Nimrod MRA4 Survivor (well sort of...)

Profile picture for user Zebedee

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11 years 10 months

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Found this beast lurking in the engineering department at work today... its the Nimrod FDAR or Flight Deck Assessment Rig used to validate the two pilot operation of the revised MRA4... Apparently its being restored for student and postgrad use complete with dome... It looks like its been built from either the shell of a Nimrod or Comet nose... the question is what was its original identity...? There's an MoD no. of ZH600 and a manufactures serial of SIM 660/01/01 but apart from that theres no other ID visible... Zeb
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Original post
Profile picture for user Jon H

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Ask the sim lads at the Uni as its been there approx. 18 months now! I know they have been keenly researching its history. Jon
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I'll have chat with them again tomorrow... but there did seem to be some doubt of the exact providence of the airframe before it became the sim when I spoke to them today... Zeb

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Definitely not this nose section at Cranfield then. That was my initial thought anyway.
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I should add I dont think they know either, but they have at least been speaking to the "experts" on all things Nimrod/Comet. Jon

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Looks like a Nimrod nose - the Comet didn't have the 'eyebrow' windows. There were a few Nimrods scrapped at Woodford over the years (e.g.XV257)
Profile picture for user wv838

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13 years 9 months

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Jon-H is quite right... we've explored a great many avenues trying to establish the original identity of this cockpit section. So far, we've drawn a complete blank on its identity. The future for this beast is currently unclear. Though I'm sure someone will post info here when we finally manage to actually do something with her.

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It might be XV147. That was at Warton for a while and may have been moved elsewhere.
Profile picture for user topgun regect

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IIRC XV147 was scrapped when its home in 13 hangar was demolished back in 2001/2 Martin

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What Zebedee posted looks like the rig (I can't remember what we called it - SIR was it??)we used to use to assess the early flight tests. It looks the same anyway. The whole fuselage of XV147 was moved from Woodford in the 1990s I think. Maybe they kept the nose section when they scrapped it?
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The future for this beast is currently unclear. Though I'm sure someone will post info here when we finally manage to actually do something with her.
Hopefully the 'scrap' word isn't going to be uttered....
Profile picture for user andyxh558

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the cockpit in question is XV263, a Nimrod AEW3 that was an instructional airframe at Finningley. the fuselage went on to be a testbed for the MRA4 program.

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An AEW3 and then an MRA4...how unlucky can a Nimrod get?:D

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The nose of XV263 was used in the Nimrod MRA4 Iron Bird not the FDAR. The FDAR nose at Liverpool is believed to have come from the AEW3 simulator built by Singer Link Miles at Lancing in 1984, using an unidentified Comet shell. It was rescued by Warton from Waddington in the 90's

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7 years 1 month

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Interesting. The listing I have is that the FDAR (that was the name I was trying to think of) was made from a section of XV147. I've no reason to doubt it but I'll check the source.
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Yep... that was my understanding of the fate of XV263 as well... I initially thought XV147 but am wondering if the corrosion under the skin in the forth shot is a clue...? Comet cn. 06402 was used for water tank tests then moved to Woodford for Nimrod tests... Zeb

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If one of the lads at Uni can get a micrometer and measure the cockpit skin thickness this might give a clue to the provenance of this shell, i.e whether it is early or later Comet or Nimrod
Profile picture for user wv838

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If one of the lads at Uni can get a micrometer and measure the cockpit skin thickness this might give a clue to the provenance of this shell, i.e whether it is early or later Comet or Nimrod
I know this is a *really* old thread, but I was wandering around the old girl today and remembered this question. A quick stab with a simple vernier yields a thickness of about 1.5mm - does this tell us anything? And for anyone interested, here she is earlier today all lit up. [ATTACH=CONFIG]251237[/ATTACH]
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13 years

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Grimrods were built using the pounds, shillings and pence formula..... Metric indeed :p
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Grimrods were built using the pounds, shillings and pence formula..... Metric indeed :p
1.5mm = 0.060"

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I think it's from the unused Comet fuselage that had been used as for egress studies at Woodford. In the early days of the MRA4 I went to a meeting on the Iron Bird and although they had a nose XZ263 which was already in work they didn't have or know of of a spare fuselage which could be available in the next month or so (rig build was progressing at a fast pace) Hence I suggested the Comet fuselage at Woodford which I had seen in W&R. A few weeks later it was moved to Warton and its nose was removed to allow it to be matched to XZ263 nose. So I think the spare Nose went to the cockpit development effort but not totally sure......not my part of the project.