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Tornado GR4 last flight

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Tornado GR4 last flight

Old 14th Jan 2019, 13:52
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Dan,
If true probably a combination of not wishing to take undue safety / reputational risks near the end (careers could be effected.....). The temptation to push a little too hard on ‘fini flights’ knowing that an army of camera-toting spotters will be at the usual sites could be too much for some to resist. Seems a little draconian, and, subjectively, a sad way for a low-level penetrating bomber to finish.....
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 14:00
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Rumours from the spotters, that there will be no more low level training flights before retirement.
Makes sense, they're training flights not jollies.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 20:35
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Dan Gerous View Post
Rumours from the spotters, that there will be no more low level training flights before retirement.
Unfortunately it's not a rumour, it's absolutely true. I had it confirmed to me directly by a GR4 aircrew member on social media over the weekend, triggered by a minor flying incident just before Christmas.
The aircrew seem pretty upset about it from what he said.

...and it's also just another kick in the teeth for those who love the Tornado, after the MOD's appalling "send off" effort. What is even the point in the camo Tornado now? They'd just as well keep it in the hangar, nobody's going to care about it if it can't do what the Tonka is supposed to do - thunder through a valley!

I am bitter, I won't lie. I love the Tornado.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 20:57
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I can see the point of it, no point in taking any risks, especially as they seem to be working at higher levels anyway. What's it like on a Squadron at a time like this, when you know your aircraft fleet has 2-3 months to go?
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 21:06
  #45 (permalink)  
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Sod that.

Someone needs to rag a GR4 at low level on high power all around the UK on its last day as tribute to a fine machine and a fine body of men and women who flew it, died in it and took it to war. Please tell me there is at least one senior officer in the RAF who can make that happen?

As a nation we would be diminished if this did not occur.

WWW
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 21:18
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wee Weasley Welshman View Post
Sod that.

Someone needs to rag a GR4 at low level on high power all around the UK on its last day as tribute to a fine machine and a fine body of men and women who flew it, died in it and took it to war. Please tell me there is at least one senior officer in the RAF who can make that happen?

As a nation we would be diminished if this did not occur.

WWW
I admire the sentiment, but please don't forget the often forgotten groundcrew - the men and women who spend thousands of hours of their lives modifying them, repairing them, servicing them, refuelling them, arming them and marshalling them. The RAF's public affairs personnel forgets them (I've never seen a groundcrew tribute on FB or Twitter - ever!), but nobody else should.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 09:42
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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BVRAAM As someone who spend 18 years as you say "modifying them, repairing them, servicing them, refueling them, arming them and marshaling them." Sometime we were overlooked.

However those 18 years had there good and bad days. Days which I will look back at with fond memories. I do hope that some of the jets will find loving homes, and not the scrap mans axes. They deserve better!!
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 10:20
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wee Weasley Welshman View Post
Sod that.

Someone needs to rag a GR4 at low level on high power all around the UK on its last day as tribute to a fine machine and a fine body of men and women who flew it, died in it and took it to war. Please tell me there is at least one senior officer in the RAF who can make that happen?

As a nation we would be diminished if this did not occur.

WWW

Here, here brother !!

There are lots of low level swept pics floating around the spotter groups at the moment in tribute to this fantastic beast. It would be a shame if it didn't go out with a bang (not literally of course) !!
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 14:10
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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38 years. Not a bad run - January 1981 to January 2019. I had the pleasure of flying the BBC camera man for the airborne shots of the first 3 aircraft at TTTE which from my logbook was on January 21st . According to Wikipedia TTTE officially opened 8 days later. The irony was that my Hawk was newer than the 3 Tonkas!
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 15:19
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Was it really 38 years ago that I was waiting to take-off leading a cine weave trip at Chivenor when an odd-looking jet with a big fin and spindly undercarriage legs came in for a practice diversion?

Or 28 years ago that the 3-ship VC10K formation I was leading was trailing 8 x JP233-laden Tornados on night 1 of Gulf War 1?

Good jet - it's served us well!
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 15:41
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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To those wise soles who would wish to see the GR4 given a send-off befitting such a brilliant and iconic jet, I fully agree.

I had the privilege and pleasure of working on the RB199 engine during both development, production and in-service support.
I spent time working at Warton, TTTE, Marham, Honington, Bruggen, Laarbruch, Coningsby, Leeming, Leuchars, Lossiemouth and St Athan.

