be dropped in, which I believe is what happened. It needed a smooth approach to the mat, not to be dropped on to it. They then had the gall to say that it couldn't be done. So we were denied an opportunity there. I remember being pretty cross at the time."
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Old 3rd May 2020, 16:38
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Originally Posted by teej013 View Post
I was sitting on a Jammer, (weapon loader) at the 27 threshold waiting to cross to the other side of Stanley's runway, when I was a little suprised by a Nimrod appearing out of the murk and setting down in front of me. Turns out a Mr Heseltine had hitched a lift down in one of his cabs for a visit. Got a rather grainy blurred pic somewhere from a battered old 110 camera I used to carry. As far as I remember That Matting runway was a little shorter than 6000 ft and it used to "walk" a little every time one of the F4 landed on, the RE's used to have to hitch up some large diggers and tow it back to it's correct position every few months...
The AM2 matting runway was 6,100ft in length with - initially - 5 cables (3 x Bak-13s, 2 x RHAGs), Phantoms for the use of. The predominant runway was 26, so we used 08 as often as we could (from memory up to 5 kts tailwind) to try to even out the 'walking' effect, which was more than anyone ever thought it would be.

(The first time the RE's were going to do the 're-shift' of the runway - they were waiting for the 'GO' on time - a F4 returned from a 'Presence Sortie' and proceeded to bash the circuit in some rather skoshi weather conditions beyond the 'GO' time, which didn't endear him to the REs. Losing sight of him on his final "Downwind - Land" call, said F4 then appeared out of the murk in a particularly sporting attitude, made a heavy landing that burst the main tyres, at which point the, now naked, mainwheels performed an excellent impression of a can-opener on the AM2 matting . Removing the now seriously U/S carcass* off the runway further delayed the REs' start time and they now had to replace a significant number of AM2 slabs as well as conduct the original brief. One side effect of this additional work was that the AM2 planks couldn't be replaced in exactly the same position, so the centreline markings were disrupted with a random 'spotted' effect resulting in the touchdown zone. * I believe it had to be cargo'ed back to the UK - it certainly sat (unflyable) on the apron for a long time, together with the broken 'John Nott arrested landing demonstration in red weather conditions' airframe. )
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Old 3rd May 2020, 19:42
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MOS T/O on MR2 was 192,000 lbs.
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Old 4th May 2020, 12:47
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Jacko. This is what I have in my notes ref 29 Palms, also have some photos somewhere.On 24 June 1982 Nimrod XV227 departed Kinloss en route to the USMC Air Ground Combat Training Center at Twenty Nine Palms airstrip in California to carry out trial operations from an AM2 matting strip runway, in preparation for one to be laid at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. The aircraft called at Boscombe Down, where all of its mainwheels were replaced with wheels that had sensors implanted into the mainwheel covers. On the 25 June XV227 flew to Yuma, via Brunswick. On the 26 June a RAF Hercules C-130, which was also participating in the trial, was flown to Twenty Nine Palms in California with an advance party to survey the site and on the 28 June XV227 left Yuma to carry out trial landings on the airstrip which is constructed out of AM2 matting. The Detachment Commander was Wg Cdr B Essex and the trials were flown by Sqn Ldr Tony Banfield from Boscombe Down.
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Old 4th May 2020, 19:14
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Thanks Nimman!
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Old 4th May 2020, 20:57
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Three Engines
On 23 July 1975 our Nimrod crew (Captained by Sqn Ldr Mannings an excellent pilot and gentleman) carried out a three engine take off from Diego Garcia. in XV263 for Gan, the flight time was 1.40 hrs. We had arrived at Diego the day before and a stone had gone in one of the engines. The choice was to change the engine at Diego or a three engine flight to Gan for an engine change, bearing in mind the lack of diversion airfields in the Indian Ocean. It was put to the vote and we all agreed we wanted to return to Gan. None of us wanted to stay on Diego with its drug and violence problems. The navigator by the way was "Ben" Lyon who had in the past been my captain on Shacks. "Ben" passed away in Germany about a year or so ago.

Runway Matting
Whilst I was based at Boscombe Down we did a weeks worth of taxiing followed by six flights on AM2 Runway Matting in July 1982 in XZ284. We had a five man crew onboard. One captain was Sqn Ldr John Brown, who according to my log book had been flying the Nimrod for over three years, and the other was Wg Cdr Strachan. There were no problems with the flights but I did not see the official report.
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Old 4th May 2020, 21:49
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Sonaboy,
How ‘bad’ were the drug and violence problems in Diego Garcia ?
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Old 4th May 2020, 23:44
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Hi Sonaboy!

Would it be a terrible imposition to ask you the dates of those test flights?

Sorry to be a bloody nuisance!
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Old 5th May 2020, 00:06
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The drug and violence problems mysteriously improved once the Nimrod departed, allegedly. 😎
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Old 6th May 2020, 19:26
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July 20th - 23rd, six flights
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Old 6th May 2020, 21:37
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Thanks very much SB!
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