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Nimrods find new homes

Photo: XV250 arrives at Elvington in North Yorkshire on April 13. Key - Gary Parsons reports from Yorkshire as the first Nimrod MR2 finds a new home.

XV250 became the first Nimrod MR2 to be delivered to a museum when it made its last ever touchdown on Elvington’s runway in North Yorkshire on April 13.

Now the proud possession of the adjacent Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial, it is intended to be a permanent tribute to the 14 British servicemen killed in Afghanistan when Nimrod MR2 XV230 crashed near Kandahar on September 2, 2006. Much of the development work for the Nimrod programme was undertaken at BAe Systems at Brough, East Yorkshire, giving the aircraft a special local connection.

Museum Director, Ian Reed, said: “It’s an iconic aircraft – we are the only museum in the country that can keep one ‘live’. We’ve been two years in the planning – we’ve got the facilities, the fire and safety compliance – we’re quite proud of the way we operate and will look after it to a high professional standard. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Royal Air Force have been magnificent.”

XV250 joins Victor K2 XL231 at the Yorkshire Air Museum, where they will both be kept in running condition. Key – Gary Parsons

A team of ex-Nimrod volunteer engineers will tend to XV250 once it has been officially handed over by the Nimrod Integrated Project Team after some systems have been removed – these are required to help sustain the RAF’s VC-10 fleet, which uses a lot of common parts. However, this won’t prevent the Elvington-based team from operating XV250 and taxiing around the airfield during the frequent ‘Thunder Days’ alongside the Victor K2 and Buccaneer S2B. It is hoped that XV250 will first stretch its ‘legs’ on October 11.

XV231 is destined for Manchester Airport’s Aviation Viewing Park. Key – Gary Parsons

All Nimrod disposals, including those of the two remaining R1 aircraft at Waddington scheduled for next year, are the responsibility of the Nimrod IPT, headed by BAE Systems. Six aircraft are to be flown to museums across the UK, the other five being to Manchester Airport, Bruntingthorpe, Coventry, Cosford and possibly Carlisle, although the latter has yet to be confirmed. A spokesman for BAE Systems said that it is actually cheaper to dispose of the aircraft this way than scrapping them, due to the decontamination and health and safety requirements – but beside that, the IPT wanted to see several preserved for posterity. Paperwork for the handover of aircraft is dealt with by the MoD’s Disposal Services Authority.

RAF Kinloss will soon be devoid of Nimrods – those not flying to new homes will be scrapped, although it is hoped that the cockpit sections can be saved and donated to smaller museums.

Station Commander Group Captain Robbie Noel said: “We are clearly sorry to see the Nimrod MR2 retire – it has been involved in every major conflict in the last 40 years as well as protecting the UK’s shores and supporting those working at sea through its Search and Rescue role. Much of our work has necessarily been shrouded in secrecy, but it is with great pride, affection and confidence that we say farewell to this version of ‘The Mighty Hunter’.

XV229 may go to Carlisle, although negotiations are not yet finalised. Key – Gary Parsons

“It is essential, also, that we pay tribute to those who have lost their lives while serving with this Force; we remember them vividly, and they continue to inspire our efforts. Equally, it is important to recognise the endeavours of the great swathes of personnel who have supported the Force: the servicemen and women, their families, civil servants, our partners in industry, and, of course, our fabulous local community. Having amassed over 3,000 flying hours on this aircraft, I will certainly miss the MR2 but look forward, as we all do at Kinloss, to the arrival of MRA4 in the next few months.”

For a feature on the Nimrod MR2 see the May issue of AIR International magazine, on sale soon.

