RNAS Culdrose Pre-Airshow Day – Tornado & Hornet
Well, this is my penultimate airshow post with the final one focusing on the soon to be decommissioned Rescue Sea King helicopters and 771 Search and Rescue Squadron. For now though, let me introduce the Tornado which has been the mainstay of the Royal Air Forces Strike attack force since June 1982. The actual Tornado programme was initiated in 1968 and they were known as Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA). The world’s first operational Tornado squadron was IX Squadron, based here in the UK at Honington in Suffolk. The Tornado is due to be decommissioned in or around 2020 and IX Squadron will continue to fly them until then, making them the first and last Squadron to fly the Tornado.
I have to admit that watching these guys fly in, land and then taxi onto the arena was quite amusing. It just looked as though they had pulled into a car park, opened the car door and jumped out – not unlike myself when doing the Saturday shopping, although I don’t step out of a multi-million-pound fighter jet (I SO wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid!). It was great to be up so close and watch them fly in. As we are talking fast jets, we also got to see the Swiss Hornet in full action and here he is doing some loops and twists.
There was certainly plenty of activity on the runway and, before heading to our last hanger of the day, I was able to capture a final few images of the Lynx and Merlin helicopters.