Developed from the Avro Lincoln - which had itself been developed from the iconic WWII Avro Lancaster heavy bomber, the Avro Shackleton emerged out of Britain’s concern with the rapid post-war expansion of the Soviet Navy - especially its submarine arm.
Flown by both the RAF and the South African Airforce (SAAF), it was designed to fill the gap in both countries long-range maritime surveillance and interdiction forces and was furnished with extensive anti-submarine electronics for its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission whilst also providing a much improved crew environment to accommodate the long mission times involved in patrol work.
The first Shackleton was delivered to No. 120 Squadron RAF in March 1952 and by the end of 1952, seven more squadrons were operating the type, with the first operational deployment of the Shackleton occurring in 1955 as a troop-transport for British Army movements to Cyprus.
Maritime reconnaissance was a large element of the Shackleton's mission as it identified and monitored naval and merchant shipping whilst also demonstrating Britain's sovereignty.
During the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation in the 1960s, Shackletons monitored the region for vessels involved in arms smuggling. Similar operations were conducted in Cyprus, and Shackletons operating from bases in Madagascar cooperated with Royal Navy vessels to enforce a United Nation-mandated oil blockade of Rhodesia.
With its ten crew comprising: two pilots, two navigators, a flight engineer, an air electronics officer, and four air electronics operators the aircraft underwent numerous upgrades to keep pace with advances in Soviet naval technology. To that end it was also equipped with nuclear depth charges to counter the Soviet’s new deep diving submarine fleet and silent running power-plants.
The Shackleton also found itself being used to perform search and rescue missions, with one crewed aircraft on permanent standby in the UK. Other roles included weather reconnaissance and transport duties, in the latter role each Shackleton could carry freight panniers in the bomb bay or up to 16 fully equipped soldiers.
In 1969, a jet-powered replacement patrol aircraft, the Pv-2 Nimrod, began to enter RAF service, taking over many of the Shackleton’s maritime roles and it was eventually phased out of service.
In February, 1994 one of only two of remaining operational Shackletons departed Cape Town, South Africa for an airshow in the UK. Beset with engine problems it crash landed in the desert at night with all crew surviving - a real testimony to the skills of its pilots and the ruggedness of its airframe. A fascinating documentary of this flight and crash ‘Death of the Pelican 16’
All Avro Shackleton Instruments listed below come complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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AVRO SHACKLETON SPERRY 6A/3849 Mk3C ARTIFICIAL HORIZON
Sperry 6/A3849 Mk3C Artificial Horizon Indicator installed in the 1950s...
AVRO SHACKLETON, SMITHS KAE 0701W ACCELEROMETER
Rare, working Avro Shackleton, Smiths KAE 0701W Accelerometer
AVRO SHACKLETON KELVIN & HUGHES Mk 3(P) RATE OF CLIMB INDICATOR
Rare Cold War, maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft, Avro Shackleton...
AVRO SHACKLETON AIR MINISTRY 1949, Mk9G 6A/3146 490 kt AIRSPEED INDICATOR
Rare Cold War 1949 Air Ministry 490kt Air Speed Indicator...