The RAF is retiring it's remaining Panavia Tornado jets this year, after nearly 40 years of distinguished service. In a tribute to this aircraft there were 3 days of flypasts across RAF bases up and down the UK, one of which passed close to ARA as it went over RAE Thurleigh on Wednesday 20th February at around 13:30. Photograph courtesy of N. Stokes.
ARA had a long involvement in the development of the Tornado throughout it's long and distinguished service history. From the early days of aerodynamic design testing in the ARA Transonic Wind Tunnel, through to weapons integration tests and in-service upgrades. This multi-role combat aircraft has served the RAF with distinction in many theatres of operation around the world and continues in service for other countries. The RAF is replacing the Tornado with the new F-35 aircraft, a programme which ARA is also proud to be involved in.
Tornado wind tunnel model in the ARA Transonic Wind Tunnel