Preserving Tornado

Inspiring and educating the next generation

Keeping Aircraft Alive

Restoring to operational condition wherever possible

About PTPG

The Panavia Tornado Preservation Group (registered charity number 1163207) was established in 2015 to ensure that examples of the Tornado aircraft are preserved after the type is retired from active service. The aircraft was developed by Panavia, a tri-national establishment (Britain, Germany and Italy), with the prototype first flying in August 1974. Since then the Tornado has served the air forces of Britain, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia for over 40 years, in air defence (ADV), electronic combat/reconnaissance (ECR) and interdictor/strike (IDS) roles.

The Tornado is a two-crew, swing-wing, supersonic aircraft with a max speed of Mach 2.2 and a service ceiling of 50,000ft. It is still one of the few aircraft able to operate at low level, day or night and in poor weather.

The charitable aims of the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group (PTPG) are:

  • To advance the education of the public in the operational/engineering aspects of the Panavia Tornado aircraft and its place in UK aviation history through the provision of a museum for its display and to exhibit documents, items, artefacts and other materials related to the Tornado; and
  • To preserve and protect the Panavia Tornado aircraft for the benefit of the public

PTPG are the proud owners of ZA326, the world’s only Tornado GR.1P and the very last GR.1 variant to fly. You can find out more about 326 and the teams efforts to restore the aircraft back to ground-running condition on the dedicated project website, www.za326.com.

As a charity we rely entirely on the goodwill and generosity of the public, and receive no Government or state funding.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Team

The members of the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group are all volunteers, each bringing their specialist skills to the project. Fuelled by tea, bacon and hallmoni sandwiches, daft banter and a love of the Tornado, our group of engineers, avionics wizards, pilots and geeks work hard to rebuild and restore aircraft.

Find out more about the team by clicking on their photos below.

John Andrews

John Andrews

John is a CAA Licensed Aircraft Engineer.

Full biography coming soon.

Elliott Atkins

Elliott Atkins

A computer geek by trade, Elliott has spent over 20 years working in IT security and running national incident response teams. He now helps businesses rehearse and improve their cyber incident response plans, as well as speaking internationally about computer securty and cyber resilience.

Despite a lifelong interest in aviation, Elliott had never actually been near a Tornado before buying one! He acquired Tornado GR.1 ZA326 from QinetiQ in 2013 and subsequently formed the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group in 2015. He remains a trustee and manages the charity’s websites and social media presence.

When not in front of a computer he can be found playing the guitar (badly), restoring a Folland Gnat cockpit, or out in the Cotswolds walking his very lazy rescue Greyhound.

Likes: old Land Rovers, pies and IPv4 addresses

Dislikes: bicycles, salad and IPv6 addresses

Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards joined the RAF at 17 and trained as propulsion mechanic. He then spent 8 years working on RB199’s initially in the module 15 bay at the Tornado Propulsion Flight at RAF Lossiemouth then first line with 14sqn in Germany and 12sqn back at Lossiemouth. Having seen the desert with tours in Kuwait and getting as far south as the Falklands and far East as Singapore, he left the RAF for a life less “ordinary”.

Mark spent a few years building a business in Shropshire before selling up and joining the police where he has been for the last nine years. During this time he has maintained his mechanical skills pottering with numerous ridiculously over complicated performance vehicles. Having found ZA326 online he decided to put his skills to better use and is back on the spanners with a Tornado again. It’s remarkable how much knowledge is retained and how fast it comes back.

He enjoys real ale, mountain biking and swearing at his vintage VW camper that is always broken the instant its time to go away.

Mick Holland

Mick Holland

Mick has a wealth of Tornado experience, including:

  • 3 engine bay tours at RAF Marham and RAF Lossiemouth twice (someone must have had it in for him!)
  • 13 Sqn at RAF Marham
  • Aircraft Maintainance Flight at RAF Lossiemouth
  • CAT 3 repair team at RAF Cottesmore
  • Engineering Authority at RAF Wyton and Rolls-Royce
  • Multi skilling training (teaching riggers how to be real mechanical technicians on a plastic Typhoon with Tornado systems)

Likes: IPA, ale, real ale, hop infused water, sea fishing, bread making and walking the social hand-grenade that is his puppy! (who is aptly named “Tonka”)

Dislikes: Fairies complaining about the state of their nails when they have to do something. Lager boys who aren’t man enough to drink real ale

Ollie Suckling

Ollie Suckling

Ollie joined the RAF in 2007 after spending 3 years at RAF Church Fenton with Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron whilst studying Physical Geography at Hull University.

