Jet Art Aviation (JAA) ended last year on a high with the arrival of two rare airframes: BAe Hawk T.1 XX341 and Panavia Tornado F.2 ZD899.
One of only two surviving F.2s, ZD899 was delivered to the firm’s Yorkshire facility in late November. This was followed by XX341, known as the ASTRA (Advanced Stability Training and Research Aircraft) Hawk, originally sent to the Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, in 1982. Fitted with special avionics and software, it could mimic characteristics of different aircraft or simulate flights in adverse conditions. Having spent most of its life undergoing upgrades and wearing the famous ETPS red, white and blue ‘Raspberry Ripple’ scheme, the Hawk ended its career in all-gloss black livery.
JAA boss Chris Wilson commented: “It’s our vision to return the aircraft to her famous ‘Raspberry Ripple’ colours, along with Empire Test Pilot School markings, as an externally complete exhibit. Having recently been retired and never kept outside, the aircraft is in great condition.”
He continued: “Our last big extraction and transportation mission of the decade was Tornado F.2 ZD899 – the very first production Air Defence Variant, otherwise known as AT001. The aircraft will receive a huge amount of Jet Art TLC in 2020, with full restoration to museum display standard. It was one of only 18 production F.2s built for the RAF, eight of which – including this one – were fitted with dual controls and unofficially known as the F.2(T).”
WITH THANKS TO CHRIS WILSON-JAA www.jetartaviation.co.uk