15R Squadron
15R Squadron

XV Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, was formed at South Farnborough on 1 March 1915. The Squadron flew many missions equipped with the BE2c bi-plane until well into 1917, when it was re-equipped with the RE8. Throughout World War I, XV Squadron resided in France taking part in many battles, notably that of the Somme. After the war the Squadron was disbanded and later reformed in 1924. Eventually, in 1934 it became XV Day Bombing Squadron based at Abingdon, with the Hawker Hart. At the start of World War II, XV Squadron deployed to France, but within months re-deployed to the UK. From December 1939 to January 1942 the Squadron flew from Wyton with Bristol Blenheims, followed by Vickers Wellingtons and eventually Shorts Stirlings. It was in September 1941 that XV Squadron received the Stirling LS F, donated by Lady MacRobert, in memory of her 3 sons who were all killed in flying accidents: two were killed in action with the RAF in 1941. The Bomber was to be known as "MacRobert's Reply" and since that day every aircraft designated "F" has born that inscription. By the end of 1943, XV Squadron had re-equipped with the Avro Lancaster, the aircraft that was to see out the last two years of the war. The late forties and early fifties saw two more changes in aircraft type, three years with the Avro Lincoln and three years with the Washington B1. In 1953 XV Squadron moved into the "jet age" with the English Electric Canberra but again only for a short time until it disbanded at RAF Honington in 1957.XV Squadron reformed on 1st September 1958 at RAF Cottesmore with the Victor B1. This was the most settled period in the Squadron's history to date, remaining at Cottesmore for six years before disbanding once more. The squadron reformed in 1970 at RAF Honington with the Blackburn Buccaneer S2B and after three months moved to RAF Laarbruch in Germany, remaining there until 1991.The Squadron converted to the Panavia Tornado GR1 in 1983 becoming the first operational Tornado Squadron in Germany. XV Squadron's involvement in what became known as "Operation Desert Storm" began in November 1990 when it deployed to Muharraq, Bahrain. It carried out one of the first allied offensive operations of the war, attacking an airfield in Iraq on 17 January 1991.In the six weeks of operations, XV Squadron flew over 200 sorties against some 30 different targets delivering in excess of eight hundred 1000lb bombs and 30 JP233 airfield denial weapons. Two aircraft were lost due to enemy action.After the Gulf War, three squadrons at RAF Laarbruch were disbanded; XV Squadron being one of these at the end of 1991. On 1st April 1992, the XV(Reserve) nameplate was given to the Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit at RAF Honington. XV(R) Squadron remained at RAF Honington, training Tornado aircrew, until 1 November 1993 when it moved to RAF Lossiemouth, it's present home. With the closure of the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) at RAF Cottesmore on 31 March 1999 the sole responsibility for the training of all of the RAF's future Tornado Pilots and Navigators now lies with XV(R) Squadron.
The Tornado, originally known as the Multi Role Combat Aircraft or MRCA, is built as a joint venture by 3 nations: the UK, Germany and Italy. The Panavia GmbH consortium started the programme in 1969 and the first aircraft flew on 14 August 1974 at Manching, Germany. In simple terms, the UK builds the front and back sections of the aircraft, Germany builds the middle section and Italy builds the wings. However, most of the systems are multi-national with only the computer software being specific to the requirements of the operating nation.The aircraft has 2 Turbo-Union RB 199 engines. These engines are specifically designed for low level operations and are very fuel efficient at constant power settings. In dry power they each produce around 8 000lbs of thrust and with full afterburner the power doubles to 16 000lbs. Additionally, the engines are fitted with an excellent thrust reverse system, similar to those employed on airliners, giving the aircraft the ability to land on very short runways. The Tornado has variable sweep wings, which cater for optimum performance at a variety of speeds. With the wings swept forward to 25 the slats and flaps can be extended, to provide high lift for take off and landing, enabling operations to be conducted from very short airstrips. Once airborne the high lift and drag generated in this configuration can be reduced and the wings are swept back to either 45 for normal flight, or 67 for higher speed operations. The display is flown mostly in 25 wing with the manoeuvre flaps extended to improve the turning performance although the high-speed departure is flown in 67 wing sweep. This extremely complex aircraft has a number of systems, which enable accurate delivery of its weapons. These include a very capable radar, which is used to find features on the ground or other aircraft in combat. Perhaps the most impressive system is the Terrain Following Radar (or TFR). When used in conjunction with the autopilot, the aircraft can fly with no input from the pilot at heights as low as 200ft in any weather whilst the crew monitor the systems to check that the aircraft is performing correctly. The ideal weather conditions for Tornado operations are fog or very low cloud and a moonless night. The aircraft is currently undergoing a major upgrade programme to improve its night and poor weather capabilities. The most impressive weapon of the Tornado is the Laser Guided Bomb(LGB), used in conjunction with the Thermal Imaging Airborne Laser Designation (TIALD) pod. It was this weapon system combination that provided the dramatic pictures of ultra-accurate bridge and building destruction during the Gulf War and the more recent Operation Desert Fox. The aircraft also has a significant self defence capability employing a sophisticated Electronic Warfare suite and the Sidewinder heat seeking missile.

Home
Tornado
617 Squadron "The Dambusters"
12 Squadron




Click on the thumbnails below for the full picture

25k


60k


29k


44k


30k


40k


50k


52k


55k


54k


49k


45k


40k


51k


38k


49k


27k


47k


46k


43k


29k


25k


35k


33k


43k




My other photo packed website




pet meds
Free Hit Counters
Visitors