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Tornado GR4 last flight

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Tornado GR4 last flight

Old 6th Mar 2019, 10:19
  #321 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Buster15 View Post
That is far too sensible an idea. It appears to me that they could not even wait until the end of March to retire them as planned.
Thats an interesting comment and one that had struck me as well. If you go back a few years there was definitely precedent for types to be retained and flown right up until OSD and sometimes beyond. The Lightning is one example, where in the case of both 5 and 11 squadrons they flew on well past the formal squadron stand downs. Nowadays I expect it comes down to MAA regs and the nature of the support agreements in place with BAES, in that ANY extension of flying past 31st March would probably come at a eye-watering cost!
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 12:53
  #322 (permalink)  
 
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I heard one of the ‘Diamond 9’ was ZD848 (BC). She would have been 34-years old.

That had me dusting off my logbook to reveal 41 sorties between Aug 85 and Aug 88 which read like a history of RAFG operations at the height of the Cold War:

SSPs (remember them?); laydown and dive at Nordhorn, Vliehors and Siegenburg; ‘bounce’ sorties on the North German plain; multiple low-level attack formations; MALLET BLOW; air combat training (including one memorable sortie when the SPILS failed and the aircraft departed; we were within a second or two of ejection); WPC at Capo de Frasca; ACMI at Deci; dissimilar air combat (2 + 1 v 3); OLF at Goose Bay; and the highlight, RED FLAG.

Some amazing memories.

But mostly very precious memories of a fine bunch of people not all of whom saw their children grow up. How many I wonder? We should remember them all.

Maybe we need another thread as a tribute to those who gave their lives during the 40 years of Tornado.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 15:43
  #323 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MMHendrie1 View Post
I heard one of the ‘Diamond 9’ was ZD848 (BC). She would have been 34-years old.

That had me dusting off my logbook to reveal 41 sorties between Aug 85 and Aug 88 which read like a history of RAFG operations at the height of the Cold War:

SSPs (remember them?); laydown and dive at Nordhorn, Vliehors and Siegenburg; ‘bounce’ sorties on the North German plain; multiple low-level attack formations; MALLET BLOW; air combat training (including one memorable sortie when the SPILS failed and the aircraft departed; we were within a second or two of ejection); WPC at Capo de Frasca; ACMI at Deci; dissimilar air combat (2 + 1 v 3); OLF at Goose Bay; and the highlight, RED FLAG.

Some amazing memories.

But mostly very precious memories of a fine bunch of people not all of whom saw their children grow up. How many I wonder? We should remember them all.

Maybe we need another thread as a tribute to those who gave their lives during the 40 years of Tornado.
Excellent idea. Tornado was and by the way still is a massive programme with FlightGlobal saying that around 250 remain in service.
However, for the UK all the skills and knowledge and memories will rapidly fade away and soon be forgotten.

I worked on the engines during the development, production and in service working very closely with the RAF and I have many friends who did the same.
It would be a great shame for these memories not to be recorded somewhere.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 18:01
  #324 (permalink)  
 
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One noted today over Oakham, coming back from the Mersey area, over Rutland Water, before doing an approach at Lakenheath, presumably went back to Marham.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 18:13
  #325 (permalink)  
 
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It appears to me that they could not even wait until the end of March to retire them as planned.
How do you come to that conclusion?

They are still flying this week, so those aircrew are now current until beyond 31 March. There comes a point when no more routine flying is needed to sustain the required capability until the end of the funded period. My understanding is that the aircraft remain ‘on the hook’ for operations until the end of March; they just don’t need to fly them routinely for much longer. That is sensible risk management.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 19:00
  #326 (permalink)  
 
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I remember being shown a Tornado engine, in pristine condition. I am not an engineer, but was struck by the sheer beauty, almost filigree in detail.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 21:15
  #327 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Buster15 View Post
That is far too sensible an idea. It appears to me that they could not even wait until the end of March to retire them as planned.
Really?
One of my mates photographed them taking off today so that isn't true at all.

They will also try to get one airborne for the second (and final, final...) Enthusiast's Day on Friday.

