A fitting Tornado finale from Corgi Aviation Archive

22 August 2019
Two new Corgi models have unveiled at The Royal International Air Tattoo in July

Two new Corgi models were unveiled at The Royal International Air Tattoo in July that just missed out press deadline by hours. These two Tornados in special retirement schemes mark the end of RAF Tornado operations and will be recreated in 1/72 scale.

The last couple of years seem to have been rather significant in the history of the Royal Air Force, with high profile anniversaries, new aircraft entering service and others slipping into the pages of aviation history books. As 2019 dawned, the last squadrons operating the Panavia Tornado GR.4 were preparing to see their aircraft through the final few months of its service career, but not without planning an aviation celebration of their own. The Tornado strike jet could look back on almost 40 years of Royal Air Force service, much of which was spent on active duty, with this capable aircraft providing the backbone of Britain’s aerial strike capability during a particularly volatile period of world history. During these final few months of service, the base personnel at RAF Marham were in no mood to let their famous aviation charge slip out of service without paying due respect to its impressive the achievements and allowing the British aviation enthusiast one last opportunity to see RAF Tornados in the air. In addition to this, the paint shop at Marham was also kept busy, with three of the remaining RAF Tornado airframes benefiting from handsome new commemorative paint schemes for the occasion, one each representing IX(B) and 31 Squadrons, with a further retro wrap around camouflage scheme marking the service career of the aircraft and emulating the scheme applied to the first service aircraft – a most attractive Tornado trio.

RAF Marham aircrew and base personnel planned to allow as many people as possible in the UK to have one final opportunity to see the RAF Tornado during the aircraft’s final few weeks of service. Announcing an ambitious series of Tornado GR4 ‘FINale Flypasts’, this national farewell tour would see a formation of three jets flying 3 different routes on three consecutive days and taking in no fewer than 37 locations around the country, each one linked to RAF Tornado operations during its long service career.

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As aviation museums across the country placed their bids to have one of the former RAF Tornado GR4 airframes join their respective collections and the achievements of this exceptional aircraft finally passed into the aviation history books, the Corgi Aviation Archive range could not let this occasion pass without making its own diecast tribute to the impressive service record of the ‘Mighty Fin’. Both of the Tornado models announced at the show are resplendent in the attractive retirement schemes applied to the aircraft during the final few weeks of their RAF service – AA33619 Panavia Tornado GR.4 ZG752 is finished in a striking wrap-around retro camouflage scheme, similar to the markings applied to the first RAF GR.1 Tornado aircraft which entered service back in 1982, whilst AA33620 Panavia Tornado GR.4 ZG775, proudly displays the ‘green bat’ emblem of RAF No.IX(B) Squadron, the oldest dedicated bomber squadron in the Royal Air Force.

With both models now available for pre-order, these limited edition future releases make a fitting diecast collectable tribute to the service history of the Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado strike/reconnaissance jet and are already proving to be an incredibly popular addition to the Aviation Archive range. With a scheduled Winter 2019/2020 release date make sure you get your pre-orders in early at www.corgi.co.uk or through your favourite retailer.