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Tornado stick top info

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Tornado stick top info

Old 27th Apr 2018, 17:40
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Tornado stick top info

Today i got 2 new additions to my Tornado collection, a combined airspeed and mach indicator and my favorite toy, a control stick top. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the various buttons did, and if there is a way to find out when it was actually fitted to the aircraft (ZA369) its obvious that the red ones with guards are to release weapons and fire guns but there are various other things which I would like to find out. There is a plate screwed onto it which has a date code which looks like 3QBE0696 im guessing 06 is the month and 96 is the year but is that the year it was made, when it was fitted or when it was removed? the date on the paperwork that came with it is 27/02/02 that is probably when it was removed.
I'm considering removing the connecting cables as it will never be connected again and they just get in the way. It looks like I need a special star shaped tool to remove them.
Is there any way I can find out the service history of that particular aircraft, it would be cool to find out if it saw action when my stick top was fitted. It is amusing that the pilot has drawn a face on the weapons release button, although I suppose it could have been done as a joke by the technician who fitted it.
I saw similar grips which all state it is pre HOTAS, i know what that means but its a bit confusing as i would consider it is HOTAS, perhaps it was a more simple system but I still think it would be considered HOTAS.
The circled areas are the bits I would like to know more about.
Cheers.[img]
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr[/img][img]

by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr[/img]
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 17:45
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It's been a few years but....

the big one in the top pic is the pitch & roll trim, the big one in the bottom pic is the ICO (Instinctive Cut-Out) which disconnects all Autopilot functions.

The rest are confusing me a little as I'm sure there was a Press-to-Transmit toggle switch on the control column which allowed transmission on either Box 1, Box 2 or both radios but I can't see it. I think the other buttons were part of the HOTAS for the Autopilot & TFR system, which could be complicated to remember until someone came up with the easier TBM (Top Bottom Middle = Take Back Manual (flying control)) or MBT (Middle Bottom Top = More Bloody TFR).

HTH.
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 17:53
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Crying out for some copper wire and lead seals...no it's not hotas and on GR4 used on trainer variant in rear cockpit.
Note the twin micro switches on trigger and trim ahhh proper fbw engineering!

Last edited by glad rag; 27th Apr 2018 at 18:03.
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 18:17
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See entry for ZA369 at following link. If you hover your cursor over the info button on the right is will bring up a box with some details.

UK Serials
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 18:29
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Originally Posted by glad rag View Post
Crying out for some copper wire and lead seals...no it's not hotas and on GR4 used on trainer variant in rear cockpit.
Note the twin micro switches on trigger and trim ahhh proper fbw engineering!
So its not the pilots control?
:-(
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 18:36
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Originally Posted by just another jocky View Post
It's been a few years but....

the big one in the top pic is the pitch & roll trim, the big one in the bottom pic is the ICO (Instinctive Cut-Out) which disconnects all Autopilot functions.

The rest are confusing me a little as I'm sure there was a Press-to-Transmit toggle switch on the control column which allowed transmission on either Box 1, Box 2 or both radios but I can't see it. I think the other buttons were part of the HOTAS for the Autopilot & TFR system, which could be complicated to remember until someone came up with the easier TBM (Top Bottom Middle = Take Back Manual (flying control)) or MBT (Middle Bottom Top = More Bloody TFR).

HTH.
Thank you very much fir the info.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 09:25
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Originally Posted by Jayviator View Post
So its not the pilots control?
:-(
It is a Tornado Pilot flying control sticktop. If it is from a rear cockpit, it would be from a Trainer version that had control stick and throttles in both cockpit positions, the normal Strike version had only a Nav hand controller for Nav/Attack system inputs in the rear position, roughly where the "stick" was in a trainer version.
The blank at the top left, to left of the rectangular trim button, was, if I recall correctly, where the the Autopilot engage/disengage button was originally, the same type as the small silver coloured ones further down on the LHS. However, that little silver button on the top left could get caught in the anti-G trousers during a full left deflection of the control stick. I believe this may have been responsible for fatal accidents. The switch was relocated and the blank fitted to prevent snagging.

