R.Kellenaers Foto's: Various Aircraft Photographers
Date April 9th, 2008.
At RAF Marham, located in Suffolk United Kingdom, a group of
aircraft enthousiasts, called the RAF, are preparing a Panavia
Tornado GR.4 for a special mission... A friendship visit to
Airport Weeze (former RAF Laarbruch). After preparations for the
flight the Tornado takes off at around 1500hrs for a 45 minute
flight to Germany. The aircraft involved is ZD745 a GR.4 that is
used to the German airspace. This aircraft used to be homebased at
RAF Bruggen, some 30 miles south of Laarbruch.
At 1545 the GR.4,
with callsign "RAFAIR7031'' (Klik
for the soundfile) )was inbound Laarbruch and was the third
aircraft in sequence after two Boeing 737's from the homecarrier of
airport Weeze, Ryanair. For the Pilot a rare experience to follow
two civilian aircraft to the apron.
After landing the
Tornado was ordered to taxi via taxiway bravo and sierra to the
apron. Lucky for the spotters present at bravo! It was here that the
crew of the GR.4 received their first "warm welcome" by a bunch of
aircraft spotters waving and taking pictures.
At the apron the crew
were greeted by the members of the Laarbruch-Museum and the town of
Weeze. The BFBS (British Forces Broadcast Station was also standing
by to film the whole event for a newsarticle. Finally the RAF was
back again at it's former homebase!
The Tornado was
tucked in and put to sleep, while the crew enjoyed their stay in
Weeze. The next morning at around 1100hrs local the tornado departed
again to RAF Marham in the United Kingdom.
is a family of twin-engine combat aircraft, which was
jointly developed by the United Kingdom, West Germany
and Italy. There are three primary versions of the
Tornado; the Tornado IDS (Interdictor/Strike)
fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy air defences
Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat/Reconnaissance) and the
Tornado ADV (Air Defence Variant) interceptor. It is one
of the world's most sophisticated and capable
interdiction and attack aircraft, with a large payload,
long range and high survivability.
Developed and built by Panavia, a tri-national
consortium consisting of British Aerospace (then the
British Aircraft Corporation), MBB of West Germany, and
Alenia Aeronautica of Italy, the Tornado first flew on
August 14, 1974, and saw action with the RAF and AMI
(Italian Air Force) in the Gulf War. International
co-operation continued after its entry into service
within the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment,
a tri-nation training and evaluation unit operating from
RAF Cottesmore, England. Including all variants, 992
aircraft were built for the three partner nations and