• Registration and safety briefing
• Tornado video presentation
• Lecture on flying clothing and ejection seat/survival equipment
• Introduction to the Tornado aircraft and its history
• Opportunity to look around the Tornado Heritage Centre
• Guided tour of the Tornado F3 ZE966
• Access to the cockpit of the Tornado (subject to weather conditions)
• Learn about navigation and flight planning and simulator instruction
• 25 minute session in the Tornado simulator with circuits and approaches at RAF Leuchars
• Simulator debrief
• Please allow between 3-3.5 hours on site for this experience
• Genuine RAF flying suits/gloves are provided for use (optional)
• Light refreshments are included
What Can I Expect
Sign up for this half day aircrew experience and try out the Tornado flight simulator too! Immerse yourself in the world of RAF fighter jets with this utterly fascinating visit to the unique Tornado Heritage Centre near Chester.
The Panavia Tornado was a German-Anglo-Italian collaboration and although production of these twin-engine combat aircraft ceased in 1998, there are still dozens in active service in air forces around the world, including our Royal Air Force. The ‘Tonka’, as it’s affectionately known in the UK, is pretty much a living legend and this experience will see you meeting an ex-RAF Tornado and it’s dedicated custodians.
The Tornado Heritage Centre team has completely renovated and rebuilt their Panavia F3 Tornado. ZE966 serial code VT was demobbed in 2007, having first flown in 1990. This particular RAF Tornado saw active service flying missions during the Gulf War. If you care to Google Tornado ZE966, you’ll see some wonderful air-to-air photos of the very aircraft you’ll be sitting in today, which is pretty cool by all accounts!
So yes, this is a proper Panavia Tornado. And to make your visit as authentic as possible, the heritage centre facility has been set up just like a typical RAF squadron building. What’s more, you’ll be wearing genuine RAF flying ’suits’ (ever wondered what fighter pilots and navigators wear and why?) and you’ll be hearing all about the history of the Tornado as you see the flight briefing and planning rooms.
As well looking around the Heritage Centre facility, you’ll also get plenty of time with the star of the show. A cockpit visit of this ex-RAF Tornado is included - and it’s amazing to have the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of this iconic aircraft. As if all that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get time on the Tornado flight simulator. These were used to practice SOPS (that’s Standard Operating Procedures in aviator speak) and simulate conditions inside the Tornado cockpit. Once again, it’s properly hands-on and totally engaging.
It’s not every day you get the chance to step up to the task of being in a Tornado Procedures Trainer simulator - especially when it’s the only working example of an F3 simulator in existence. Nor is it a regular thing for non-RAF types to be sitting in the cockpit of an actual Panavia RAF Tornado like ZE966. No wonder these Tornado experiences are so popular - and they operate on a limited number of days during the year too, so make sure you get booked up early!
• Saturdays and Sundays between May and September
• Alternative dates may be available upon request
• Morning and afternoon sessions are generally available
• Minimum age 13
• Under 18s must be accompanied by a participating or spectating adult
• Participants must be able bodied to enter the cockpit/simulator and be able to operate the controls
• Spectators are welcome to come along for an additional charge of £5 per person (maximum of three permitted), payable when booking your date
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• Drinks and snacks can be purchased from the onsite 'Chocks Away Diner'
• The Tornado Heritage Centre, Hawarden Airfield, Chester, Cheshire