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Author Topic: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft  (Read 5574 times)

Offline MightyHunter

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MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« on: September 18, 2009, 01:12:38 AM »
For all interested in the MRA4 , the first production model PA04 ZJ514 flew for the first time on Thurs Sept 10th at approx 1600 GMT. After an uneventfull day carrying out 2 high speed aborts to test braking the aircraft took to the air and within 10 secs the gear was raised , Cheif Test Pilot Bill Oval commenced a hard turn to take a downwind right circuit to commence a fly past for the awaiting production staff in the hundreds to watch. A shake of the wings at 200ft with the howl of the MRA4 BR710s made it quite an emotional experience.

Keep your eyes posted as the hand over to the RAF happens in October but the aircraft will operate under RAF control at Warton for a mentioned time till Kinloss can accept it . PA05 and PA06 are not very far behind and the BAE staff are doing a fantastic job getting these jets ready in time . ISD at Kinloss still 31st Jan but reality says April 2010 at present .


Mightyhunter  ;D

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2009, 08:05:40 AM »
Thanks for the heads up. Here are a pic and specifications.

MRA4

General characteristics

    * Crew: 10
    * Length: 38.6 m (126 ft 9 in)
    * Wingspan: 38.71 m (127 ft)
    * Height: 9.45 m (31 ft)
    * Wing area: 235.8 m2 (2,538 sq ft)
    * Empty weight: 46,500 kg (102,515 lb)
    * Max takeoff weight: 105,376 kg (232,315 lb)
    * Powerplant: 4× Rolls-Royce BR710 turbofans, 68.97 kN (15,500 lbf) each

Performance

    * Maximum speed: Mach 0.77, 496 kn (571 mph, 918 km/h)
    * Range: 11,119 km (6,910 mi)
    * Service ceiling: 12,800 m (42,000 ft)

Armament

    * Guns: None
    * Hardpoints: 4 under-wing pylon stations and an internal bomb bay holding up to 22,000 lb (9,980 kg) of payload
    * Rockets: None
    * Missiles:
          o Air-to-air missile: 2 AIM-9 Sidewinder
          o Air-to-surface missile: AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-84 Harpoon, Storm Shadow
    * Bombs:
          o Depth charges
    * Others:
          o Air-dropped Mark 46 torpedos, Sting Ray torpedos
          o Naval mines


Offline MightyHunter

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 04:59:19 AM »
This one better

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhkflpKgkzw

MRA4 is awesome

Offline Webmaster

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 05:16:46 AM »
Thanks for posting the news and update on its progress!
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Offline Gripen

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 06:57:52 AM »
Not meaning to sound dumb, but that's very much like a Nimrod  ??? and to a lesser extent a Comet  ???

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 11:04:50 PM »
In fact you are right both times Gripe.
British aircraft design thinking seems to be still stuck back with the Comet.
They continue with placing the engines inside the wings whilst America led the way to engine pods.
The British must be very confident about their design being able to cope with engine fires or maybe they feel that they won't have any.
The problem of an engine fire in the wing is obvious.

Pods were also designed for quick Engine changes for leased airliners. Down time costs money and airlines don't want to know about taking half a wing apart to get at a faulty engine.
I guess making a profit never was an Air force problem.

Yep she sure is a super Nimrod too.

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2009, 11:19:16 AM »
Well, British designers being stuck on the Comet is not fair. It's because they are built using existing Nimrod airframes. Unwise decision, but that's what it is. Complete strip-down, and overhaul of the fuselage, and then refit it with new equipment, new wings, engines, etc, etc. The extent of work done to it is not to be underestimated, this isn't an upgrade. It was supposed to be a cheaper alternative to new airframes, and work for BAE as opposed to buying US. Turned out, BAE got more what it bargained for, as fitting new laser cut wings to the 1960s built airframe caused problems. Engineering problems, poor project management, and all the other stuff causing delays and more costs, it's another overly expensive aircraft for the RAF. Anyway numbers were cut down to deal with the costs, and other problems were sorted out, and at last it is flying, plus at the least (compared to some others, look up Chinook HC.3) looks to have been worth it... still needs to prove it though.

And I suppose, if BAE would have designed a new aircraft from scratch, it wouldn't have been as good, or it would have been even more expensive and not be flying today. The Germans however seemed to have been wise this time, and bought cheap refurbished Orions from the Netherlands to replace their Atlantiques. They aren't quite in the same league as these new MRA.4s though. That's probably like comparing a DC-10 to the A380. I'm not sure what France is doing, maybe some Airbus "P-8 like" project is in the works, which may have also been good for the RAF. However at the time, the only alternative was new or refurbished P-3s. From an enthousiast's point of view, I'm very happy they opted for the Nimrod 2000 as it was then known.

And come on, Grip, sticking a lower fuselage to the Comet design was just brilliant thinking.  ;)

About the engine-fire-in-wing problem. I'm not sure, but I don't think it's that big a deal. Engine fires are, whether it's podded or in the wing. But comparing the two, I suppose having an engine department with fire proofing with extinguishers is not less safe than a podded engine. Plus it isn't an airliner anymore, for a military plane it's really better to have them protected. And US designers don't seem reluctant to have internal engines either, especially not with stealth in mind (e.g. B-2). Then there's the Tu-16, Chinese are building them still, albeit somewhat developed. Plus as tanker, they could have just copied an imported Boeing or Airbus for that, but no they stuck with the ancient design and engine-in-wing. So I suppose it's really only the maintenance thing, surely they've sorted that out now. BAE should know how, compare a Tornado engine change with that of the Eurofighter and you see why I think that.

But what do I know, maybe our friend MightyHunter has some horror stories, and/or some information on changing engines on the Nimrod.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 11:36:34 AM by FF Admin »
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Offline Gripen

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2009, 01:01:25 PM »
Did they fix the window issue on the original Comet that made them crash, something to do with the shape of the windows and something on the roof that kept breaking and making the Comet..do what comets do and hit the ground rather fast?

Would the original Nimrods have that problem or was it well and truly fixed before the first Nimrod was designed

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 04:47:31 AM »
Nope, the first Nimrods were built from Comet 4s, the redesigned version.
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Offline AVIATOR

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 11:43:38 PM »
I think that Gripe meant that the British design thinking is still back with the Comets.
No one is questioning the British ability to have still have aviation technical excellence in what they do.


Offline Eldorado82

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2010, 08:24:58 PM »
yep remionds me Nimrod... has a striking beauty of an "old school " aircraft.
Remembering Steven "TigerShark" Zeluff

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Re: MRA4 - First Production Aircraft
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2010, 03:48:45 PM »
Update:

The flight test program was completed. PA01 and PA02 development airframes were retired in March 2010, flown to Woodford for storage, pending a decision on their fate. PA01 first flew on Aug 26, 2004 and flew 913 hours in 328 flights. PA02 first flew on Dec 15, 2004, and clocked up 753 hours in 236 test flights.

The third development aircraft, PA03, first flew on Aug 26, 2005 and made its last flight on Feb 15, 2008, after completing 205 hours in 64 test flight. Unlike PA01 and PA02, PA03 is converted to production standard and will become PA10, replacing previously allocated XV228 airframe.   

PA04 first production standard mentioned above was officially accepted on March 10, 2010, by the MOD which signals formal acceptance of the Nimrod MRA.4 and declared it "ready to train". PA04 moved to BAE's Warton, where a Transition Program will train RAF aircrew to instructors.

PA05 made its maiden flight on March 8, 2010, and was due for acceptance flight testing after being painted in RAF livery on March 22.

Pending official release to service and signing of a support contract, the MRA4s will move to RAF Kinloss this summer.
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