Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Shackleton Preservation Trust - Engine Run

On Saturday 27 September a small group of Rugby Aviation Group members, Norman, Ray, Nick and your author had the distinct pleasure of being in the Shackleton Preservation Trust (SPT) MR2 WR693 at Coventry Airport during the engine runs.

There was also ample opportunity to look around inside Air Base with a handful of aircraft in the hangar and view the last remaining DC-6 (G-APSA) and a couple of Dakotas.

Avro 696 Shackleton MR2 WR693 being prepared for its engine run
Captain's position

Co-pilot position
The intention of the Trust is to get WR693 into flying condition and get as single flight permit to position her to southern England towards the end of 2015 for restoration to flight. It is an ambitious plan, but every plan has to have a strong element of ambition in order to succeed.

The interior of the aircraft is good condition requiring little to enable flight.

Experiencing an engine run from the inside was quite something and certainly not as noisy as expected even after 25 minutes. The fact that one can move around to different positions is a bonus as every position has its own unique vantage point, be it the aircraft interior, the flight deck or the various crew positions. The nose section is of course particularly interesting with its large gunner position on top and the bomb aimer position at the bottom.
The tail section, although accessible, was not visited during the engine, however,it is a target, at least for the author, for the next occasion.
RAG members Norman Powell, Ray Ball and Nick Marsh (looking the other way)
Selfie with Ray in the background
Norman listening to the radio chatter
View from the nose gunner position

Cessna T310 N302MC visiting from Tatenhill Airfield in Staffordshire

DC-6 Diner

As evidenced by some of the photographs above the aircraft of the Air Base collection based at Coventry Airport were accessible too and the Nimrod performed an engine run too. On the last photograph the engine intake mesh covers can be seen as the four Avons are run up.

And finally, £30 for a 25 minute engine run amongst all those rivets and something like 40 minutes on board, is a very worthwhile experience and it helps the Trust to build funds for the restoration of the aircraft to flying condition. I for one will be part-taking again in the New Year.

As a bonus, but Nick and I did not stay to see this, The old lady was taxied to try out her brakes and other items that cannot be tested whilst static. Look on YouTube for some good video footage.

With thanks to Dave Woods and his team for making us feel so welcome on the day.

15 November 2014
Theo Claassen

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