Thousands lined the fields around RAF Marham to wait for a flypast of a Royal Air Force legend.The Panavia Tornado has served with the RAF since 1982 when the first aircraft were introduced to a frontline squadron at RAF Honington. Since then along with the F-variant used for air to air interceptor missions the Tornado has seen plenty of active service since the first Gulf war in 1991. Deployed over Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq during and following the second invasion and more recently Syria the Jet has been the back bone of British air combat capabilities. By the end of March 2019 the iconic swept wing, twin engined fast jet, with its distinctive large tail fin will leave service completely for good. The aircraft featured heavily in the first Gulf conflict and was immortalised in the story of “Tornado Down” when an RAF Tornado was shot down whilst on a mission over enemy territory. Flying low over the desert the aircraft was struck by a surface to air missile, whilst it held on long enough to allow the pilot and navigator to escape the aircraft went down. With upgrades to systems the famous Tornado would go on to serve with distinction for another 28 years.
Aerospace & Aviation 2019
Image: © Crown copyright 2019