Pete (pjc50) wrote,
Pete
pjc50

Nimrod and Kinloss

Can't quite work out how to synthesize these stories, but there's an interesting thread:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-30434422 : Kinloss search-and-rescue closure
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Air_Force_Nimrod_XV230 and http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2008/may/angus-robertson-seeks-nimrod-safety-answers versus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAE_Systems_Nimrod_MRA4

The UK designs and builds the first jet airliner, the Comet, back in 1949. A few upgrades and 20 years later the same basic design becomes the Nimrod MR2 recon aircraft. And there it stays for thirty-seven years, until eventually it catches fire and explodes in midair. In a spectacular bit of retroactive judgement, it's deemed to have been defective design all those years ago combined with neglect.

Why was the MR2 not replaced earlier? Well, the plan was to replace it with the MRA4 .. which was the same plane, just refurbished to modern standards. This project had never got off the ground as it was discovered that the original airframes not only didn't match the design drawings but were all subtly different shapes and sizes as they were hand-built to 60s manufacturing tolerances. An approach which may have made sense when there was a need to churn out Wellington bombers in 24 hours from requisitioned furniture factories for an expected lifetime of a few dozen flights, but doesn't work for modern aviation or endurance recon. The MRA4 was eventually scrapped with extreme prejudice once it became clear that it consume money forever without delivering a flyable aircraft.

So, no recon planes at all shall fly from Kinross. So the airbase side has been closed and downgraded to a barracks. The search-and-rescue will be consolidated with the south coast 400 miles away (no doubt losing local knowledge).
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