The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod was a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft based on the de Havilland Comet, the world’s first jet airliner. Other roles were anti-surface warfare and search and rescue. The long-range Nimrod MR1 and MR2, with a normal crew of 12 and powered by four Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines and variously armed with air-to-surface missiles, torpedoes or mines, served with the Royal Air Force from the early 1970s until March 2010 when the fleet was withdrawn from service. The replacement Nimrod MRA4 project was cancelled and the airframes scrapped following the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Nimrod XV250 was built at Woodford as an MR.1 aircraft and first flown on 21 January 1971. It was delivered to RAF Kinloss on 18 February 1971 and was transferred to 203 Squadron at RAF Luqa, Malta on 4 February 1972. The aircraft returned to Kinloss in 1975 and was transferred to Woodford on 16 June 1982 for conversion to MR2 specification. It made its initial flight in that configuration on 10 June 1983 and was re-delivered to RAF Kinloss on 8 July 1983. Except for periods at RAF St Mawgan in the 1980s, XV250 remained based at Kinloss with deployments elsewhere until withdrawn from RAF service on 31 March 2010. The aircraft made its last flight to Elvington on 13 April 2010, where it is maintained in ground operational condition.