Corgi AA39802 RAF Panavia Tornado F3 Fighter Bomber - ZG757, 43 (F) Squadron, RAF Leuchars, Scotland, 2006 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
During the late 1960's a number of European countries examined ways to replace their existing fleet of combat aircraft using next-generation design techniques. Several countries looked at variable geometry wing configurations as a means of making a plane perform well throughout a wider flight envelope. Variable geometry allows the pilot and/or fly by wire system to adapt the aircraft's wing shape to the optimal settings dependant on its height, speed, and load. The Tornado takes this one step further and incorporates swiveling weapons pylons that always ensure the stores are parallel to the airframe, thus minimizing drag and improving airflow across the entire surface of the aircraft especially at low altitudes.
Britain and France joined forces on a variable geometry aircraft project, called the Anglo French Variable Geometry (AFVG) project. France was already in the process of developing a variable geometry airframe of its own. In 1968, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, and Canada formed a working group to look at replacements for the aging F-104. The outcome was initially called the Multi-Role Aircraft (MRA) project, which was later changed to the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MCRA). Britain later joined this group on the strength of its variable geometry design.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF Panavia Tornado F3 Fighter Bomber that was attached to 43 (F) Squadron, then deployed to RAF Leuchars, Scotland, during 2006.
Wingspan: 11 inches
Length: 11.25 inches
Release Date: April 2013
Historical Account: "Deep Roots" - Formed in 1916 as part of the Royal Flying Corps, 43 Squadron RAF saw distinguished service in both world wars, producing a number of aces. Disbanded in July 2009, the Panavia Tornado F3 was the final aircraft operated by the squadron, used as an interceptor fighter to protect the UK's airspace off the coast of both Scotland and with 1435 flight, over the Falkland Islands. 43 Squadron also helped enforce the no-fly zone over Iraq after the first Gulf War.
ZG757 was painted in this striking gloss black scheme to celebrate the Squadron's 90th anniversary in 2006, carrying it in various guises throughout the year.