OAP
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 09:30
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OAP, that makes sense now, thatís why we used to stitch down the LH thigh pocket flap on speed slacks and goon bags (even on the air display variant) 😂.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 10:43
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Originally Posted by glad rag View Post
Crying out for some copper wire and lead seals...no it's not hotas and on GR4 used on trainer variant in rear cockpit.
Note the twin micro switches on trigger and trim ahhh proper fbw engineering!
Don't recall there being a trigger on the rear seat control column.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 11:30
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Originally Posted by Onceapilot View Post
It is a Tornado Pilot flying control sticktop. If it is from a rear cockpit, it would be from a Trainer version that had control stick and throttles in both cockpit positions, the normal Strike version had only a Nav hand controller for Nav/Attack system inputs in the rear position, roughly where the "stick" was in a trainer version.
The blank at the top left, to left of the rectangular trim button, was, if I recall correctly, where the the Autopilot engage/disengage button was originally, the same type as the small silver coloured ones further down on the LHS. However, that little silver button on the top left could get caught in the anti-G trousers during a full left deflection of the control stick. I believe this may have been responsible for fatal accidents. The switch was relocated and the blank fitted to prevent snagging.

OAP
Thanks for the additional info, i guess I really need to find out if ZA369 was a trainer, the form says GR4 and I have bene trying to find out more about that aircraft I cannot see anything about it being a trainer, wouldn't it be a GR4T? maybe they might just not give the full designation, I cant really find out much about the trainer variant i have type in Tornado GR4 trainer and cannot find any photos of them especially showing the cockpit.
I have a feeling even though the form says GR4 my stick is probably from when it was converted from a GR1 to GR4 thats why it was removed as there seems to be no faults with it on the form it just gives the reason for removal as Redunant followed by a MOD code.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 11:52
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Originally Posted by Jayviator View Post
Thanks for the additional info, i guess I really need to find out if ZA369 was a trainer, the form says GR4 and I have bene trying to find out more about that aircraft I cannot see anything about it being a trainer, wouldn't it be a GR4T? maybe they might just not give the full designation, I cant really find out much about the trainer variant i have type in Tornado GR4 trainer and cannot find any photos of them especially showing the cockpit.
I have a feeling even though the form says GR4 my stick is probably from when it was converted from a GR1 to GR4 thats why it was removed as there seems to be no faults with it on the form it just gives the reason for removal as Redunant followed by a MOD code.

IIRC the top button was PTT and side AP Engage on those stick tops. It was a long time ago and am happy to be corrected.

It could well have come from a GR4 as the first GR4 through MLU didn't have the HOTAS and other mods embodied.

I don't think there were that many non HOTAS GR4 so yours could be reasonably rare
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 12:10
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Last flew one 22 years ago but ZA369 was a recce variant GR1A then converted to GR4A not a trainer. The bottom most button on the left hand side was an Ďeventí record button, useful if you passed an unscheduled recce target, it would provide the PIís (photographic interpreters) with a time marker on the video tapes.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 12:34
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Originally Posted by insty66 View Post
IIRC the top button was PTT and side AP Engage on those stick tops. It was a long time ago and am happy to be corrected.
Might have been but, not certain now!

OAP
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 13:22
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Originally Posted by Jayviator View Post
...I cannot see anything about it being a trainer, wouldn't it be a GR4T?
In strict terms it wasn't a 'trainer' being intended to be used for operational conversion; the aircrew had already been trained to fly. I believe the sensitivity to the term 'trainer' is to avoid the politicians challenge, "Why are we paying this much for a Trainer?". The GR1 and GR4 designations covered both the single and twin stick variants. The GR1A and GR4A designations covered the Recce versions. For completeness, the GR1B was the maritime attack version which was converted to carry the Sea Eagle missile but I'm not sure the designation was used very much by the Service.

