1988 Panavia Tornado F3


  • Lot number 
  • Year of manufacture 
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The Tornado F3 was the last Cold War interceptor. A MACH 2.2 fast jet fighter aircraft capable of a maximum speed of 1490 mph. Retired from service by the Royal Air Force in 2011 and nicknamed ‘Guardian of the Skies' the F3 provided 25 years of sterling service patrolling the skies of the United Kingdom and various other hot spots around the world that required no fly zones. The F3 was a dedicated ADV (air defence variant) version of the swing wing, European multi-roll combat aircraft.

This particular example is the only privately owned Tornado F3 aircraft in the world and represents a serious acquisition opportunity for the discerning collector or investor who has the desire to own one very rare and exclusive piece of aviation history.

This is also highly likely to be the only time a RAF Tornado F3 is offered for auction as the entire RAF F3 fleet (bar a handful of aircraft preserved in national museums) have been spares recovered and then subsequently scrapped. Being offered as the ultimate static display / museum aircraft, gate guard or business promotional tool this really is one very exciting lot.

This particular F3 was built in 1988 and served with 29 Sqn, 5 Sqn, 56(R) Sqn and finally 111 Sqn. Notable in its service history is a stint as the personal mount of the Commanding Officer of 56 Squadron and visits to Malaysia and Alaska on exercise, as well as providing the backdrop to the decommissioning ceremony of 29 Squadron in 1998. The aircraft having just undergone a 16 month rebuild and restoration is ready to display exactly as shown in the photos and has been finished as ‘Delta Zulu' of XI(F) Squadron with black and yellow diamond fin cap and squadron markings on the fin.

The aircraft is externally complete with the cockpit interior in incredible order including the two Martin Baker Mk 10A ejection seats. The canopy opens and closes with a hydraulic hand pump. Additionally worth noting is this aircraft is a ‘Twin Stick' example with full flying controls fitted in both the front and rear cockpit. Only around one third of Tornado aircraft produced had the twin stick configuration.

The aircraft is being sold for display purposes and is not airworthy. All armaments and weapons systems have been removed. Many of the internal systems have been removed during the decommissioning process; for example the Radar and avionics boxes, engines and APU are absent. Viewing can be arranged prior to the auction by appointment.
The buyer will have the opportunity to purchase a professional full delivery and assembly service including international containerised shipping where necessary. International shipping will be subject to UK export control approval which will take around 6 weeks to process. International customers are requested to check with Silverstone Auctions in advance to ensure that export to your country could be undertaken
Market value for an aircraft of this rarity is nearly impossible to gauge, as such no price estimate has been shown and the aircraft has been offered with no reserve. Certainly one for the investors, an aircraft to buy and cherish for the future.
Last flown: March 2003. Total Hrs: 3267

Build Number AT020
Serial Number ZE256
Engine Number N/A
Year of Manufacture 1988