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Nimrod R.1 unveiled at Museum

Published on: 28 September 2012

Unveiled on Friday 28th September 2012

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford today officially unveiled its latest acquisition, the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249. The aircraft was unveiled to an invited audience including Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, retiring Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson and past and present personnel from No.51 Squadron, the only RAF Squadron to have flown the Nimrod R.1 during its forty years of service in the RAF.

The aircraft was officially handed over from the Royal Air Force to the Museum today when Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson passed on the aircraft’s Log Book.

RAF Museum Director General, Peter Dye, said:
“Maritime surveillance, anti-submarine operations and intelligence gathering have been key tasks for the Royal Air Force for much of its long history. When the Nimrod was finally retired from service in 2011, the type had operated with distinction for over 40 years in all these roles, and more. Given the importance of the aircraft and its unrivalled contribution to the frontline, the RAF Museum was determined to acquire an example for permanent exhibition. We are deeply grateful to those who flew in, maintained or otherwise supported the Nimrod during its long and faithful career.”

Nimrod R.1 XV249 is one of only four R.1 models from a total Nimrod production of 46 aircraft used by the RAF. It has flown for over 18,000 hours during its time in service, seeing service in both Malta and Libya. This latest addition to the Museum collection was flown by the Museum’s Curator and ex RAF Pilot Al McLean, during its earlier career.

RAF Museum Cosford Curator, Al McLean, said:
“We have been hoping for a Nimrod for some time now and although there were a number of technical challenges in actually getting one to Cosford we are very pleased to have an aircraft that actually flew in both the Maritime patrol and electronic intelligence gathering role.”

The Museum took delivery of the Nimrod fuselage in March when it arrived on a low loader lorry. The fuselage was escorted from Kemble, Gloucestershire with the load measuring some 38 metres in length. The wings and some remaining components of the aircraft were delivered in the following weeks and the aircraft was re-assembled on site this summer by specialist company Air Salvage International (ASI).

The aircraft is now on permanent display to the public at the RAF Museum Cosford. The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is FREE of charge.

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