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Tornado trio take to the air over RAF Marham as jets prepare to retire

PUBLISHED: 09:08 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:22 25 January 2019

Three RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft with a specially painted livery to commemorate their retirement from service, during a flypast at RAF Marham  Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Three RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft with a specially painted livery to commemorate their retirement from service, during a flypast at RAF Marham Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Three specially-painted RAF Tornado jets flew together for the first time weeks before the aircraft are due to retire.

The Tornados will leave service by the end of March after almost 40 years with the RAF.

More than 100 plane enthusiasts gathered at the fence line of RAF Marham in Norfolk to see the three jets in flight on Wednesday.

One of the jets was painted in camouflage colours and the other two have artwork on the tail, one with the gold star of 31 Sqn, and the other with a bat with wings extended which is the badge of IX(B) Sqn.

The three aircraft flew in formation around the airbase, and enthusiasts also saw a pair of F-35 Lightning stealth fighter jets and two Typhoons take off from the runway.

The Tornado has been in service since 1979 and was first used in combat during the first Gulf War.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has paid tribute to the Tornado as an “amazing aircraft that has inspired so many”.

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