Avro Shackleton,.. da da…a Shackleton to the rescue.

The Avro Shackleton was a British long-range maritime patrol aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and the South African Air Force.

It served in the South African Air Force from 1957 to 1984. The aircraft is named after the polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

It was originally used primarily in the anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol aircraft roles, and was subsequently adapted for airborne early warning, search and rescue.

The aircraft is powered by the slow-revving Rolls-Royce Griffons engines with 13 ft. (4 m)-diameter contra-rotating propellers, which created a distinctive engine noise and added high-tone deafness to the hazards of the pilots. The Griffons were necessary because of the greater weight and drag of the new aircraft they provided great fuel efficiency for the long periods in the denser air at low altitudes that the Shackleton was intended for when hunting submarines – known as "loitering" – possibly several hours at around 500 feet or lower.

The is still one airworthy (SAAF 1722 based at AFB Ysterplaat) but not flying due to a lack of qualified crew members.

SAAF missions were mostly patrols of the sea lanes around the Cape of Good Hope, but some occasionally ranged as far as Antarctica. Most flew around 10,000 hours, with the only operational loss being 1718/"K", which crashed in the Wemmershoek mountain range in poor weather on 8 August 1963 with the loss of all 13 crew.

Although the joke has been applied to several aircraft, the Shackleton has been described as "a hundred thousand rivets flying in close formation."

Here are a few photos of the one on display at the Air Force Museum in Pretoria. …

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I love things that fly…..

27 thoughts on “Avro Shackleton,.. da da…a Shackleton to the rescue.

  1. Some beast ….. don’t know much about airplanes, even if I once belonged to the voluntary Swedish air force. I love the Swedish JAS plane, that SAAB has developed and that South Africa has bought from us. This is a total different ball game – I have to say about this pane – like one of my mom’s husbands said when I was going out for dancing one evening and I asked him if I was beautiful. He answered me – I don’t know if I can call you beautiful but I’m sure you’re expedient. *laughing.

    • I do love the sound of a Harvard, and living so close to Waterkloof Air base we often have the training flights flying overhead, a sound one can not misidentify…

    • Funny you should say that.. when I first visited the Air Force Museum I though how the older generation would have loved to see the old planes… I’m sorry I never took my own Dad there as he would have loved it.. I did take him to the South African National Museum of Military History.. and I couldn’t get him off the tanks and armour cars and I had to get up there beside him so he could explain all the ins and outs of their uses… he drove a tank in WW2… I’m sure your FiL would have loved it…

  2. Not a Health and Safety Officer in sight when they were flying these things…and noise and vibration levels would not have come into it for the pilots or the authorities.

    • The Pilots suffered hearing problems from flying this brute… apparently the counter rotating blades right next to their windows did not do them any good… yet when I saw them fly they did look pretty floating about 500 ft above the water…

    • That’s for sure… actually the pilots of these craft suffered from deafness due to the positioning of the two props .. a type of whining noise they gave off…

    • Thanks Russ… I am aircraft mad and have been going through my aircraft photos… seem to have a lot to post about, but not sure if the followers won’t get bored…

    • It is the oddest of shapes and actually hardly looks aerodynamic… yet I have seen them flying down the coast many years ago and they looked like a bird…

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