Short Nightwatchman AEW.1 with photos

Started by McColm, November 30, 2022, 01:47:44 PM

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Based on the  1/144  A-50 AWACS model kit, originally powered by four turbofan engines.  These have been used on the Revell Convair Tradewind GB build.
I managed to find another already built but sold as 'spares or repair 'but it was damaged so I have used the engines.

The Rat

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles

Pineapple is a great pizza topping. Fight me.


The Shorts Nightwatchman AEW.1 looks remarkably similar to the Beriev A-50 Mainstay which is based on the Ilyushin Il-76 cargo aircraft but the Nightwatchman was developed by SJMcColm Engineering Ltd as a replacement for the Shorts Belfast.
This self-funded project was to satisfy the needs for a larger cargo aircraft with the prospect of being versatile and maintained by engineers wearing gloves.
From the early stages fly-by-wire control surfaces and the use of fibre optic cables meant that new composites could be used in the construction. As the British were lacking in a modern AEW platform one of the prototypes became the base model.
Help was provided by Grumman providing the surveillance radar of 9 meters/30 ft diameter, as SJMcColm Engineering Ltd had bought parts from the USNavy's Convair Tradewind the engine cowlings these were paired with the Rolls-Royce Tyne turboprop  engines and kept the contra-rotating propellers.
The first flight was in 1978 which went well and attracted the attention of the Royal Air Force, further development and RAF requirements brought the Nightwatchman AEW.1 for trial flights starting in April 1980 with training flights as early as June 1981. Further improvements led to the plumbing of an in-flight refuelling system,  crew toilets and galley facilities. Hope,  Faith and Charity became the three training aircraft.
 Although the Avro Shackleton AEW.2 was in service with the RAF at the time the new Nightwatchman AEW.1 found it's way to RAF Machrihanish operating under 49 Squadron OCU.
The BAe Nimrod AEW.3 provided the perfect smokescreen for the Nightwatchman AEW.1, although flights did take place during 1982 the aircraft wasn't fully operational.
Further upgrades with the Yellow Gate ESM wingtip pods and Chaff dispensers plus 15 operator's positions for both Air plus Maritime Surveillance.
As 8 Squadron lost some of it's aircraft these got replaced with the Shorts Nightwatchman AEW.1 and a total of nine became operational. Sales to India and Saudi Arabia gave way to the Nightwatchman KC.1 tanker and Nightwatchman C.1.
Three Nightwatchman aircraft were converted to the designation R.1 with several ELINT export sales to undisclosed customers.
The Nightwatchman AEW.2 got the glass cockpit and system upgrades, with the same engines as those used by the Airbus Atlas. They remain in service with the RAF based at Waddington.


The contra-rotating propellers have been glued on I have filled in the cockpit with filler,  PSR is in progress.


[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]