If I didn't have so much work to do over the next few weeks I'd take some time off to try to capture the Bat special. Sadly it's not to be - no more time off for me until the summer.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 08:38
  #328 (permalink)  
 
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IIRC, the squadrons' disbandment is on 14 Mar; will Tornadoes fly on that occasion?
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 09:16
  #329 (permalink)  
 
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One jet will be involved in a flypast over the disbandment parade on March 14th, but any flying after that is TBD. I'd have presumed there wouldn't be any more flying after that date.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 11:20
  #330 (permalink)  
 
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Flying today in respect of another great loss:

https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/tornado...pley-1-5922444
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Old 14th Mar 2019, 21:49
  #331 (permalink)  
 
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Today just sucks.
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Old 14th Mar 2019, 23:04
  #332 (permalink)  
 
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Presume RTP at RAF Leeming will also close soon.
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Old 15th Mar 2019, 19:38
  #333 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by N707ZS View Post
Presume RTP at RAF Leeming will also close soon.
It already has.
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Old 15th Mar 2019, 21:50
  #334 (permalink)  
 
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The RUSI has a decent academic obituary of the Tornado here;

https://rusi.org/multimedia/panavia-...944a2-46338801

The video lasts 13:50 minutes. A lot of experienced aircrew talking heads.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 01:40
  #335 (permalink)  
 
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Should really have been strangled at birth.

And we should be watching the last flight of the Buccaneer Mk3 - Now that would have been sad!
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 07:37
  #336 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
Should really have been strangled at birth.

And we should be watching the last flight of the Buccaneer Mk3 - Now that would have been sad!
That post shows so much empathy, thanks.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 08:33
  #337 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
Should really have been strangled at birth.

And we should be watching the last flight of the Buccaneer Mk3 - Now that would have been sad!
You’re entitled to your opinion... but you’re wrong. The Tornado is arguably the most significant and long-lasting fast-jet in the history of the Royal Air Force.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 09:35
  #338 (permalink)  
 
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Smile

Originally Posted by frodo_monkey View Post


You’re entitled to your opinion... but you’re wrong. The Tornado is arguably the most significant and long-lasting fast-jet in the history of the Royal Air Force.
Of course I was taking the pi** a bit,

The Tornado did superb service. In many ways it was the right machine at the right time.
It is amazing though that it has lasted after GW1 when low level largely lost its attraction - It's not the machine you would chose to be a medium level bomber is it!

If you think I am being disloyal to the blokes that flew them - I'm not. Just realistic I think that they would have done an even better job with a upgraded Bucc or Strike Eagles!

As at the end of the day it is just a lump of metal - which is brought to life by the men that operate them. I am privileged to have seen some superb skill being displayed by Tornado crews at times - Especially the 617 crew that dropped the very low boomer over me


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Old 16th Mar 2019, 09:53
  #339 (permalink)  
 
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Did I miss the last flights?

Hi all,

My dad Russ Pengelly was a test pilot on Tornado and was killed flying prototype P.08 in June 1979. I failed to get into the RAF due to an allergy to cats and aside from 15 years instructing in gliders and about 150h on SSEP a few years ago i'm not involved in aviation. The Tornado has always been part of my life and I'd wanted to see her fly one last time but the past few months at work has been 7d/w and at least 15h/d, so i've missed pretty much everything going on in life. I think I missed the last flight a few days ago from skimming this thread but if anyone knows differently then please let me know as I'd dearly love to see one fly to say goodbye.

Kind regards
Jim
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 10:01
  #340 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by MMHendrie1 View Post
I heard one of the ‘Diamond 9’ was ZD848 (BC). She would have been 34-years old.

That had me dusting off my logbook to reveal 41 sorties between Aug 85 and Aug 88 which read like a history of RAFG operations at the height of the Cold War:

SSPs (remember them?); laydown and dive at Nordhorn, Vliehors and Siegenburg; ‘bounce’ sorties on the North German plain; multiple low-level attack formations; MALLET BLOW; air combat training (including one memorable sortie when the SPILS failed and the aircraft departed; we were within a second or two of ejection); WPC at Capo de Frasca; ACMI at Deci; dissimilar air combat (2 + 1 v 3); OLF at Goose Bay; and the highlight, RED FLAG.

Some amazing memories.
I had to google SPILS - that must've been interesting! How low were you when you managed to recover it? Is 41 sorties in 3 years a fairly typical amount of flying? Seems like it would be hard to maintain currency with that amount of flying?

Dad was a Tornado test pilot - he was killed in June 1979 flying a prototype when I was a little boy. A thread to remember all those who gave their lives to Tornado would be a good thing to my mind.

EDIT: Someone pointed out that the gentleman was referring to 41 sorties on a particular airframe rather than type. I know air forces around the world are struggling to pay to keep pilots training sufficiently but I figured things can't have been that bad in the 80s. I need more sleep - and perhaps some reading lessons :-]

Last edited by Jetset Jimbo; 16th Mar 2019 at 10:52.
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