Maritime Monitor - Avro Shackleton AEW.2 - 8 Squadron
Avro Shackleton 8 Squadron British Aviation Art Print by Aircraft Artist Stephen Chard GAvA
The last piston-engined aircraft to serve with the RAF, the Avro Shacleton had begun its service as a replacement for both the Handley Page Halifax and its predecessor, the Lancaster, in the maritime reconnaissance role. In addition to this primary role, the 'Growler', as the aircraft was affectionately known, would serve as a bomber in the last days of British involvement in the Far East. .
Squadrons of the RAF would have seen the aircraft disappear from the inventory in the early 1970s with the advent of the Nimrod but a reprieve came with the need for an Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft to replace the Fairey Gannet, which had left service with the decommissioning of HMS Ark Royal. To give both the Royal Navy and RAF an AEW capability, a small number of Mk.2 aircraft were refurbished with the radar from the Gannet and entered service with 8 Squadron.
In this role, the Shackleton would not be finally retired until 1991 and the introduction into service of the Sentry AEW aircraft.