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Avro 696 Shackleton

 

avro696shack
Shackleton
 

 The Shackleton was designed to a 1946 requirement for an all-new long-range maritime patrol aircraft for use by the Royal Air Force Coastal Command. Derived from the Avro Lincoln bomber, The Avro was initially known as the Lincoln ASR.3 and would later become known simply as Type 696 Shackleton (named after English explorer Ernest Shackleton). The Shackleton featured a similar (though all-new) fuselage design and was the first British bomber to feature contra-rotating propeller blades. First flight was achieved on March 9th, 1949.

The Avro Shackleton featured a slender straight-sided fuselage with the aft end extended out past the tail plane. The tail plane also featured twin vertical fins in much the same way as that of Lincoln design. The Shackleton was also fitted with a low-wing monoplane with two engines to a wing and each engine was fitted with two three-blade propellers in a contra-rotating fashion - the first such British four-engine aircraft to do so. Power was delivered by 4 x Rolls-Royce Griffon liquid-cooled in-line engines. The Griffons were noted for requiring a great deal of attention during the aircraft's career. Armament in the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role consisted of 2 x 20mm cannons mounted in the nose while internal bombloads could consist of torpedoes, mines and bombs as needed.

This entered service in April 1951 with No 120 Sqn, based in Scotland, as the Shackleton MR.Mk 1, which was soon complemented by the Shackleton MR.Mk.1A and a production run of 77 Mk.1 and Mk.lA with wider outer nacelles. The radar of the early Shackleton was inadequate, and the Shackleton MR.Mk 2, of which examples served with the South African Air Force, introduced a new forward fuselage which retained two 20-mm cannon but relegated the radar from a chin radome to a semi-retractable “dustbin” under the fuselage behind the bomb bay. Additionally, the MR.2 featured a reinforced undercarriage, a lengthened nose and tail section and redesigned tail planes. The first of 69 MR.2 came into use in the UK and Malta in 1952.

Issued in 1957, thirty-four Shackleton MR.Mk 3 introduced tricycle landing gear, a larger fuselage, sleeping galley for the crew on long flights, a revised wing, improved cockpit canopies, dorsal turrets deleted and wing tip-tanks (giving a 24-hour endurance) and, as a retrofit, extra power from two 2,500-lb (1,134-kg) thrust Rolls-Royce Viper Mk 203 turbojets in underwing nacelles, these being noted by their designation of MR.3 "Phase II".

 

Avro-Shack-3
Shackleton 3

 

Eight were delivered to the South African Air Force. South African models were in service up until 1984.

The last model was the Shackleton AEW.Mk 2 conversion of the MR.Mk 2 for airborne early warning with APS-20 radar in a large “guppy” radome under the forward fuselage. In 1971 No 8 Squadron, RAF, re-formed at Kinloss with MR.3s. 11 remained operational in 1979 with 7 MR.3 serving in South Africa.

First flown on 28 June 1968 Nimrod MR.Mk 1s began to enter RAF service in October 1969, re-placing the Avro Shackletons which had assumed this task towards the end of 1951.


All marks had either Griffon 57, 57a or 58's depending upon their modification and phase level.

Shackletons saw their first real use in the Suez Crisis of 1956, the combined British, Israeli and French attack on Egypt after the Egyptian attempt to nationalize the Suez Canal.

Production totals for each model type numbered 77 for the Mk 1 series, 70 for the Mk 2 series and 34 for the Mk 3 series with a further 8 of that batch for use in the South African Air Force.

 

Gallery

 

MR.Mk 1
Engines: two Griffon 57 and two Griffon 57A.

MR.Mk 1A

Engines: four Griffon 57A.

MR.Mk 3
Engines: 4 x 2,455 hp Rolls-Royce Griffon.

MR.Mk 2

MR.Mk 3
Engines: 4 x Rolls-Royce Griffon 57A inline piston, 2,455-hp (1,831-kW)
Maximum speed 302 mph (408 kph) at optimum altitude
Service ceiling 19,200 ft (5,850 m)
Range 3,660 miles (5,890 km)
Empty weight 57,800 lb (26,218 kg)
Maximum take-off weight 98,000 lb (44,452 kg)
Wing span 119 ft l0in (36.52 m)
Length 92 ft 6in (28.19m)
Height 23ft 4in (7.11 m)
Wingarea 1,421.0 sq ft (132.01 sq.m)
Armament: two 20-mm cannons and up to 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of bombs
Crew 10

Engine: 4 x 4 x Rolls-Royce Griffon, 1800kW
Take-off weight: 45400 kg / 100090 lb
Wingspan: 36.8 m / 121 ft 9 in
Length: 26.6 m / 87 ft 3 in
Height: 5.3 m / 17 ft 5 in
Wing area: 132.4 sq.m / 1425.14 sq ft
Max. speed: 485 km/h / 301 mph
Cruise speed: 375 km/h / 233 mph
Range w/max.fuel: 6000 km / 3728 miles
Armament: 2 x 20mm cannons, bombs
Crew: 10

AEW.Mk 2

Engines: 4 x Rolls-Royce 57As, 2450 hp.

 

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