Issue Date: 31/03/2019
Issue Name: Tornado GR4 Withdrawn from Service
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Originally conceived in the 1960s, Tornado is a twin-engine, variable-sweep wing multi-role combat aircraft. The first of several Tornado prototypes flew on 14th August 1974 in Germany. Five years later, in 1979, the Tornado entered RAF service.
RAF Tornado is to be withdrawn after almost 40 years of active service. This superb cover features an MOD provided image of Tornado GR4 and marks the final date before it is withdrawn from the RAF, with an RAF Marham postmark (31st March, 2019). It will also include a special cachet for the disbandment parade at RAF Marham on the 14th March.
This cover is available signed by former RAF Pilot Mandy Hickson, who was only the second woman to fly a Tornado GR4 on the front line, completing three tours of duty and 45 missions over Iraq.
Tornado was built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace (British Aircraft Corporation), MBB of West Germany and Italian based aerospace engineering corporation Aeritalia. The initial aim was to produce an aircraft capable of undertaking tactical strike, reconnaissance, air defence and maritime missions. Various concepts were considered but by May 1970, these were focused on just two designs.
In 1982 the Tornado GR1 began RAF operations, making its combat debut in the 1991 Gulf War. Tornado GR has been in constant combat action ever since and has assembled an unparalleled service record.
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