Of course the engine had a number of problems in service but it was an extremely challenging design requirement given the technology and materials of the time.

To all those who worked on and of course flew in her, you can be immensely proud of what was achieved.
First flight 1974. First production delivery 1979 and just short of 1000 produced.

Tornado was designed to take on the might of the Warsaw Pack forced. It had to be good and it was /is still very good.

It will be remembered as a fantastically capable and reliable front line fighter/ bomber and should be treated with hugh respect.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 17:02
  #52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Buster15 View Post
I had the privilege and pleasure of working on the RB199 engine during both development, production and in-service support.
I spent time working at Warton, TTTE, Marham, Honington, Bruggen, Laarbruch, Coningsby, Leeming, Leuchars, Lossiemouth and St Athan.

Of course the engine had a number of problems in service but it was an extremely challenging design requirement given the technology and materials of the time.
The RB199 certainly came a long way. I remember my first engine bay tour at Honnington in the late 80's when the mean time between removals was just 176 hours. The classic "VIB" caption followed by the boroscope inspection that confirmed that half of one of the HPT blades was missing. Still, after the introduction of single crystal HPT blades, the engines were doing 400 hours between removal. When I returned to the Tornado as a civvy in 2008, I was pleasantly surprised to find some engines were lasting 1000 hours. On the squadron, our biggest problem was during GW1 when the oil consumption for those long hot flights was marginal.

I do hope they manage to sort out a farewell flypast for the Tornado. Yes, I know the Lightning, Vulcan etc were iconic and who doesn't love them but I reckon that the Tonka has been our most utilised strike aircraft in combat situations since WW2
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 17:37
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Vendee View Post
The RB199 certainly came a long way. I remember my first engine bay tour at Honnington in the late 80's when the mean time between removals was just 176 hours. The classic "VIB" caption followed by the boroscope inspection that confirmed that half of one of the HPT blades was missing. Still, after the introduction of single crystal HPT blades, the engines were doing 400 hours between removal. When I returned to the Tornado as a civvy in 2008, I was pleasantly surprised to find some engines were lasting 1000 hours. On the squadron, our biggest problem was during GW1 when the oil consumption for those long hot flights was marginal.

I do hope they manage to sort out a farewell flypast for the Tornado. Yes, I know the Lightning, Vulcan etc were iconic and who doesn't love them but I reckon that the Tonka has been our most utilised strike aircraft in combat situations since WW2
The initial equiax HPT blades were always going to be the weak spot. The turbine temperatures were way above the melting point of the material and the cooling holes so small. That was why the modular design was to give quick access to the HPT.

As you say the single crystal fixed that brilliantly. The very long flights pushed the oil system to its limits. It was a fantastic achievement to get engines installed for over 1000 hours.

It is still a surprisingly modern engine despite its age and it's thrust to weight ratio is still outstanding.

Tornado has been a terrific workhorse for nearly 40 years and arguably the most significant RAF fast jet having been in service for almost 40% of the life of the RAF.
Happy days eh.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 17:43
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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What did the Harrier do for its final flight?
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 18:00
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Could we describe the Tornado as the Mosquito of its day, I wonder?
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 20:39
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by just another jocky View Post
What did the Harrier do for its final flight?
There was a 16-ship flypast.



https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-farewell.html
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 21:04
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Well, I have my own very personal memories of the Tornado.

As someone who grew up always dreaming of being a pilot, but sadly was born with defective eyesight which meant that flying (and many other careers) was a non-starter, being invited to visit Lossiemouth was absolutely wonderful. I had a great day, and attach a picture of myself in the "drivers seat" of a Tornado

There were a couple of aircraft going out on a night exercise, and would I like to go and see them take off. I thought we'd be some distance away, but we got into a landrover and drove to the end of the runway. The second picture shows how close we were when they started their takeoff run.

A great day, and memories I'll treasure for the rest of my days.

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Old 15th Jan 2019, 21:46
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by weemonkey View Post
nice skidmark though...and they all walked away....
I see nothing that can't be fixed with a couple of rolls of duck take and a shifter.
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Old 16th Jan 2019, 21:45
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TEEEJ View Post
A 16-ship, or 4 x 4-ships?
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Old 16th Jan 2019, 22:45
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Military equipment is a bit like James Bond actors. The one that's big when you were a kid is the one that sticks in your memory.

I was a kid during the gulf war.

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