Final flypast over MoD Boscombe Down for Tornado jets

Final flypast over MoD Boscombe Down for Tornado jets

Published by Spire FM News at 5:58am 20th February 2019.

2 minute read

The Tornado aircraft's been in service for nearly 40 years but it's now being withdrawn from operational service.

To mark the occasion the iconic jet is on a final tour of the UK, flying over most RAF bases, to say a final farewell.

Today, (Wednesday February 20th), a formation of three Tornados will fly over MoD Boscombe Down as part of that.

They're expected to be in our skies between 13:35 and 14:00.

Taking part in the flypast, the boss of IX(B) Squadron, Wing Commander James Heeps said:

"It is a great privilege to be part of a national event that allows the public to say farewell to a brilliant aircraft that has been the cornerstone of our operations for so many years.

It's also a sad occasion because it will mean that from the end of next month the Tornado will never fly again."

The Tornado jet first entered service in 1979.

They've been used in operations across the world, most recently in Syria and Irag in the fight against Daesh but on 5 February this year the aircraft finally returned home from operations for good.

Tornado Flyover
Tornado Flypast, courtesy of the MoD

Another of the formation aircrew who has recently returned from operations is Wing Commander Matt Bressani, the boss of 31 Squadron - he said:

"The national response to the Tornado farewell campaign and the reception we received when we returned from operations earlier this month shows what a special place this aircraft has in the nation's heart."

The Tornado will be officially retired from service at the end of March and will only be used for training purposes over the UK in the intervening period.

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