Not right now, but in about 11 months, at the end of March 2019, the Panavia Tornado will retire from service with the RAF. With a front line service record that spans 36 years and something like four decades of service in the RAF, it’s a pretty staggering thought. The Tornado pretty much symbolizes the RAF of the eighties, nineties, oughts and teens.
A while ago I was looking for images of the Tornado marked with the 40th anniversary livery and haven’t found anything suitable (i.e. something that I can post with a clear conscience) yet. But I did run across this YouTube video (“Tonka Tails take to the Skies”) published by the RAF which shows five Tornadoes in September 2015 – apparently four from Marham and one from Lossiemouth – wearing commemorative schemes of their operators. I think I can see IX, 12, XV, and 31 squadrons represented, with the addition of the type 40th anniversary commemorative machine.
It’s a very short video, but nice to see, if a little poignant. Enjoy
Just occasionally, my casual browsing dredges up something unexpected, interesting, and aviation-related.
A couple of days ago, on Saturday (October 29th) it seems that Lufthansa flew their last commercial flights using the Boeing 737. The 737 is known as ‘Bobby’ or ‘Bobby Boeing’ by Lufthansa, who were the launch customers of the type in the late 1960s. ‘Bobby’ is being replaced by what Lufthansa describes as “quieter and more fuel efficient” equipment produced by Bombardier and Embraer. Lufthansa press releases also mention the present and future line of Airbus products as replacements for ‘Bobby’ on some routes.
This Ken Fielding photo from 1972 shows a Lufthansa 737 in an early livery and, as Ken says, it’s notable for the logo of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games on the aft fuselage.
Should you desire to brush up on your German, here’s a YouTube video from a group of German plane-spotters commemorating the event. Its is, as they say a slightly sad event as an original customer retires a machine that was once the backbone of its short-haul fleet This is not simply auf wiedersehen, it’s farewell, Bobby.