Aeroplane Monthly 1993-12
Personal album
Re-supply of Masirah was by air, apart from fuel and bombs. The aircraft was known as the “RSM” because of its route from Khormaksar - Riyan, Salalah, Masirah, Salalah and Masirah. The gaggle of people standing around 47 Sqn Beverley XB264 were probably waiting for the mail!
214 Shackletons in loose formation at 10,000ft over the Omani desert. There was another Shack out to starboard and another loose vic two miles behind.
Maintenance facilities were basic. Shackleton MR.2 WL752 is pictured during an engine change, carried out in the open using only the basic necessities of ground equipment - fortunately, clear blue skies were guaranteed.
Shackleton MR.2 WR969, en route from Gibraltar to Masirah, during a few days stopover at RAF Khormaksar, Aden for acclimatisation. The hardstanding appears to be rolled salt - effective, but dazzling to look at. The ground equipment was getting a bit antiquated even then, but it worked. Note that Shackletons were still fitted with twin 20mm cannon in the nose although the mid-upper turrets had been removed some two years earlier.
The replacement ECU (Engine Change Unit) for this Shackleton is readied for final lifting into position, which was done with an ancient Coles crane - crude, but in this case very effective.
Fortunately, Masirah was blessed with a superb crane/operator combination and if a movement of only a thou or two was called for, that, reputedly, was what was given. Together with an excellent team of tradesmen, it ensured that the task was completed in normal time with no problems.
M. J. Pettet looking a bit pensive but not at all worried about being in control of a Shackleton. Why wear a lifejacket over a desert? - this photograph was taken over the Arabian Sea.