After IOT, Ollie carried out EFT on the Tutor at Cranwell was streamed Fast Jet and flew the Tucano at RAF Linton on Ouse before completing Advanced Flying Training and Tactical Weapons on the Hawk T.1 at RAF Valley. He started the Tornado OCU in January 2013, before being posted to RAF Marham in 2014 to fly the Tornado GR.4 with No. 31 Squadron.

Not afraid to get his hands dirty, Ollie has worked on historic aircraft such as Victor ‘Lusty Lindy’ at Elvington since he was 15 and is a proud member of The Buccaneer Aviation Group at Bruntingthorpe. Always keen to get into the classic aircraft scene, he bought the share in a Jet Provost in 2014 and can be found displaying at airshows as part of the Jet Provost Display Team.

Likes: Flying and Gin

Dislikes: ?

John Sullivan

John Sullivan

John joined the RAF aged 19 as L Mech FS in January 1986. He starting off in Nav Inst bay before spending 3-4 years doing 1st line and rects work on Tornados. He reluctantly re-traded and spent 10 years on HF comms and 2 years as a node programmer at RAF Bentley Priory.

After leaving the RAF in 2001, John joined the world of semiconductors as a metrology engineer. He started a second company in 2012 designing chillers to keep dead people chilled (not a nice application but someone has to do it!) and most recently he has gone full circle, starting a third company to work on aviation communications equipment.

Likes: anything with the word “gadget” written on it, fast walking, dog-sitting, the occasional beer and going on all inclusive holidays with no Brits in sight.

Dislikes: wasting time – John says he can relax when he’s on the other side!

Rob “Swanny” Swanson

Rob “Swanny” Swanson

Swanny has been fixing planes for decades, is currently involved in more restoration projects than is healthy for one man. When not helping to breathe life back into Tornado GR.1 ZA326 he can be found tinkering with a Canberra, Victor and various other cold-war era jets.

He is a trustee of the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group and Deputy Curator of the RAF Marham Heritage Centre.

Likes: cars, planes and fixing things

Dislikes: young folk with beards – never trust a man with a weak chin

 

Mark Whitaker

Mark Whitaker

Mark was an RAF Supplier back in the 1990’s, but since 2002 he’s been a commercial pilot flying for the Clipper Group & HomeServe PLC. He’s also the Embraer Executive Jets demonstration pilot.

An international man of mystery, Mark has over 5000 hours flying a variety of fixed wing aircraft (including Cirrus SR22, PC-12, HS125, Citation Jet, Phenom 300, Legacy 450 & 500 and L-29) as well as 800 hours on rotary types including R44, Bell 407 and Augusta 109.

Mark is a trustee of the Panavia Tornado Preservation Group, and has owned and rebuilt two Tornado F3 cockpits (ZE965 and ZE936).

Likes: Teeth whitening products, selfies, Porsche cars, spray tans and talking about himself

Dislikes: Getting his hands dirty

 

We need YOUR help!

As a charity we always ensure that our goals and aims are realistic. Whilst there are various “return-to-flight” projects for other aircraft types, this just isn’t feasible for a Tornado in the UK. Not only would the costs be prohibitive, but Civil Aviation Authority rules and regulations simply don’t permit the type to be flown privately.

So we’re aiming for the next best thing and working hard to restore a unique Tornado GR.1 back to ground-runnable condition. We want to provide the public with an opportunity to see, hear and feel the power of a two-seat, twin-engined supersonic jet up close.

A project of this scale doesn’t come cheap. As a charity we don’t receive any Government or state funding, which is why we ask for donations from the public. You’ve helped us make amazing progress so far, but there’s still more to do.

If you’re a business who would like to get involved with the project, please get in touch via the contact form below – we’d love to discuss ways of working together to help educate and inspire future generations.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

 

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