40 Years Panavia Tornado
Panavia Tornado celebrates 40 years of flight this week in Manching, Germany the site of the aircraft’s maiden test flight on August 14th 1974.
It is a story which has seen the Panavia Tornado complete over three million flying hours and engage in operations in Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya and Africa.
Nearly 1000 Panavia Tornado aircraft have been produced and delivered to the air forces of Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia. The last aircraft was delivered to the Royal Saudi-Arabian Airforce in March 1998, making the Tornado the largest European military aircraft cooperation program in history.
For this occasion, Tornado 44+61 was painted in the colors of the first Tornado prototype, which flew 40 years ago.
There were only a few hours flying time on the frame which were flown at its homebaseBüchel. It will be flown to the Manching, where it gets a big maintenance and will be upgraded with AASTA3. It is expected back at Büchel in about a year, then in the grey standard colors.