EAP
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 13:50
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ZA369 had the production serial BS051 indicating that it was a Strike variant and not a Trainer (they were BT0XX). Therefore, if this stick was from ZA369 it was from when it was a GR1. Just a little to add on the buttons etc: The ICO paddle switch on the lower front of the handgrip disengaged the nosewheel steering as well as instantly disengaging the autopilot and flight director. The autopilot engage/disengage button that had been removed and was formerly located to the left of the pitch/roll trim switch was removed as part of mod 1749 (from memory) which was the fitment of the Autopilot and Flight Director System control panel on top of the left coaming. The black cover over the weapon release button was, I believe, later removed once the nuclear delivery option ceased (it certainly was removed from the rear cockpit stick of trainer variants of GR4 and F3). The top button on the left of the handgrip was the radio transmit button and I cannot remember what the bottom was and I don't remember ever using it; it may have been a radio mute button. I will do some research.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 18:10
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK View Post
ZA369 had the production serial BS051 indicating that it was a Strike variant and not a Trainer (they were BT0XX). Therefore, if this stick was from ZA369 it was from when it was a GR1. Just a little to add on the buttons etc: The ICO paddle switch on the lower front of the handgrip disengaged the nosewheel steering as well as instantly disengaging the autopilot and flight director. The autopilot engage/disengage button that had been removed and was formerly located to the left of the pitch/roll trim switch was removed as part of mod 1749 (from memory) which was the fitment of the Autopilot and Flight Director System control panel on top of the left coaming. The black cover over the weapon release button was, I believe, later removed once the nuclear delivery option ceased (it certainly was removed from the rear cockpit stick of trainer variants of GR4 and F3). The top button on the left of the handgrip was the radio transmit button and I cannot remember what the bottom was and I don't remember ever using it; it may have been a radio mute button. I will do some research.
Yup. forgot about the NWS cutout..

Probably is a GR1 (non-HOTAS) stick then.....must admit I'd forgotten what they were like. The GR4 stick was much, much better.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 18:35
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There you go Jayviator, lots of info, esp from Lom!

OAP
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 22:09
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK View Post
ZA369 had the production serial BS051 indicating that it was a Strike variant and not a Trainer (they were BT0XX). Therefore, if this stick was from ZA369 it was from when it was a GR1. Just a little to add on the buttons etc: The ICO paddle switch on the lower front of the handgrip disengaged the nosewheel steering as well as instantly disengaging the autopilot and flight director. The autopilot engage/disengage button that had been removed and was formerly located to the left of the pitch/roll trim switch was removed as part of mod 1749 (from memory) which was the fitment of the Autopilot and Flight Director System control panel on top of the left coaming. The black cover over the weapon release button was, I believe, later removed once the nuclear delivery option ceased (it certainly was removed from the rear cockpit stick of trainer variants of GR4 and F3). The top button on the left of the handgrip was the radio transmit button and I cannot remember what the bottom was and I don't remember ever using it; it may have been a radio mute button. I will do some research.
Cheers that is very helpful, I think the stick must be from ZA369 as that's the serial on the MOD form 731 which also has a part serial number which corresponds to the serial on the info plate on the stick. It looks like it wasn't a trainer version as you say because of the production serial number. Were the trainers built for that purpose or were they just modified? I did notice that this aircraft was one of 3 GR1As that served with the RAF component TTTE and it was a recce version, again I ask were the recce versions built for that purpose or could they be quite easily modified and converted back to a strike role, or could it have started life as a GR1 and then got converted to GR1A, really what i would like to know if the Tornado my stick is from (even if its possible the stick was not the original) has seen any combat. I would like to know if it has and someone suggested i try contacting the MOD and seeing of they can give me any additional info on it like what operations it was involved in, if it was only ever used as a recce aircraft then their will probably be not much info available.
Thanks once again to everyone who had helped me with my inquiry it is very much appreciated.
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 22:25
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Originally Posted by EXFIN View Post
Last flew one 22 years ago but ZA369 was a recce variant GR1A then converted to GR4A not a trainer. The bottom most button on the left hand side was an Ďeventí record button, useful if you passed an unscheduled recce target, it would provide the PIís (photographic interpreters) with a time marker on the video tapes.
Apologies, for some reason I missed your message, I just found out the info from searching around a bit, well the bit about it being a recce variant, but thanks for the info on the event record button, so can i assume that the standard GR1 stick did not have that button? I see that the cannons were removed on the recce version so did the trigger on the stick have another purpose or was it simply redundant, I also read that the recce variants were still able to carry and drop weapons so there is still a small chance that red button on my stick might have been used in anger, it is amusing that someone has drawn a face on the weapon release button, i guess the pilot did it, was that common practice?
Thanks for your help
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Old 28th Apr 2018, 22:32
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Originally Posted by insty66 View Post
IIRC the top button was PTT and side AP Engage on those stick tops. It was a long time ago and am happy to be corrected.

It could well have come from a GR4 as the first GR4 through MLU didn't have the HOTAS and other mods embodied.

I don't think there were that many non HOTAS GR4 so yours could be reasonably rare
Cheers for the info, that would be interesting if it was that case, it certainly says GR4 on the form which is dated 27/02/02 as there seem to be no fault recorded on the stick so I recon it was removed to be replaced with the HOTAS stick
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