Zandvlei Trust

The engine run of the Shackleton on 25 January 2014
                                               at Ysterplaat, Cape Town.

A tribute to the people and organisations who strive to keep this remaining Shackleton airworthy.

Promoting the airplane homebuilding industry in South Africa.
Contact Gavin Lawson  if you are a homebuilder and require aircraft parts made or refurbished.



The gates were open from 10h00 for those interested to witness the process of starting the engines.
Gates close at 11h00. If you are late you may listen from outside. 
It is a military base, so things are run this way.

The process of pulling the plane out of the hangar started long before the first arrivals.

Here she comes going around the bend, "mind your head, hey you with the camera".

Looks like it has a smiley mouth, happy to be out in the fresh air on a beautiful day.

The wing tip going overhead.

Into position on the display area.

Look at those wonderful Merlin engines with counter rotating props.

Everybody getting final instructions and going over the processes.

The organisations who sponsor equipment, products and services to make it happen.
Thank you and well done, it is appreciated by those not directly involved.

Now to putting some fuel into the tanks. Two 210 litre drums are emptied into each wing tank. 
Effectively 200 litres per engine.

That is highly flamible 100 octane avgas, so there are strict rules and practise to carry out.

Now to the other side.

Same process this side.

The headquarters outside where it all happens.

Some of the people who have come, waiting in anticipation "to see, hear and feel the roar of the engines".

Nearly done.

Here we go, the 2nd engine is fired up and running. First to start was the inner one.

No 3 starting up, with the first at a slow idle. 

No 4 puffed into life. The other engines are begining to warm up.

Full throttle 10,000 horse power revving life into this bird. One can feel the display area vibrating.
The tail fins are flapping in the prop wash. The sound is unbelievable if you are an engine man.
We can feel the air vibrate and pulse as the air is sucked into those engine intakes.

The crowd enjoying this seldom seen and heard spectical.

....and the engines are cut. Wow, that was wonderful!

Then it is close the hatches and the fire engines which have been on stand by all morning, 
open up with the fire canons to wash down the plane. 
Table Mountain in the back ground makes this a unique event.

It really gets a wash.

All clean and fresh, looks like it has just come out of the factory, brand new.

Now is a chance to get up close, and see and speak to the people who make it happen.

Three of the operator crew posing for photo requests.

A chance to see inside the bay. Also to ask questions and listen to others discussing 
different aspects of the plane.

Inside the bay, looking toward the front and access ladder into the cockpit and load deck.

Look at all the wiring, hydraulic tubing and ducts on the underside of the framework.

The proud emblem of the unit.

Time to start putting "her" away for the day.

Slowly being pushed backwards to the hangar.

This helps give some perspective of the size. It is a large plane.

The trolleys have to be pushed into place, they are not light weight either. The double wheels of the plane
will be towed up onto the trolleys. Tape measures are involved to make sure everthing is correctly aligned.

A last view from side on.

The tug pulling the plane into the hangar slowly, people checking the front and back clearances
and calling out "OK" to the driver Sargent Potgieter. He has many hours and service on this plane
and others as well.

This is the tail section going in.

That is the clearance of the tail going in as it passes the building frame work. It is about 100mm 
clearance at this end.

Last thing is to get the steps into place, to let the lucky people who experienced the event from inside in plane.

Thank you again for the experience.


Top of page  Back  Home