Author Topic: Nimrod MRA.4 first flight & 'graveyard' footage  (Read 487 times)

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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Nimrod MRA.4 first flight & 'graveyard' footage
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2019, 01:15:20 pm »

Yes Nick, I've read that too. I think that's because the Nimrods weren't 'new tool' in the first place. I think they were using converted Comet 4 airframes, I may be wrong here though. Plus the fact not very many were to be built either (less than 50 IIRC)


IIRC the first two Nimrods were just that, converted from Comet 4s. The later production ones were new builds, but still built as Comet 4 airframes on the same jigs before the Nimrod bits were added.
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Offline joncarrfarrelly

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Re: Nimrod MRA.4 first flight & 'graveyard' footage
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2019, 04:56:17 pm »
I have read other articles that claim if BAE had just done a clean-sheet design and tool up for the entire airframe from the get-go, then it would have been a world beater that could have taken a lot of the (admittedly limited) P-8 market. 

Who knows if it's true...

A clean sheet design would have been more expensive and taken longer, would not be
able to counter the lower unit price advantage of the P-8. Being 737-800ER based its
base airframe cost is reasonable and production costs are reduced by being built on a
standard production line in the 737 factory. As to taking a lot of the market, maybe
sales to Aus, India could possibly go either way, at any rate it would always be
more expensive than a P-8. The Kawasaki P-1 is a good example, unit cost being
about US$40 million more than a P-8.

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Re: Nimrod MRA.4 first flight & 'graveyard' footage
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2019, 05:44:30 pm »
The 'perfect' CAD/CAM designed wing sets that didn't fit anything except the drawings were totally real. They had to re-work every one of them to tailor it to it's individual fuselage.

Something I heard all the time from the engineers was that if the Nimrod fuselage jigs still existed, or if the MRA.4 production run had been big enough to make it worthwhile making new ones, then it would have been much cheaper and easier to just build new fuselages rather than recycle the old ones, with all the variances in tolerances and rectification issues they had. New fuselages would also have made exports a more viable option too.

There was much talk of a big Japanese order that would have meant making new fuselage jigs, and I also heard of a proposal for the UK, the Netherlands and Norway(?) to jointly operate the original sized order (24 aircraft) on a 'joint fleet' basis, whereby each nation's squadrons would draw aircraft from a common pool with common logistics and maintenance. It seemed a sensible idea, but I'm not sure how serious it was.
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Re: Nimrod MRA.4 first flight & 'graveyard' footage
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2019, 12:03:32 am »
The 'perfect' CAD/CAM designed wing sets that didn't fit anything except the drawings were totally real. They had to re-work every one of them to tailor it to it's individual fuselage.

Something I heard all the time from the engineers was that if the Nimrod fuselage jigs still existed, or if the MRA.4 production run had been big enough to make it worthwhile making new ones, then it would have been much cheaper and easier to just build new fuselages rather than recycle the old ones, with all the variances in tolerances and rectification issues they had. New fuselages would also have made exports a more viable option too.

There was much talk of a big Japanese order that would have meant making new fuselage jigs, and I also heard of a proposal for the UK, the Netherlands and Norway(?) to jointly operate the original sized order (24 aircraft) on a 'joint fleet' basis, whereby each nation's squadrons would draw aircraft from a common pool with common logistics and maintenance. It seemed a sensible idea, but I'm not sure how serious it was.

Oh the wing box is very true and proof that the management at BAE systems were criminally incompetent, as the engineers and draughtsmen at Chadderton & Woodford both told their managers at that it wouldn't work as all the Nimrods were hand made and therefore subtlety different. But rather than pass on the bad news that their bid was not viable they silenced them. Then when the first airframe started to be worked upon by a third party in Bournemouth, BAE paid them off from doing the conversion work and brought it in house then paid for their silence then went cap  in hand to demand 4 billion from the govt to cover their ineptitude with the Nimrod and the Astute programmes.

The whole programme was a mess, compounded by the Nimrod AEW failure which robbed up of the tactical reserve of young airframes that would have helped extend the MPAs service life, the end of the cold war which left a surplus of USN Orion's and a fall in demand for the MPA's which made our pressing need that bit more awkward as other potential partners were not really interested and then the whole programme was completely mismanaged by the producer and the customer who decided to focus on mission creep pushing Battlespace Management and long range strike ahead of the primary MPA role which complicated and delayed the programme further.

To be honest the RAF/RN really wanted a joint programme with the USN as a cost effective solution for a true next generation MPA, but at the time the USN had surplus Orion's in stock and pushed back its replacement into the 2020's. Ideally if we had our original 10 extra Nimrod MPA's we would have done a limited system upgrade and overhaul of the MR2 without the full rebuild and then sign on to the Orion replacement with the USN. (Ironically all the global conflicts had actually pushed the USN Orion fleet harder than they had planned and they discovered that their surplus fleet had their better aircraft fleeced by Lockheed providing refurbished aircraft to customers around the globe which is why the P-8 programme started sooner than expected !)

Anyway what some miss when moaning about the scrapping of the Nimrod is that Boeing were the systems integrators on the Nimrod MRA4 and used the experience to develop the P-8 Poseidon. When Nimrod was canned a lot of those system engineers went straight over to the P-8 and helped bring that project in on time and on budget.
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