This is an ongoing project that will be divided in different parts as our work progresses along the year.
Welcome to Part 3. My Visit to RAF Marham.
I was invited to visit R.A.F. Marham to have a look at the Panavia Tornado GR4 fighter jets still in service. It was a very surreal experience, as you can imagine.
After the strict control you could imagine I went through (being an Argentinian in an English military base and all) I was suddenly standing in front of the Cold War bomb-proof hangars where two of the 9 Tornados were being prepared for their last ever diamond formation by the IX Bomber Squadron this Thursday 28th February 2019.
The rrrracket, I tell you…
But yes, I ended up sitting in the (ejectable) seat of the jet, front and then back, and played around with buttons and joysticks and pedals and buttons and clicky things. Everywhere I looked.
If it wasn’t for my dreadlock, the long beard with colourful bands, coconut earrings and the lack of a motorbike, I would have thought I was Tom Cruise. Without the leather jacket.
But no, I didn’t fly.
The pilot of one of these jets, who is the man managing the Jet Memento Project, showed me every bit of the Tornado; the Rolls Royce engines, the iconic sweeping wings, fuel tanks, radars, missiles, lasers and cameras and I was completely out of my depth. I was walking on the wings and fuselage of an aeroplane that a few days ago was flying over Syria.
I also saw the new jets which are replacing the Tornados, flying around, landing and making a hell of a noise.
Everybody was very welcoming, friendly and excited for me about the project I got involved in.
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