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RAF Nimrod was 'never airworthy'

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posted on May, 23 2008 @ 06:19 AM
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The RAF's entire fleet of Nimrod aircraft has "never been airworthy", a coroner has said.



BBC


If the MOD knew this to be true and kept it quiet for 40 years then surely some very senior heads must roll, How can the aircrew of the remaining Nimrods have any confidence in either the remaining aircraft or their senior officers if this story is true?




posted on May, 23 2008 @ 06:23 AM
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It is hands down one of the ugliest a/c ever to have taken to the skies, but not airworthy? These things have hundereds of thousands of flight hours and an attrition rate that is in line with thier op-tempos.

Also how exactly is a "Assistant Deputy Coroner" an expert on aviation?

[edit on 5/23/08 by FredT]



posted on May, 23 2008 @ 06:52 AM
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Precisely... 40 years of combat, rescue, logistics and humanitarian duties seem to somewhat deny the sensationalism of some two-bit coroner.

The nimrod is nowhere near as good as the Herc, but its still a functional aircraft.



posted on May, 23 2008 @ 07:22 AM
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I know they were never designed with air to air refuelling in mind - that was a hurried retrofit for the Falklands conflict.

They continued to develop the system in an adhoc manor, typical penny pinching. The aircraft it's self is fairly sound, it's the workload, the penny pinching and oversights that are to blame IMO, all very human and preventable me thinks.

Even though it is probably about time to retire the beast now, it's had so many upgrades I think it will be seen as throwing good money after bad, but surly most of the kit can simply be pulled out and shoved into another aircraft.

Here is a quick timeline for the Nimrod



posted on May, 23 2008 @ 07:56 AM
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That is exactly right Now Then, I was coming here to make precisely the same point. 'Never airworthy' is a sensationalist comment that ignores the fact that in-flight refuelling was only added during the Falklands conflict, after a decade of service.

However that conflict was 26 years ago and the fact that the fleet is still using the same ad hoc arrangement that was an emergency wartime modification intended as a short term fix is a terrible indictment of the MoD.

Some very serious questions are thrown up by this;

If the fleet is to be grounded what are the RAF to do in order to meet their operational needs?

What is the FR system on the MRA.4? Does it take account of the need to insulate the intake and exhaust ducts with fuel lines passing nearby?

If not does it mean that entire programme will now have to be axed?



posted on May, 23 2008 @ 12:07 PM
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reply to post by waynos
 


The P-8 would meet its operational needs.



posted on May, 23 2008 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by FredT

Also how exactly is a "Assistant Deputy Coroner" an expert on aviation?

[edit on 5/23/08 by FredT]


I'm currently dealing with this exact question on another forum, and the answer is simple - he isn't.

However, the dozens of people he requires to give evidence at the inquest are purposefully picked to not only give direct information on the exact incident at hand, but also to bring expert opinion to the table.

For example, two of the people he had give evidence were BAEs head of airworthiness, and BAEs chief engineer - both of whom work with the Nimrod. Both extremely competent on the matter in hand, I hope you would agree.

It was infact from BAEs head of airworthiness that the '37 years of flying while unairworthy' comment came from, and not the Coroner himself - it was worthy of inclusion into the Coroners summing up because of the source from where it came.

This isn't some random bloke making an opinion about something he knows nothing about. He is informed.



posted on May, 23 2008 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
What is the FR system on the MRA.4? Does it take account of the need to insulate the intake and exhaust ducts with fuel lines passing nearby?

If not does it mean that entire programme will now have to be axed?


The MRA.4 conversion will be done to modern safety standards - its not even a conversion as such, as all they are using from the original MRA.2 aircraft is the basic fuselage, everything else is being stripped out and replaced with modern systems.

So no, I doubt that the MRA.4 programme will be affected at all.



posted on May, 23 2008 @ 11:57 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
reply to post by waynos
 


The P-8 would meet its operational needs.


- The P-8 will lack the internal weapons bay that makes the Nimrod the aircraft that it is.
- Have a lower top speed.
- A higher service ceiling (not quite essential in a maritime aircraft I grant you).

These are all comparisons to the MR2 not the MRA4, so if it can be beaten in these areas by a 50yr old airframe....

Jensy



posted on May, 24 2008 @ 03:48 AM
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Yes, the P-8 would stqand in for the MRA4 if necessary, but only because it would be a case of 'hobsons choice'. When the RAF was looking for a new maritime aircraft a few years ago everything from upgraded P-3's to an MR variant of the A320 was evaluated and it was found that nothing met the UK's needs quite as well as the Nimrod, the conclusion being that, airframe wise, what we needed was a new Nimrod, which is what we are getting. I would imagine that if the A320 airframe wasn't quite 'there' then the 737 would be the same.

The MR systems on the P-8 are actually the same as those on the MRA.4, supplied by Boeing on both aircraft, although the Nimrod is supposed to have a more comprehensive weapons capability, so it can only be an airframe/performance issue.

Besides, I am reassured by Richards answer above that the MRA.4 is not part of this mess


[edit on 24-5-2008 by waynos]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:08 AM
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"Nimrod aircraft grounded by MoD "


All Nimrod aircraft that have not had a vital safety modification are to be grounded by the Ministry of Defence, the BBC has learned. The Nimrods will be withdrawn on 31 March until the early summer in order to replace engine bay hot air ducts.


BBC

Probably not before time, but even with this modification will they be airworthy even then? iirc there were stories of one of these aircraft having fuel sloshing around inside it after being refuel mid-air will these problems be fixed as well?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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The BBC new link does now mention fuel seals which I guess was the cause of the fuel sloshing around.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:13 AM
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A bit more detail.

Flightglobal

Seems to suggest to me that the MR2s are very busy so I do wonder how they will cope when the 15 MR2 are replaced with only 9 MRA4.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by jensy

Originally posted by FredT
reply to post by waynos
 


The P-8 would meet its operational needs.


- The P-8 will lack the internal weapons bay that makes the Nimrod the aircraft that it is.
- Have a lower top speed.
- A higher service ceiling (not quite essential in a maritime aircraft I grant you).

These are all comparisons to the MR2 not the MRA4, so if it can be beaten in these areas by a 50yr old airframe....

Jensy


Yes, the P-8 does have a weapons bay. And what may the be the endurance time on station compared to the either of the MR2 or MRA4?



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