The Avro Shackleton was a British long-range aircraft developed during the late 1940s from the Lincoln bomber. It was primarily used in the ASW and MPA roles, but later it was also deployed as a SAR and AEW platform. The first prototype flew in March 1949 and ensuing production aircraft were designated the MR.1. The MR.2 was an improved version, featuring numerous refinements.
The Type 716 Shackleton MR.3, first flying in September 1955, was another redesign of the airframe, with a tricycle undercarriage replacing the original tailwheel configuration and featuring increased fuselage and new wings with tip tanks. It was a mid-wing monoplane of an all-metal stressed-skin construction, powered by four R-R Griffons with contra-rotating propellers. The aircraft underwent several phased modifications which included the internal changes, ECM equipment and later the addition of two turbojets for assisted take-off. The weapons capability was upgraded, which included bombs, torpedoes, mines or depth-charges up to 10,000 lb/4,536 kg; the aircraft was fitted with two cannons in the nose and another two 20 mm guns in the dorsal turret.
The MR.3 entered service with the RAF in August 1957. The RAF ordered 52 aircraft but following the 1956 Defence Review the number was reduced to 34 aircraft. The last RAF Shackletons were retired in 1991. This type was also operated by the South African Air Force, which received eight aircraft and used them between 1957 and 1984.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Avro Shackleton MR.3, WR975/203-F, No.203 Sq., RAF, Ballykelly Air Base, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, U.K., 1960
2) Avro Shackleton MR.3, WR987/201-R, No.201 Sq., RAF, St. Mawgan Air Base, Cornwall, U.K., 1958
3) Avro Shackleton MR.3 (Phase II), XF730/120-B, No.120 Sq., RAF, Kinloss Air Base, Moray, Scotland, U.K., 1965
4) Avro Shackleton MR.3, 1716/J, No.35 Sq., SAAF, Air Force Base Ysterplaat, Cape Town, South Africa, 1957
5) Avro Shackleton MR.3 (Phase II), 1722/P, No.35 Sq., SAAF, Air Force Base Ysterplaat, Cape Town, South Africa, the 1960s
6) Avro Shackleton MR.3 (Phase II), 1717/O, No.35 Sq., SAAF, Air Force Base Ysterplaat, Cape Town, South Africa, the 1960s