IN PICTURES: Italian Tornados whip up storm at Coningsby

Aviation enthusiasts flocked to RAF Coningsby this week to see two Italian Air Force Tornados that were operating from the Lincolnshire base on trials using the RAF Donna Nook air weapons range.

Both of the Tornado IDS aircraft, MM7036/6-06 and MM7023/6-63, arrived at Coningsby on Monday, October 11. Also taking part in the same trials was Royal Danish Air Force F-16AM Fighting Falcon (MLU), E-598, which arrived on Tuesday morning, refuelled and departed to use the Lincolnshire range before returning to Denmark. The same F-16 repeated the pattern on Wednesday.

On October 13, RAF Coningsby tweeted: “This week we are hosting Tornados, their crews, and supporting Italian Air Force personnel at Coningsby along with members of the Danish Forsvaret and their F-16 aircraft. They have been undertaking trials work with RAF colleagues.”

The Tornados were from 6°Stormo at Ghedi though for their range sorties used the radio callsign ‘Spera’ which denotes they were being flown by aircrew from 311° Gruppo Volo of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (RSV) – the Italian Air Force’s flight test unit.

The RSV, which is based at Pratica di Mare, often borrows aircraft from other units to undertake test and trials work. One of the Tornados departed back to Italy on Thursday, October 14, with the other following today (October 15).

​ Italian Air Force Tornado IDS, MM7036/6-06, touching down at RAF Coningsby to undertake trials work. All images Jamie EwanItalian Air Force Tornado IDS, MM7036/6-06, touching down at RAF Coningsby to undertake trials work. All images Jamie Ewan [Click and drag to move] ​
Italian Air Force Tornado IDS, MM7036/6-06, touching down at RAF Coningsby to undertake trials work. All images Jamie Ewan
The second Italian Tornado IDS to visit RAF Coningsby this week was MM7023/6-63.
The second Italian Tornado IDS to visit RAF Coningsby this week was MM7023/6-63.
Tornado IDS, MM7036/6-06, ‘Spera 56’ taxiing out for a trials sortie at RAF Donna Nook.
Tornado IDS, MM7036/6-06, ‘Spera 56’ taxiing out for a trials sortie at RAF Donna Nook.
The two Italian Air Force Tornados arrived at RAF Coningsby on October 11, with one departing on the 14th and the other on the 15th.
The two Italian Air Force Tornados arrived at RAF Coningsby on October 11, with one departing on the 14th and the other on the 15th.