ONE OF THE most distinctive aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth has made its last flight from the Moray base – for the time being.
XV(Reserve) Squadron’s distinctive Tornado GR4 bearing the special centenary celebration markings flew out of the base for a final time, the aircraft – ZA461 with the ‘026’ designation – being put into storage at RAF Leeming.
The Tornado has become a firm favourite with the public during the Squadron’s celebrations this year, the distinctive and eye-catching red tail a celebration of a squadron that has proudly served since being formed as a training unit at RAF Farnborough in 1915.
A distinguished career for the aircraft will, for the time being, come to an end as it is stored at Leeming as part of the general draw-down of the RAF’s Tornado fleet.
Meanwhile the importance of the Typhoon squadrons at the Moray base were again underlined this week when aircraft from II(AC) Squadron were again scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft encroaching close to UK airspace.
One of the Quick Reaction Alert aircraft was flown by Squadron Leader Jim Calvert, who said Thursday’s mission underlined the important role of the Moray based Typhoons.
He said: “Given the RAF’s enduring commitment to secure the UK’s skies, Thursday’s sortie once again proved Typhoon’s capability to successfully scramble and intercept Russian long-range aviation.
“Protecting our skies is especially poignant in this 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain – working together with ground-based radar and air-to-air refuelling aircraft, today’s RAF continues to come together as a team to protect our country.”