This year sees the retirement of the Royal Air Force's workhorse the Panavia Tornado GR. First introduced to the RAF in 1979, the year of my birth, it has been at the forefront of RAF operations since its combat debut during the first Gulf War. I have been covering events at RAF Marham since 1999 and although I'm no expert in either the RAF or the Tornado I couldn't really let the old bird go without saying goodbye.
Wednesday 23rd January 2019 - Three special edition paint scheme Tornado take off for an air to air photography session.
RAF Marham Station Commander Cab Townsend leads the three planes giving spotters at the fence an ideal photo opp.
The standard colour scheme Tornado to be used as the camera platform
Rather aptly as the Tornado depart an F35 appears taxiing for take off. The F35 has already partly taken over RAF Marham as its new home.
Take off is ,compared to the Tonka, a rather sedate affair. No flames not quite as much noise and dare I say slightly bland by comparison (!)
A second F35 follows
This F35 decides to play the trump card opting for a short take off.....definitely not bland especially up close!
Spotters at the fence line can't believe their luck when two Typhoon aircraft from 41 Squadron appear taxiing. Typhoon is being adapted to take over much of the role currently played by Tornado.
I hope he's smiling
In terms of take off showmanship there's not much that can compete with a Typhoon 'performance' take off
Using half the runway length of Tornado and going almost instantly vertical, this aircraft has some serious performance!
Climbing nose up 10,000ft towards the heavens before splitting
The two F35 aircraft return through the ever changing Norfolk sky
The three ship of special edition Tornado make a pass over the airfield before splitting and landing
Friday 25th January 2019 - Enthusiasts Day. A chance for the media ,and then aviation fans, to get close to the special edition jets
There's no dials in an F35 cockpit! Just a handful of switches and a couple of giant computer screens.
If you would like to purchase any of these images then please visit the gallery here: https://www.paultibbsphotography.com/tonka