The Avro Shackleton was a British long range maritime patrol and anti submarine aircraft which could also be used for Search and Rescue. Introduced into service in 1951, it was developed by British manufacturer A.V Roe from the Avro Lincoln bomber, itself being a development of the famous wartime Avro Lancaster bomber. It was also designed by the same Head Designer Roy Chadwick.
Initially used by the RAF is also entered into service with the South African Air Force (SAAF) in 1957, its four Rolls-Royce Griffin engines turned 13ft contra-rotating propellers, the distinctive sound of which gained it the nickname “Growler”.
Avro Shackleton WR693 was first flown in March 1954 and passed through a number of squadrons including 224, 210, 38 and 205 sqn. In June 1971 she was converted to AEW.2 specification with AEW radar installation and allocation to 8 Sqn the following year whilst acquiring the name ‘Ermintrude’. In July 1991 she was sold at auction to a private buyer and delivered to Coventry Airport having clocked up 15,483 hours flown.
LOCATION: Coventry Airport West
OWNER: Shackleton Preservation Trust
ROLE: Maritime Reconnaissance
LENGTH: 87ft 4in
ENGINE: 4 x Four Rolls-Royce Griffon 57 liquid-cooled V12 engines
MAXIMUM SPEED: 300mph
RANGE: 2,250 miles
ARMAMENT: 10,000lb of bombs, torpedoes or mines
Owned by the Shackleton Preservation Trust with the intent to fly her as at UK airshows, unfortunately with little progress WR693 and her sister aircraft WL790 were handed over to Air Atlantique to find a way to return one to flight in civilian ownership. WL790 was prepared and flown to the USA in 1994 and flew on for another 14 years with WR963 becoming a source of parts for her more able sister. In 1997 the Shackleton Preservation Trust was reformed to restore WR963 at Coventry, with the ultimate aim to make her airworthy again. In 2012 WR963 was registered as G-SKTN and she is currently in ground running and taxiable condition.