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Panavia Tornado

Panavia Tornado Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2005 Title Panavia Tornado
Author Krzysztof Barcz Publisher Kagero
Published 2005 ISBN 83-89088-79-7
Format 36 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $14.98


Kagero's latest installment in the 'Topshots' series covers the Panavia Tornado. This title is 36 pages long, contains 118 full-color photographs, and a set of canopy masks for an unspecified 1/72 and 1/48 scale aircraft kit.

So what is the big deal about the Tornado? What do you get when you mix a crew of two, a pair of high-powered afterburning engines, a straight-wing for reasonably short runways, highly swept wings for supersonic flight, high wing loading for rock-solid low-level flight stability, an awesome weapons carriage capacity and mix, and thrust reversers for stopping on highways?

Nick-named "the fin' for its huge vertical stabilizer, the Tornado was a joint development between the British, Germans and Italians, entering service in all three air forces, the German Navy, and even the Saudi Air Force. The Tornado experienced initally high losses during Operation Desert Shield/Storm when it undertook some of the more high-risk missions, but excelled in precision bombing with the help of a Jaguar or Buccaneer to lase the target. Tornado soon acquired its own laser designation capability and continues to provide superior strike capabilities in every theater it is called upon to serve.

In this title, the author has collected a nice sampling of walk-around photos of the strike and ECR Tornados from the UK and Germany. The photos provide some nice detail of the cockpits, access panels and major details of the aircraft. There are some nice shots of the pods and weapons loads of these aircraft, including the HARMs of the ECR. Note that this title doesn't cover the Fighter/Interceptor version of the Tornado.

Unlike the Kagero titles in other series, this series has a single page of historical summary about the aircraft in English, with the remainder of the title driving straight into the photo coverage with captions in English and Polish.

The aviation historian and modeler alike will want to add this to their reference libraries - especially considering the VERY reasonable retail price!

This title is highly recommended!