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25/10/2013

40th Anniversary of Nimrod XV250 Fincastle Trophy Win

On Sunday 3rd November the Yorkshire Air Museum will be marking the forthcoming 40th Anniversary of our 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, 203 Squadron, including some of the ground and support team, that took the aircraft to victory on 2nd December 1973, will be gathering at the Museum on 3rd November, for a reunion, and during the day will provide a presentation to our interested visitors on this significant win. Our 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 our 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, providing a great treat for our guests and visitors. 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 so doing, 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. (See information sheet for full details.)

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.

Issued by: Ian Richardson Communications Manager 01904 608595 / 07896 902 895

Vice Presidents: Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE ADC RAF, Chief of the Air Staff; Général Denis Mercier, Chief of the French Air Force; Général Jean-Paul Paloméros, Supreme Allied Commander NATO; His Grace the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu; Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB FRAeS; Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork MBE RAF; Ms Jan Leeming; M Paul Bogaert President Les Amicale des Groupes Lourds.