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Corgi Aviation Archive Collector Series AA33622
Panavia Tornado GR.Mk 4 Diecast Model
RAF No.16 Sqn, ZA591, RAF Mildenhall, England, Squadron 75th Annivesary 1990

Limited Edition
1000
Pieces Worldwide

1:72 Scale   Length   Width
Panavia Tornado GR.Mk 4   9.25"   7.75"

With many RAF squadrons able to trace their establishment back to the early air operations of the Great War, the 1990s saw quite a number of them commemorating their 75th anniversaries. As was customary on these occasions, several squadrons would send one of their aircraft into the paint shop to be adorned with special anniversary artwork, much to the delight of aviation enthusiasts across Europe.

These aircraft would spend the next few months attending official RAF events, open days and Airshows, where they would become some of the most popular and most photographed aircraft in the world. Without doubt, one of the most spectacular of the RAF squadron 75th anniversary schemes was the smart all-over black paint finish applied to Panavia Tornado GR.1 ZA591, an aircraft which would represent No.16 Squadron throughout their 75th anniversary year, and in some style.

The aircraft itself went on to attract a couple of unofficial titles following its repaint, both of which where christened by RAF personnel. To most, she was simply referred to as "The Black Pig", but following the participation of RAF Tornados in the Gulf War, where the black painted American F-117 Stealth Fighter played such a prominent role, she was also colloquially referred to as the "Stealth GR.1". However you referred to her, No.16 Squadron's ZA591 was certainly one of the best looking Tornados to ever to see Royal Air Force service.

Even though the strike/attack variant of the Tornado would go on to post an impressive Royal Air Force service record which spanned almost forty years, No.16 Squadron would only spend a relatively short period operating this magnificent aircraft.

Exchanging their Blackburn Buccaneers for the Tornado in 1984, the squadron would only use the aircraft for seven years, but not before they had seen combat operations during the Gulf War and turned out one of the best looking squadron anniversary aircraft. On 11th September 1991, the squadron disbanded, but their number was applied in "reserve status" to No.226 SEPECAT Jaguar Operational Conversion Unit, an aircraft it operated until this was withdrawn from service in March 2005.

The squadron originally formed at Saint-Omer, in the Pas-de-Calais region of France in 1915, where they were engaged in flying photographic, reconnaissance and artillery spotting sorties during the earliest days of military flying.

Always referred to as "The Saints" in RAF parlance due to their original formation location, the distinctive stick man with halo logo applied to many of the squadron's post war jets is actually linked to the popular TV spy character of the same name, played by the suave future "James Bond", actor Roger Moore.

Usually represented in gold on a black disc background, the "gold Saint" surely never looked better than when he was applied to the large black fin of the squadron's 75th anniversary Tornado GR.1 jet during 1990.

Panavia Tornado GR.Mk 4

Designed in collaboration with Britain, West Germany and Italy, the Tornado was first flown on August 14th, 1974 and is thought by many to be the most important military aircraft in Western European history. Nicknamed "The Flying Fin" because of its large tail fin, the Tornado has a variable wing sweep design and is capable of taking off and landing on short airstrips. It is equipped with terrain-following radar, which allows for hands-off, low-level flight in any weather. There are three primary versions: an electronic combat/reconnaissance version, an interceptor and a highly versatile strike fighter-bomber capable of carrying almost all of NATO's air-launched weapons.

© Copyright 2003-2024 The Flying Mule, Inc.

Corgi's 1:72 scale Tornados feature the distinctively large tail fin that gives the real aircraft its nickname, "The Fin". The models also incorporates an articulating swing-wing design that can be configured in varying sweep positions, movable elevators that rotate in unison, and simulated stainless-steel heat shielding around the detailed engine exhaust. The wing mounted fuel tanks and ordnance can be positioned to fit any swept-wing configuration, and the repositionable canopy opens to reveal pilot figures and cockpit detail, including the distinctive embedded cordite charge used to shatter the canopy during the ejection sequence. The mold itself is exceptionally rich in detail, with every access panel and antenna faithfully reproduced. Pad-printed unit markings and placards provide the finishing touches.

© Copyright 2003-2024 The Flying Mule, Inc.

Corgi Aviation Archive Collector Series

The Corgi "Aviation Archive" range presents highly-detailed, ready-made diecast models of military and civilian aircraft. The vast Aviation Archive range has become the standard by which all other diecast airplane ranges are judged. Each Corgi model is based on a specific aircraft from an important historical or modern era of flight, and has been authentically detailed from original documents and archival library material. Famous airplanes and aviators from both military and commercial airline aviation are all honored.

Corgi "Aviation Archive" diecast airplanes feature:

  • Diecast metal construction with some plastic components.
  • Realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels and surface details.
  • Pad printed markings and placards that won't fade or peel like decals.
  • Interchangeable extended/retracted landing gear with rotating wheels.
  • Poseable presention stand to display the aircraft "in flight".
  • Many limited editions with numbered certificate of authenticity.
  • Detailed, hand-painted pilot and crew member figures.
  • Authentic detachable ordnance loads complete with placards.
  • Selected interchangeable features such as speed-brakes, opened canopies and access panels.
  • Selected moving parts such as gun turrets, control surfaces and swing-wings.

© Copyright 2003-2024 The Flying Mule, Inc.    

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