This Nimrod has the unique distinction of having existed in all three versions of the aircraft. Built as a MR1 in 1970 it was withdrawn from service at the end of 1983 and converted to MR2 standard, returning to operations in 1985. In 1992 it was placed in storage at Kinloss along with two other MR2's and this could well have been the end of its flying career. However on 16th May 1995 one of 51 Sqn's three R1 (XW666) ditched in the Moray firth and was written off (without injury to the crew). As a result XV249 was brought out of storage and converted to R1 standard as a replacement.
This SIGINT Nimrod ditched into the Moray Firth after an engine fire on the 15th May 1995 but, fortunately, all the crew survived. Parts of the wreckage were salvaged and the cockpit section is now on display at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum/Aeroventure.
One of the newest exhibits to join the wonderful RAF Museum at Cosford. Note the 51 Sqn red goose aft of the flightdeck and the RAF Wyton crest on the tail (the port side has the equivalent crest from RAF Waddington). Alas, a museum attendant wouldn't let me move the cones.
Based on the Comet airliner, the Nimrod was mainly a maritime patrol type but a few aircraft were equipped for electronic eavesdropping work. The two remaining Nimrod R1s were the last Nimrods to retire in 2011.