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Author Topic: The Last Great Tornado Flypast  (Read 2306 times)

raflaunches

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The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« on: February 11, 2019, 07:35:47 PM »

Well itís upon us...


Next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be the last time youíll see a squadron of Tornado GR4 bombers fly together. Tuesday will see 9 Tonkas fly around the country, Wednesday 5 aircraft, and finally Thursday will see the last time you will see 9 RAF Tornados fly together...ever. There will be individual flights for a couple of weeks but not in great numbers or in the formation next week. They will try to visit most of the UK over flying most place that had a connection with the Mighty Fin. I will be one of the last Line Teams to see them off and back again. Feels weird saying goodbye to them after 15 years on type.
Keep your cameras pointing towards the skies!
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Nick B

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TheLongBuild

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 07:37:15 PM »

Any idea of the flight paths.

TailUK

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 07:48:15 PM »

According to UK Aviation News;

February 19th
◾RAF Cottesmore
◾National Arboretum Memorial
◾DECA Stafford
◾RAF Shawbury
◾DECA Sealand
◾RAF Valley
◾BAE Warton
◾BAE Salmesbury
◾RAF Spadeadam
◾RAF Leeming
◾RAF Topcliffe
◾RAF Linton On Ouse
◾RAF Waddington
◾RAF Cranwell
◾RAF Conningsby
◾RAF Donna Nook
◾RAF Holbeach

February 20th
◾RAF Honington
◾IWM Duxford
◾RAE Bedford (Site of)
◾Cranfield Airfield
◾RAF Halton
◾RAF High Wycombe
◾RAF Benson
◾HQ Land Forces
◾MOD Boscombe Down
◾RAF Pembrey
◾MOD St Athan
◾Cardiff Airport
◾Filton Aifield (site of)
◾MOD Abbey Wood
◾MOD Shrivenham
◾RAF Brize Norton

February 21st
◾RAF Leuchars
◾RAF Tain
◾RAF Lossiemouth
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TheLongBuild

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 07:53:32 PM »

Thanks.

raflaunches

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 08:07:49 PM »

Just beat me to it! :-))
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Nick B

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RMH

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 08:15:00 PM »

Hoping to catch site of them at Brize or Benson. Yet another aircraft going out of service that I was so used to seeing, can't be many types left now from my service days.
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Ken G121

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 08:17:41 PM »

Worked on Phantoms before Tornados. Afraid the  American Phantom was much more reliable and durable than its British replacement. In 15 years on Phantoms I was never on a squadron that lost one then the Tornado entered service and they dropped like flies. The Phantom Fuel and flap systems were designed by geniuses and could be fault found in minutes. The undercarriage system had no (yes zero) microswitches in the down selection and only 3 in the up, whilst it appeared the Tornado had bleeding loads. If on a Tornado the undercarriage door was open but the microswitch said it was not the gear did not come down and you had to blow it down with air ( lots of work to reset) the Phantom did not look at the door position if it did not open it would when clobbered by a leg powered by a 3000lb pressure hydraulic leg but that undercarriage was coming down, which is what you want especially when landing on a carrier. I could never figure the Tornado engine control where if you lost electrical power the engines went to max fuel and accelerated to destruction in 3 or 4 seconds meanwhile being fly by wire you had no steering either .
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raflaunches

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 08:36:24 PM »

Hi Ken


You must have worked on the GR1s as the GR4s behaved themselves compared to them!
The engines worked like that because the system worked to 0volts means more fuel but this led to runaway engines on the ground if the electric generators failed. The MECUs were upgraded and new upper and lower voltages were introduced to prevent that from happening. It was supposed to allow the pilot some extra power in the last few seconds whilst he engaged the EPS (one shot battery) which would give him hydraulic power for a few minutes to pull the aircraft in to level flight ready for aircrew to eject. That was what I was taught anyway! %%
The undercarriage I think you may have the wrong way round with regards to micro switches. Most of the micro switches were on the up selection and our bane was undercarriage not indicating up and locked. This invariably led to jacking the jet up and diagnosing which micro switch or lock was messing around. However the fuel system I completely agree- I hate fuel snags, <*<
But Iíll miss this unnecessarily complicated beast of an aircraft.
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Martin [Admin]

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dodes

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 09:08:41 PM »

Used to watch them years ago on the bombing range at Donna Nook, used to maintain the watch buoys and the target. When I was working on the buoys I was only .25 miles from the target so got ring side seats so to speak. The most exciting were the Yanks Tomcats, they lobbed their bombs from a distance and screamed up into the clouds like a missile, never missed the target ( a 10ft by 30ft steel pontoon). the tornadoes used to fly over low and drop their bombs as they flew over (you could read the writing on the side of the fuselage by the cockpit).
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Ken G121

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 09:25:16 PM »

