The Tornado GR4
We are very excited to announce that RAAFA has been gifted one of the retiring Tornado GR4 aircraft from the RAF to put on display in the museum. We expect the aircraft to arrive late February to mid March 2022. If you want to be kept up to date the latest news on its arrival and opportunities to view it please subscribe to our special newsletter list below.
About The Tornado
The Tornado entered service in 1979, as a vital component of the Royal Air Force (RAF). It is a twin-engine aircraft with a tandem-seat cockpit, to be crewed by a pilot and navigator/weapons officer.
Updates to the aircraft over time resulted in the GR4 model, which includes features such as forward-looking infrared, heads up display, improved cockpit displays, night vision, GPS and other improvements to avionics and weaponry systems.
The main function of the Tornado GR4 is its ground attack ability, that is, low to medium level bombing.
In 2019 the Tornado GR4 was officially retired from the RAF.
History Of The Imperial Gift
The Imperial Gift refers to the donation of aircraft by the RAF, to the Dominions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the Empire of India), following World War I. These aircraft formed the basis of the newly established air forces in several countries.
Following the first World War, the RAF possessed an estimated 20,000 surplus aircraft, along with a number still in production. It was proposed that the establishment of air forces within nations of the Commonwealth was essential for the defence of the Empire.
To view an itemised list of the aircraft gifted to each of the dominions in 1921, please click here.
Australia was gifted 100 aircraft, as were all nations, plus an additional 28. Related supplies and equipment were also provided. These aircraft established the Royal Australian Air Force in 1921.
In 2022, RAAFA will be gifted a retired Tornado GR4 to be displayed at the Aviation Heritage Museum in Perth, WA. The gifting of this aircraft is particularly significant, as the Aviation Heritage Museum is the only one, outside of the United Kingdom, to be gifted an aircraft of this kind.
The gifting of this aircraft recaptures the spirit of the original Imperial Gift from the RAF to Australia, which led to the formation of the RAAF.
Although the aircraft is being gifted to the Aviation Heritage Museum, there are still significant costs involved in welcoming the Tornado to its new home. Transport, installation and the ongoing care of this aircraft are some of the examples of costs to be incurred.
If you would like to support the Imperial Gift Project in form of a donation, please fill and submit this form.
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