Shackleton Vs the Wall

Impressive video Shows Avro Shackleton tearing down a wall during static engine run at SAAF Ysterplaat AFB

By Dario Leone
Apr 13 2020
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Taken on Jun. 30, 2018 at South African Air Force Ysterplaat Air Force Base, the impressive video in this post features an unusual Shackleton Static Engine Run.

Taken on Jun. 30, 2018 at South African Air Force (SAAF) Ysterplaat Air Force Base (AFB), the impressive video in this post was brought to my attention by Mark Harriss, a reader of The Aviation Geek Club, and features an unusual Shackleton Static Engine Run: at 5:13 in video in fact the mighty Shackleton tears down a wall! As the video descriptions says, the footage was filmed by  Warrant Officer Johan le Roux, Unit Warrant Officer of 2 Air Servicing Unit, who has his camera perfectly framed on the entire scene when the action happened!

The Avro 696 Shackleton long-range maritime patrol aircraft was first flown (VW126) on 9th March 1949 from Woodford in the hands of Chief Test Pilot JH ‘Jimmy’ Orrell. 

It was designed in response to Air Ministry Specification R 5/46 by a team led initially by Lancaster designer Roy Chadwick. Tragically, Chadwick was killed in a crash in 1947 although the project continued on unabated.

The type was developed as Britain’s response to the growing threat of the Soviet Navy and its submarine fleet which could be found in and around UK waters. 

Initially, it was produced as the Type 696 Lincoln ASR3 for RAF Coastal Command and was evolved predominantly from the Avro Lincoln, although it also drew on a number of Avro Tudor assemblies.

Later, and upon entering RAF Service in 1951 with the RAF, its name was changed to Avro Shackleton after the polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

According to BAE Systems website, eight Shackleton were purchased for use by the SAAF in 1953 in order to monitor Soviet vessels in the sea lanes around the Cape of Good Hope where they also carried out a number of search and rescue missions.

Normal power was provided by four Rolls-Royce Griffon 27A engines driving contra-rotating propellers although in the case of the Shackleton MR.3 – Phase 3, a pair of 2,500 lbst Rolls-Royce Viper 203 turbojets were added to improve take-off performance with one Viper installed at the rear of each outboard engine nacelle.


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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