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OT: Nice Fly-By by a Tornado


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Just seen the end of an era, Tornado ZA326 which was the RAE/DRA/DERA/QinetiQ test bed of Bedford and then Boscombe Down for GR1 and GR4 trials has just had it's last flight. Went out from Boscombe at 15:05 and dissappeared out towards Salisbury, ten minutes waiting the first thing we hear is a roar and a split second later it appears over the Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) with full reheat at 100 ft, it then comes back into the airfield still at 100ft and performs a re-heat 720 degree burn-up on it's wing tip turning around with all of a turning circle of 400 metres and proceeded to do a few shallow dives at the people on the airfield each with re-heat. Finished off nicely with a low level run down the main runway and coming back in to gently land and taxi back in to be locked away in the hanger for the last time.

Only Raspberry Ripple (Nickname for the colour scheme) Tornado, last of the GR1's, closely following the demise of our last Raspberry Ripple Jaguar.

Got to borrow our aircraft from the RAF now, when they aint bombing camel's (the furry kind!).


Corgi make a nice model, think I may have to go buy one for crimbo :)

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Nothing better than a Tornado on full re-heat at low level. Brilliant! What is happening to it when it gets locked away? not for the chop is it?

Surely it could be used on the Airshow circuit!

Suspect it will be pushed down into the Boscombe Down museum once all the trials equipment gets removed from it. The RAF aint had GR1's for years now so spares support was dwindling very rapidly, hence one of the reasons it wont fly again as there just isn't the parts to keep it up there.

You never know maybe Thunder City in South Africa may get it's hands on it like what they have done with our Hunters, Bucanneers and Lightnings, just the issue of security clearance on some of the kit to get past first :)

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Great planes Tornado's we do occasionally get them flying fast and low over us coming in from their sorties over the North sea - just great to see and hear.

Also when driving over the North Yorks Moors it's great to look down on them as they fly through the valley's actually below the level of the road - don't think they are allowed to do it anymore, seemingly it scared cows, sheep, farmers, farmers wives - apparently :unsure:

Now whilst we all know real men fly Spitfires, if I could fly (and was qualified to do so), a Tornado would be a close second choice.

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We get lots of low and noisy Tornado F3's here, they love it because nobody complains about the noise so they can pretty much do what they want to :)

We call it "the sound of freedom" - recent enough memories of much less friendly engines overhead...

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I saw a Typhoon from BAE Warton last month nearly do a fly by straight through a Cessna above Burscough. It was going very fast at about 1000 feet and then all of a sudden pulled violently to the left and up. I then saw this little cessna thingy in it's path and he had just avoided hitting it. The Typhoon slowed right down, flew around the cessna in a slow circuit then flew off back towards Warton very slowly.

I imagine the Cessna pilot then dropped his soiled underwear out of the window.

Nick... the smelly one

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I often get Harvards in formation overhead, sometimes 3 or so. You can't mistake the noise, although SAA's Ju52 used to sound like 2 Harvards in close formation. But I haven't heard that one for a few years, dunno if ZS-AFA is still flying.

ps a C47 flew over my house a couple of weeks ago. Or maybe it was a DC3. This one still had piston engines, unlike some of the re-engined ones.

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