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Tornado Tribute for Air Tattoo

Published: 07 May 2015


A multi-national three-ship formation of Panavia Tornado strike aircraft will be among the highlights at this summer's Air Tattoo.

The aircraft will come from the UK, Germany and Italy, the three nations that collaborated within the Panavia consortium to build the Tornado and the first three countries to operate the type. 

Together their air forces established the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) at RAF Cottesmore, Leicestershire, to instruct pilots and back-seaters in the operation of the type. It received its first aircraft during 1980. Examples of the Tornado from the Royal Air Force, German Air Force and Italian Air Force will come together in formation to mark the 35th anniversary of that event, the first time such a sight has been witnessed at a public display for many years.

Complementing the Tornados in the formation flypast will be Tornados from each of the three nations on display in the static park.

The first Tornados for the TTTE were British and German examples, Italian aircraft joining them at Cottesmore a couple of years later. Training began in 1981 and between then and the unit's disbandment in February 1999 it schooled some 3,400 Tornado crew members during the course of 163,000 flying hours. Since 1999, Tornado training has been undertaken at national level, but even now many TTTE graduates are still associated with the Tornado in senior leadership roles.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: "I know the Tornado remains a very popular aircraft with airshow visitors, and I am delighted to be able to provide this increasingly rare chance to see the type in a flying display at RIAT 2015."

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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