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Flypasts to celebrate Tornado begin as plane is retired after nearly 40 years

PUBLISHED: 06:57 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:33 19 February 2019

A RAF Tornado from II (AC) Squadron, RAF Marham, flies over the Shard skyscraper building in London during Her Majesty the Queen's 2013 Birthday Flypast over London.

This image was a winner in the Royal Air Force's Photographic Competition 2013.

A RAF Tornado from II (AC) Squadron, RAF Marham, flies over the Shard skyscraper building in London during Her Majesty the Queen's 2013 Birthday Flypast over London. This image was a winner in the Royal Air Force's Photographic Competition 2013.

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Three days of flypasts begin today as the Tornado is retired from Royal Air Force service after nearly 40 years.

Plane spotters watch as one of three RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft with a specially painted livery to commemorate their retirement from service, comes in to land at RAF Marham in Norfolk Picture: JOE GIDDENS/PA WIREPlane spotters watch as one of three RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft with a specially painted livery to commemorate their retirement from service, comes in to land at RAF Marham in Norfolk Picture: JOE GIDDENS/PA WIRE

The farewell tour will pass over RAF Honington and IWM Duxford tomorrow to celebrate the end of the warplane’s era.

Designed by Panavia, the aircraft was a collaboration between the UK, Germany and Italy – coming into RAF service in 1979.

It saw combat during the Gulf War of 1991, while also flying operations over Kosovo, Iraq and Syria.

A flight of Tornado jets returned home to the UK for the last time on February 5, landing at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

One of three RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft with a specially painted livery to commemorate their retirement from service, comes in to land at RAF Marham in Norfolk Picture: JOE GIDDENS/PA WIREOne of three RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft with a specially painted livery to commemorate their retirement from service, comes in to land at RAF Marham in Norfolk Picture: JOE GIDDENS/PA WIRE

The Tornado will be replaced by the F-35 Lightning – costing $85million per aircraft, according to designers Lockheed.

Tornado Farewell Tour – Tuesday, February 19

• Cottesmore

• National Memorial Arboretum

• SECA Stafford

• RAF Cosford

• RAF Shawbury

• DECA Sealand

• RAF Valley

• BAES Warton

• BAES Samlesbury

• RAF Spadeadam

• RAF Leeming

• RAF Topcliffe

• RAF Linton-on-Ouse

• RAF Waddington

• RAF Cranwell

• RAF Coningsby

• RAF Donna Nook

• RAF Holbeach

Tornado Farewell Tour – Wednesday, February 20

• RAF Honington

• IWM Duxford

• Former RAE Bedford

• Cranfield Airfield

• RAF Halton

• RAF High Wycombe

• RAF Benson

• HQ Land Forces

• MOD Boscombe Down

• RAF Pembrey

• MOD St Athan

• Cardiff Airport

• Filton

• Abbey Wood

• MOD Shrivenham

• RAF Brize Norton

Tornado Farewell Tour – Thursday, February 21

• Leuchars Station

• RAF Tain

• RAF Lossiemouth

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