RAF MARHAM – On Thursday February 28, the Royal Air Force performed a flypast using 9 Tornado GR4s. This marks the end of frontline operations for the Tonka, which have been in service in the Royal Air Force since 1979. After 40 years the Tornado will retire from service.
They took off from RAF Marham in Norfolk at 14:00 GMT and flew over RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. The RAF performed the Tornado flypast as part of the jets’ Farewell Tour over the UK.
Tornados first took to the skies in 1979 and will be retired from active service at the end of March 2019.
The aircraft have seen action in several conflicts, and were first used in live operations during the Gulf War in 1991.
To mark their retirement, the planes flew 3 different routes over the UK for the Farewell Tour last week.
Hundreds turned out each day to watch them above about 35 military stations and landmarks including RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, RAF Valley on Anglesey in Wales, and the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The nine-plane formation flypast to Lincolnshire yesterday attracted many planespotters from early on Thursday morning prompting police to warn about the dangers of stopping at the side of the road.
Although the Tornados will no longer to be used in active service after the end of March 2019, they will still be flown as part of air force training.
(Top Image: from Airshow World video on YouTube)