Nimrod production

C/n Mk Serial Status at July 29, 2010
6476 HS801 XV147 Scrapped Warton 03/03
6477 MR1 XV148 Scrapped 10/99 ff Malmesbury
8001 MR2 XV226 Preserved Bruntingthorpe
8002 MR2 XV227 Woodford for MRA4 PA-8/ZJ521
8003 MR2 XV228 Woodford for MRA4 PA-10/ZJ523
8004 MR2 XV229 Preserved Manston
8005 MR2 XV230 Crashed Afghanistan 02/09/06
8006 MR2 XV231 Preserved Manchester
8007 MR2 XV232 Preserved Coventry
8008 MR2 XV233 Woodford for MRA4 PA-7/ZJ520
8009 MR2 XV234 Woodford for MRA4 PA-2/ZJ518
8010 MR2 XV235 wfu Kinloss
8011 MR2 XV236 Scrapped Boscombe Down 12/09
8012 MR2P XV237 Scrapped St. Austell 5/94
8013 MR2P XV238 Scrapped Elgin 3/94
8014 MR2 XV239 Crashed Lake Ontario Airshow 02/09/95
8015 MR2 XV240 wfu Kinloss
8016 MR2 XV241 wfu Kinloss
8017 MR2 XV242 Woodford for MRA4 PA-3/ZJ517
8018 MR2 XV243 Woodford for MRA4 PA-11/ZJ524
8019 MR2 XV244 wfu Kinloss
8020 MR2 XV245 Woodford for MRA4 PA-9/ZJ522
8021 MR2 XV246 Woodford for MRA4 PA-12/ZJ525
8022 MR2 XV247 Woodford for MRA4 PA-1/ZJ516
8023 MR2 XV248 wfu Kinloss
8024 R1 XV249 Preserved RAF Cosford (in transit)
8025 MR2 XV250 Preserved YAM Elvington
8026 MR2 XV251 Woodford for MRA4 PA-4/ZJ514
8027 MR2 XV252 wfu Kinloss
8028 MR2 XV253 Scrapped Woodford 05/09
8029 MR2 XV254 ff preserved Inverness
8030 MR2 XV255 Preserved Norwich
8031 MR1 XV256 Crashed Kinloss 17/11/80
8032 MR2P XV257 Damaged St Mawgan 3/6/84 scrapped Woodford 92
8033 MR2 XV258 Woodford for MRA-4 PA-5/ZJ515
8034 AEW3 XV259 Scrapped Stock 10/98 ff Carlisle Airport
8035 MR2 XV260 wfu Kinloss
8036 AEW3 XV261 Scrapped Lyneham 95
8037 AEW3 XV262 Scrapped Abingdon 6/92
8038 AEW3 XV263 8967M ff BAe Brough
8039 R1 XW664 Preserved East Midlands Aeropark
8040 R1 XW665 wfu Waddington
8041 R1 XW666 Ditched in Moray Firth 16/5/95 ff Doncaster
8042 AEW3 XZ280 Scrapped Abingdon 4/92
8043 AEW3 XZ281 Scrapped Abingdon 91
8044 AEW3 XZ282 Scrapped Elgin 3/96
8045 AEW3 XZ283 Scrapped Abingdon 91
8046 MR2 XZ284 Woodford for MRA4 PA-6/ZJ519
8047 AEW3 XZ285 Scrapped Abingdon 5/92
8048 AEW3 XZ286 Scrapped Abingdon 91
8049 AEW3 XZ287 9140M fuselage Stafford
PA-1 MRA4 ZJ516 ex XV247 wfu Woodford
PA-2 MRA4 ZJ518 ex XV234 wfu Woodford
PA-3/13 MRA4 ZJ517 ex XV242 BAE Systems Warton
PA-4 MRA4 ZJ514 ex XV251 BAE Systems Warton
PA-5 MRA4 ZJ515 ex XV258 BAE Systems Woodford
PA-6 MRA4 ZJ519 ex XZ284 in production Woodford
PA-7 MRA4 ZJ520 ex XV233 in production Woodford
PA-8 MRA4 ZJ521 ex XV227 in production Woodford
PA-9 MRA4 ZJ522 ex XV245 in production Woodford
PA-10 MRA4 ZJ523 ex XV228 in production Woodford
PA-11 MRA4 ZJ524 ex XV243 in production Woodford
PA-12 MRA4 ZJ525 ex XV246 production halted due to excessive corrosion
PA-13 MRA4 ZJ526 Cancelled originally allocated XV240
PA-14 MRA4 ZJ527 Cancelled originally allocated XV229
PA-15 MRA4 ZJ528 Cancelled originally allocated XV241
PA-16 MRA4 ZJ529 Cancelled originally allocated XV235
PA-17 MRA4 ZJ530 Cancelled originally allocated XV231
PA-18 MRA4 ZJ531 Cancelled originally allocated XV255
PA-19 MRA4 ZJ532 Cancelled originally allocated XV250
PA-20 MRA4 ZJ533 Cancelled originally allocated XV252
PA-21 MRA4 ZJ534 Cancelled originally allocated XV244

wfu – withdrawn from use

ff – front fuselage only

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