Since the 1970s, when it was first used as a Cold War nuclear deterrent, the Panavia Tornado played a vital role in the RAF until its retirement from service in April 2019. Serving in both Gulf Wars and more recently as a key player in Middle East operations, this unique aircraft achieved many great things. This includes being the first aircraft to be flown by men and women in the RAF following the introduction of female pilots to the force in 1994.
In Tornado Boys, there are stories of Scud hunting in Iraq and Red Flag exercises in the US, along with the tale of a stunning competition victory over the USAF’s Strategic Air Command in their own backyard. The short-lived anti-shipping role is not neglected. There are also tales from those who flew Tornados on exchange, loan and contract service with foreign air forces. Finally, the book highlights the essential part played by ground crew in the Tornado story, with chapters by front-line engineers and an army ground liaison officer.
All in all, through the eyes of the men and women who have operated this extraordinary aircraft, the volume presents an entertaining and illuminating series of tales and anecdotes. These light and informative stories come from those who were proud to serve on and loved to operate the impressively versatile Tornado.
PRAISE FOR TORNADO BOYS
‘Hall can be congratulated on putting together – and, perhaps, knocking into shape – some fascinating accounts involving the Tornado GR1 and GR4.’ Aeroplane
‘Tornado Boys is a cracking piece of work. This is real air power history written by real operators who were there, did that and got the t-shirt to prove it. Heartily recommended.’ RAF Historical Society
‘Entertaining and informative as ever and for this reviewer, at least, defines a “good read”.’ Aviation News
‘The joy of this book is in placing the reader right in the cockpit alongside the crew.’ Flypast
Ian Hall joined the RAF at 18 and during seven fighter-bomber tours flew five different operational types. He served in Bahrain, Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada. Ian had the pleasure of commanding a Tornado squadron in the early 1990s, before retiring as a group captain. He then flew for twelve years with the airlines. He is also the author of Jaguar Boys (9781911621232) and Fast Jets and Other Beasts (9781910690420).