The Tornado entered service with the RAF in 1982 and served as lead tactical airpower for the following 37 years. We commemorate the service of this historic aircraft with Tornado Gin. Distilled under the flight path where the Tornado used to fly and the brainchild of former RAF navigator and author, Ken Delve.
Ken is also a volunteer at RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre. A contribution from every bottle sold is donated to this charity, helping to keep entry free and enable the Heritage Centre to preserve and present RAF history.
Tornado Gin is vapour-infused in our copper alembic still with a basket of the finest botanicals - including juniper, citrus, nettle and thyme. This creates an ultra-smooth London dry gin. Deliciously enjoyable on its own over ice, or add just a splash of tonic and garnish with orange and fresh thyme to create a longer cocktail.
Tasting notes:Herby citrus notes come through with the sweetness from the nettles first, then a nice punch of juniper with the spice coming through at the end. Very smooth and great to sip neat, or with just a splash of elderflower tonic.
Allergens: Gluten free and does not contain any notifiable allergens.
Pack size: 50cl bottle.
Frequently referred to as the ‘Tonka’ or the ‘Mighty Fin’, the Panavia Tornado was the product of a British-German-Italian consortium to produce a next-generation combat aircraft for the strike-attack role for the 1980s and beyond. The design settled on a compact two-seat (pilot and Navigator/WSO), twin-engined (RB.199) aircraft with wings that could be swept from 25 degrees (take-off, landing and manoeuvring) to 67 degrees (high-speed), and with a mid-position of 45 degrees for good overall low-level performance, although the wings could actually be positioned at any point between 25 and 67 degrees.
Designed for low-level, all-weather operations, the Tornado Nav/Attack system was based on a Ground Mapping Radar (GMR) and Inertial Navigation System (INS) feeding its Main Computer, thus providing good system accuracy. This was later enhanced, initially with GPS (Global Positioning System) inputs. The all-weather aspect relied on the TFR (Terrain Following Radar) that allowed hands-off operation at pre-set ground avoidance heights, an effective if at times scary system!
Initial weapons fit included the internal 27mm Mauser cannon (x2), AiM-9 Sidewinder for air-to-air self defence, and a variety of air to ground weapons. Entering service in the early 1980s, the GR.1 also appeared in other roles, as the GR.1A (reconnaissance), GR.1B (anti-shipping) and other specialist fits. The RAF also produced an air defence variant, the F/2/F.3.
Designed for Cold War operations, the Tornado actually ‘went to war’ in 1991 as part of the Coalition air ops in the Gulf War to eject the Iraqis from Kuwait. A major enhancement in the 1990s saw the GR.1 become the GR.4, which continued the enhancement of the aircraft’s capability with new sensors and new, smarter, weapons. It still looked the same, but its capabilities continued to increase, as indeed they did over the subsequent 20 years!
The RAF Tornado force became the backbone of air ops in a number of conflicts as part of the War on Terror, particularly with ops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The Tornado force was gradually reduced in size as the Typhoon took over some its roles, and RAF Marham became the final ‘home’ of the jet in its latter years, and it was at Marham that the RAF Tornado GR force eventually disbanded in March 2019, bringing to an end almost 40 years of RAF service.
The RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre preserves and displays the history of Marham, its units and aircraft, and Marham was a Tornado base throughout the Tornado GR period, the only airfield with that record of ops.
RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre
The Aviation Heritage Centre at RAF Marham was born out of the old Station History Room, which was set up in the 1980’s as a facility to display various historical artefacts and memorabilia. This facility was within the bounds of the station so was rarely open to the public.
In 2013 a building became available which was outside of the station boundary, it was the old St George’s Roman Catholic church. Led by Steve Roberts the curator, the team put together a convincing case and was granted use of the building. It was then a question of putting the building to good use! and that has certainly been done by the team.
The displayed collection and the historic archive currently holds over 12,000 items pertaining to either the history of RAF Marham, the Royal Air Force in East Anglia and also the history of the RAF in general. The collection continues to grow as more artefacts and memorabilia are donated or loaned to us, veterans also share their memories of Marham with us and we have started an audio archive of some of those memories. Every day we are open brings more insights and information!
Location: Close to the main gate of RAF Marham.
For parking please use the car park at the back of the RAF Marham Families shopping complex.
Opening Times: Normal opening times are every Tuesday and Wednesday 0900 to 1500; last Saturday of every month 0900 to 1500.