Aviation art ~ Tornado GR4A

Tornado GR4A


Private Collection

This original aviation art pencil drawing by James Baldwin is of a Tornado GR4A of number 2 Squadron, RAF, flying over the Lake District in north west England. 'Unarmed, Alone and Unafraid' was the usual banter from reconnaissance crews as their missions were generally flown as single aircraft, whereas the bomber squadrons would operate in formations.

The Tornado GR4 has probably been one of the most successful offensive ground attack aircraft of modern times. Currently in service with the Royal Air Force as well as the German, Italian and Royal Saudi air forces it was designed as a multi-role combat aircraft during the Cold War. With the RAF, the Tornado has been on continuous combat duty since beginning of the Gulf War in 1991. The Tornado provided vital reconnaissance and offensive support to the No Fly Zone operations over Iraq between 1991 and 2003, and was often described by Coalition commanders as 'the platform (or weapon) of choice'. It was that capable. During the period the Tornado also saw action over the Former Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo conflict and, since 2003 has been on continuous operations in the Middle East.