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Yorkshire Air Museum Celebrate Nimrod XV250 Anniversary

Fincastle Line Up

6:00am 3rd November 2013

Today Yorkshire Air Museum are marking the forthcoming 40th Anniversary of their Nimrod MR2 XV250’s triumph in the 1973 Fincastle Trophy, which was an air force challenge between the nations of the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. (At that time XV250 was still configured as a MR1 aircraft.)

Members of Crew 9, No. 203 Squadron RAF Luqa (Malta), including some of the ground and support team, that took the aircraft to victory on 2nd December 1973, will be gathering at the Museum today (3rd November), for a reunion, and during the day will provide a presentation to visitors on this significant win. The Nimrod Team, who look after XV250 keeping her in pristine condition, since her flying into YAM on 13th April 2010, will also conduct a presentation about their work.

The event coincides with one of the museums scheduled “anti-deterioration” engine runs of the Nimrod, as part of the aircrafts regular maintenance, so the four Rolls Royce Spey engines of the Nimrod will be fired up.

The Fincastle Trophy can trace its origins back to 1960, when Mr. and Mrs. Aird-Whyte presented a silver rose bowl to the RAF in memory of their son, Sergeant Nairn Fincastle Aird-Whyte, who was killed during WWII in 1943 when flying with Coastal Command.

Mr and Mrs Aird-Whyte then presented a second trophy, in the form of a silver tray. Initially, the  trophies were for competitions for accuracy in depth charge bombing, but they later evolved to reflect the higher level duties of  more modern air forces. In doing so, say the museum, it fostered relationships between the competing nations and encouraged learning and skill development and sharing.  It was fiercely competed for, with national pride at stake.

“It will be fantastic to have members of both the air and ground crew from Crew 9 203 Squadron, 1973 here at Elvington, to mark that historic occasion and re-acquaint themselves with the aircraft that they are all so familiar with.  This includes Fl. Lt. Colin Hughes, who captained the aircraft and team to victory, along with AEOp Sgt. Chris Tamblyn, the electronics operative who picked up the faint signal from the ‘target’ vessel, the RAN submarine Oxley, on the extreme edge of the competition area and in severe weather conditions to clinch the win.”

The day will feature a short commemoration Service in the Museum Chapel, followed by the engine run and then, after lunch, the presentations will take place in the Museum’s conference and function room. A special commemorative print of Nimrod XV250 in her Fincastle markings will be available, along with an opportunity to have this signed by the crew attending for a unique memento of the occasion.


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