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Last Nimrod finds a home in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 07:11 25 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:46 01 July 2010

Nimrod Mk 2 lands at Norwich airport to be decommissioned and taken to  City of Norwich Aviation Museum

Nimrod Mk 2 lands at Norwich airport to be decommissioned and taken to City of Norwich Aviation Museum

Kate Scotter

The last of a fleet of an iconic British aircraft which had served the nation for more than three decades was yesterday flown to its new home in Norwich.

The last of a fleet of an iconic British aircraft which had served the nation for more than three decades was yesterday flown to its new home in Norwich.

The Royal Airforce formally retired its fleet of Nimrod MR2 maritime patrol aircraft at the end of March.

In a bid to save the planes, which had been destined to be scrapped, museums across the country stepped in to rehome them, enabling the general public to learn how the prestigious aircraft had provided more than 30 years of service in support of the UK Defence Policy both in the UK and overseas.

The final unallocated plane made its final flight from RAF Kinloss in Scotland to Norwich Airport. It will now be decommissioned and put on display at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum in Horsham St Faith.

Jessica Lamothe, museum assistant, said: “We are very proud to be able to add the Nimrod MR2 to our collection. It's a classic British aircraft and it will form part of our extensive electronic warfare collection.”

The Nimrod's RAF service and legacy extends back more than 40 years. Developed from the pioneering De Havilland Comet jet airliner, initial examples of the Nimrod MR1 entered RAF service in 1969.

A number of these were later upgraded to MR2 status.

The Nimrod MR2 was put into retirement at midnight on March 31. Throughout its three-decade service career, the Nimrod MR2 has been deployed to various conflict zones including the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Its premature withdrawal occurred in the aftermath of a major investigation into a fatal mid-air explosion experienced over Afghanistan in 2006, which resulted in the deaths of all 14 crew members on board.

The Nimrod MR2's place will be taken by the new Nimrod MRA4.

There were 11 Nimrod MR2s and the Norwich Aviation Museum got the last unallocated flyable one.

It is thought the decommissioning process will take a few weeks and then it will be put on display at the museum.

To find out more, go to www.cnam.co.uk

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