Panavia Tornado

The Panavia Aircraft is a multinational company established in 1968 by the British BAC (British Aircraft Corporation), German MBB (Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm), Italian Fiat Aviazione and the Dutch VFW-Fokker.

The involved companies’ mutual agreement resulted in a joint venture project of a new fighter-bomber aircraft. Initially, two versions were planned: the single seat Panavia 100 for Germany and Italy, as well as the twin seat Panavia 200 for the Great Britain and the ­German Navy Air Force. In a similar arrangement, development of the Tornado’s turbofans was undertaken by three partners of the MCRA (Multi Role Combat Aircraft) project: Rolls-Royce, German MTU and Fiat. Shortly afterwards, Netherlands left the project.

ts10 tornado  zdj1

The design took a long time to develop, since the aircraft’s performance was to meet particularly high standards, duly expected of a modern combat aircraft. The experiences of the Vietnam and Afghan wars led the engineers and designers alike to the conclusion that such electronically advanced avionics demanded a two-member crew. Hence, the single seat Panavia 100 project was dropped.

ts10 tornado  zdj2

The prototype was first flew on 14th August 1974. The first flight tests proved satisfactory. The new design also passed the weapons handling trials as well as the speed tests, during which the P-01 prototype had reached the speed of 2 Mach. The prototypes P-01 through P-12 were further tested until 1979. The prototypes designated P‑13, P-14 and P-15 served as blueprints for each cooperative nation’s own serial production.

ts10 tornado  zdj3

As the aircraft’s name – Tornado – was commonly accepted, the mass production commenced in 1979. Deliveries to combat units followed in the spring of 1980. Overall, RAF was issued 229 Tornados in IDS (Interdictor/Strike) variant (GR1 and GR1A), Germany another 324 (including 112 for their Navy Air Force), and Italians 100. Further 48 aircraft were purchased by the Saudi Arabia, while eight found their way to Oman.

ts10 tornado  zdj4

Tornado went through its baptism of fire during the first war in Iraq, in January 1991. The aircraft was also deployed in numbers during the conflict in Bosnia and the second war in the Persian Gulf, in 2002. The aircraft proved its worth as the tactical support machine, capable of engaging and destroying targets with very high ­accuracy.

ts10 tornado  zdj5

The Tornado’s terrain-following radar allows a hands-off stealthy approach to a target while flying at extremely low level at high speed. Suitably upgraded and overhauled, the Tornados are expected to remain in the first line until 2020..

ts10 tornado  zdj6


Read more…


  • Recommended - Aircraft

Yakovlev  Yak-3
Yakovlev Yak-3 Yakovlev Yak-3 is considered one of the best World War 2 fighters,...
Dassault  Mirage F1s
Dassault Mirage F1s The Spanish Air Force was the second Mirage F1 customer, and...
Hawker Siddeley (BAe), McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing Harrier AV-8S/TAV-8S & AV-8B/B+/TAV-8B
Hawker Siddeley (BAe), McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing Harrier AV-8S/TAV-8S & AV-8B/B+/TAV-8B The Hawker P.1127 and the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel...
P-51B/C Mustangs Over The Third Reich
P-51B/C Mustangs Over The Third Reich On 6th March 1944 the day dawned murky and cloudy. It was hardly...
P-51D/K Mustangs Over the Third Reich
P-51D/K Mustangs Over the Third Reich On 14th January 1945 the weather over the continent was unusual...
Hispano Aviación HA-1112
Hispano Aviación HA-1112 Dear reader, in this text we will try to remember the fabulous...
Mirage III IAI Nesher/Dagger
Mirage III IAI Nesher/Dagger Israel Aircraft Industries manufactured more than fifty of Mirage...