Again Phantom undercarriage on utilities one pump on each engine plus 2 more flying controls hydraulic systems ( one pump each engine). Only 3 microswitches in system they were operated as each leg locked up gave indication up and locked and also cut off hydraulics. The locks were of overcentre design so once up no chance of leaking undercarriage pipe work leading to Utilities fail ( unlike Tornado). Lateral flying controls were on all 3 hyd systems ( utilities and flying controls 1 in one wing and utilities and flying controls 2 in the other wing) and laterals would work on any one system , rudder was utilities hydraulics of manual reversion ( not a flying control you only need a rudder for landing in cross wind). Only weak point was pitch control working off just either of the 2 flying control hydraulics. It was made to survive well under damage. If a wing was shot to hell pilot could loose both hydraulic systems in that wing but the aircraft still flew.
Yanks were OK at redundancy, I still remember seeing pictures of an A10 which had taken a heat seeker hit on an engine, the engine and tail plane assembly on one side were gone ... but it flew home without them
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Ken G121

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 09:37:15 PM »

Low flying Tornados was done in Goose bay Canada, anyone flying in the dark at 50 to 100 feet using terrain following radar flying the plane and operating the engines while the pilot has both hands off needs a pilot that trusts electronics
Personally as an engineer I flew supersonic in the back of a Phantom and some low stuff ( under 100ft) but with the pilot very much doing ALL the flying, I was offered a trip in the back of a Tornado but politely declined.
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raflaunches

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 09:48:08 PM »

You'll laugh Ken but most of the faults you've mentioned are long gone (new ones instead!) but the funny thing is the nose steering motor is based on the Phantom's (we had to go a really annoying ITAR brief years ago why we couldn't share technical info about it as it would upset the Yanks) and the banjo joint on it often fails causing the hydraulics to fail on the No 1 system leading to brake system failure! The Fairies hate it when we change it as they have to do a four hour NWS test! How we laugh at them but we have horrors of our own- gearbox changes, engine changes, and everyone's favourite- taileron actuator change!
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Nick B

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Dave_S.

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 10:31:33 PM »

Hopefully, they'll fly over our house on their approach to Brize, most of them do, we're only a few miles away.
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Ken G121

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 11:05:20 PM »

Noseweel steering motor identical, follow up pot not. Yes they boobed and tried to fit a Phantom one to a Tornado. Problem with Tornado is that it was electrically centred. After take off would do a built in test but then would not detect central ( bloody micro switches), so would not retract. Phantom was mechanically centred as weight came off and leg extended a roller running in a V grove, roller would run to bottom of grove locking leg central ... simple and it always worked.
Only problem with Phantom was stick to seat interface ( pilot). Nose steering de- energised by microswitch operated by handle in up position. Pilots wanting to do Ďmaxi wellyí take off wanted to keep left hand on throttle right hand on stick. So some would select undercarriage up before take off relying on weight on wheels microswitches to stop aircraft dropping on its belly. They would then roar off down the runway hoping they did not hit a bump but not realising how the system worked they were blissfully unaware their nosewheel steering was off until the aircraft drifted and they tried to use it. I was personally involved with 2 cases where this happened, one resulting in the aircraft departing the runway at high speed, Of course in Phantom days we referred to weight on ground switches but after many years because of the acronym Tornado days referred to weight on wheels (WOWís)
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Liverbudgie

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 11:02:16 AM »

Are they likely to come down the Mersey on their way to Valley or is it Sealand and then down the Dee to Valley?

LB
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TailUK

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2019, 11:43:08 AM »

After Valley they're heading up to Warton near Fleetwood so they may  be following the coast up.
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JimG

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2019, 01:25:17 PM »

Any idea when the timings will be announced. Leuchars Station is close to me so I would like to be there on time.
Jim
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regiment

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2019, 02:24:24 PM »

WOT NO CORNWALL
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dodes

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2019, 09:10:31 PM »


With reference to the past downed ones, they kept the RMAS salvage diver teams  busy over the years and provided rolex wristwatches(the pilots used to be issued with rolex watches).
#
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raflaunches

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2019, 09:37:36 PM »

No timings as of yet, the south west and south east and NI arenít on the program for some reason which is a shame but considering the three days of between 5 and 9 aircraft flying around the country itíll be one of the biggest send offs in modern RAF history.


On the darker side, there were five GR1/4 that crashed into the sea in UK waters over the last 40 years, so not bad considering the time in service but too many crew that didnít make it back. <:(
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Nick B

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ray123

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2019, 08:17:00 AM »

we had one come over southend airport yesterday  about 1130am   great sight! 
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Ken G121

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2019, 08:21:21 AM »

At least the Tornados that crashed into RAF Dogger Bank did not sink to the bottom, they just sat on a stack of Lightnings
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raflaunches

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2019, 06:34:48 PM »

No news on timings yet- still dependant on serviceability and weather but there is a no fly Monday to prep the aircraft for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday flypasts.


129 (the GR1 lookalike) is currently having a gearbox change as the last one decided it didnít like having oil in it! 084, 31 Sqn tail art jet, is currently having a rudder actuator change after that decided it didnít like hyd fluid in it either! Itís like they are conspiring against us! Iíve often said aircraft have personalities and the infamous 066 is definitely one, she doesnít like our squadron boss and seems to relish crewing him out on almost every opportunity! 4 times in two weeks, so much so he says he doesnít want to fly her anymore!
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Nick B

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Ken G121

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Re: The Last Great Tornado Flypast
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2019, 07:38:28 PM »

Rudder PCU change, what a pig, Oh! Those walking joints. When someone told me they had put the PCU inside the rudder not the fin I thought they were taking the pó-.
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