Fuel fault grounds RAF Nimrod fleet.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by spike7451, Feb 23, 2007.

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  1. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    All Nimrod MR2 aircraft are being grounded due to fuel pump problems, Sky sources have learned. It comes after a dent was found in a fuel pipe on one of the planes two days ago. Checks are being carried out on about a dozen of the aircraft.

    The Ministry of Defence has stressed that there have been no fuel leaks.

    At this stage it is not being linked to the official inquiry into the Nimrod crash in Afghanistan last September.

    Fourteen servicemen lost their lives in the incident,
    amid reports that fire was seen on the fuselage before it came down.

    In a staement the MOD said: "As a precautionary measure the fleet was grounded while the issue was investigated.

    "These investigations are ongoing, but some of the aircraft have been cleared of this problem and we expect others to follow shortly.

    "This decision was taken as a precautionary measure and should not be construed as pre-judging the findings of the Board of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the loss of XV230."
  2. How old are the Nimrod airframes? I read that the Nimrod is based on the Comet airliner and that the last Comet was built in 1964. Are Nimrods just converted Comets or were they built from scratch for the RAF using the Comet design?

    Are today's Nimrods all pushing 50 years old?
  3. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Not far off it! The Nimrod was designed around the Comet airliner.Basically,all they done was slap a bomb bay under a Comet!
    They began to design it around 1964 & it entered service 1969.
    In the early 1980's the RAF tried & failed to convert several into the AEW version to replace the aging AVRO Shackleton. It was to 'compliment' the soon to enter service Tornado F3 Fighter.Apparently the Nimrods radar was so bad it could'nt tell the difference between cars on the motorway,airbourne targets & even picked up it's own toilet !
    Three were converted to R-1 versions which is a intelligence gathring platform.
    Since it entered service,five of them have crashed.

  4. A Nimrod without a fuel leak? it must be empty.

    British Waste of Space had had problems with the new MR4, with it running about 4 years behind schedule. It has new engines and wings, with the wings being made to modern standards. they found out when trying to fit the wings to the fuselage that 1960's tolerances are far slacker than modern ones and the wings did not fit.

    Seen on BBC News 24 story about the Nimrod. Presenter in a pokey office in Inverness talking. To the right of him and just to the left and below the clock was a picture of George W. Bush stood in front of the word 'count' George was stood in front of the 'O'.

  5. Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't it be cheaper/better to buy new aircraft? I heard that the Americans are develpoing a replacement for their Orion maritime patrol aircraft. It'll be based on a Boeing airframe. Couldn't we buy a few as with the RAFs AWACS planes?

    Not a problem. Give two burly blokes with sledge hammers half a day and the wings will be attached.
  6. BAE did, according to rumour, suggest that the idea of marrying new wings to old fuselages might be a bad idea. They suggested that it might be quicker and cheaper in the long run to build new fuselages as well. However, the MoD allegedly thought that this was simply a cunning plan by BAE to screw more money out of them and told them to crack on...

    Buying the P-8 (which is based on the 737) wouldn't be a bad idea in some ways, although there are concerns that it might not be as good an MPA platform as the Nimrod (when the latter is actually able to fly). Its wings have had to be redesigned to cope with the rather rougher flight profiles an MPA flies, and it has to be fitted out with the avionics and weapons systems (an internal weapons bay and underwing pylons), which may not be ideal according to some observers.

    A USN P-3 driver of my acquaintance, unconvinced by the 737 solution, suggested that the ideal solution would have been for the MoD to get BAE into some sort of alliance with Boeing so that they could jointly build 150 brand new Nimrod 4s (about 125 for the USN, the rest for us...). There were mutterings that this might happen at one point, but somewhere along the line, either some big-wig in the MoD or BAE stated that they weren't interested in collaborating with the Americans, and that was that.

    Which was odd, since if you look at the Boeing website, you'll see they proudly list Nimrod as one of their projects - "The United Kingdom chose The Boeing Company and British Aerospace in July 1996 to replace the country's fleet of Nimrod MR2 maritime patrol aircraft." (click)
  7. A layman's question, Archimedes:

    Wouldn't buying something like this have been more interesting than rebuilding those antiques?

    It seems to be a true patrol bomber (not a converted airliner) and, at least in principle, could do such useful things as landing on water to dip a VDS, rescue shipwrecked people or launch a boarding party. I suppose it could even "show the flag", just like a warship.

    I'm also presuming it would be able to operate from relatively underdeveloped areas and would make the MPA force less vulnerable to attacks against airfields.

    Finally, it looks cool as hell.

    Couldn't you have produced a licensed version, with better engines, better corrosion-resistant materials, better electronics?

    Just an absolutely idle thought.
  8. I believe Boeing is the prime for the mission system fit.
  9. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    The Nimrod is a brilliant bit of kit! I was on Nimrod NLS in the mid 80's (my first posting!) It constantly outshone the P-3 Orion & the German ?? in ASW games.It,unlike the P-3,can carry weapons from Torpedo's,Harpoon missiles to Iron & Laser Guided Bombs!
    But this again it typical British thinking.Make do with what we have & improve on it. The RAF regulary have aircrew going over to the USA & other countries.Take the Tornado F3,That flew for a few years without a radar & concrete ballast in the nose.The MoD sent some aircrew to evaluate some other aircraft like the FA-18,F-15 & F-16.They came back & recommended the F-15 but the MoD instead of listning to seasoned senior pilots,pressed ahead with the F3.That is nearing the end of it's service & being replaced with the Typhoon whereas the F-15 entered service around 1975 & still has another 10-20 years life in it yet....
  10. The mission fit for the MRA4 is indeed a Boeing thingy and a develope version will be instaled inthe P8A. As for the flight profiles, one reason the P8 won outover the P7 (advanced P3) was that with modern technology MPAs no longer need to fly low-level over the sea. It can even drop torpedoes from medium altitudes.
  11. trouble is we use nimrod for search and resuce and even fishery protection ( although sadly there not allowed to fire on the theiving gits :))
  12. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    SAR is the Nimrods primary role.Nearly all Nimrods in NLS are permanently fitted with at least 3 SAR Packs in the bomb bay.
  13. So I guess that means that they do spend long periods at low level using that most efficient of sensors, the mk1 eyeball ?
  14. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    That's why they have a great big f&ck off blister window in front of the wings on each side...