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PSS Tornado GR1

Marking the 40th year of the Tornado - PSS style!

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Phil Cooke22/11/2014 14:13:42
2187 forum posts
1508 photos

August 2014 saw the 40th Anniversary of the first flight of the Panavia Tornado, or the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) as it was then known. The first British assembled aircraft P.02 - XX946 - flew from BAe Warton in Lancashire on 30th October 1974.

tornado profile 2.jpg

Discussion towards the end of this flying season suggested a few PSSA members were quite keen to mark this event with an informal group build of PSS Tornados, based on the well established plan by one of our founder members, Andy Conway.

With any luck we should see half a dozen examples at our first PSS event next year in April. I’ve just made a start on my model, I wanted to build an early GR1 example and as such I’ve spent the past few modelling sessions modifying the plan from the originally drawn longer, sleeker Tornado F3.

tornado profile 1.jpg

The scale is roughly 1:14 and I’ve decided to go with an interchangeable wing idea, forward swept at 25 degrees for normal slope conditions, and a 40 degree semi-swept wing planform for those ‘higher octane’ days.

The foam wings have been drawn, ordered and manufactured, a canopy and some super little pilots have been ordered too – more on all this later. With some woodwork now underway I’ll aim to keep you posted on progress as the build continues.

Edited By Phil Cooke on 22/11/2014 14:24:11

Phil Cooke22/11/2014 14:35:59
2187 forum posts
1508 photos

A overview of the excellent Tornado F3 plan by Andy Conway.

tornado plan.jpg

I've made modifications to alter the nose profile and shortened the fuselage behind the cockpit to better capture the GR1. In plan, I've also very slightly slimmed the fuselage behind the wing and towards the tail as my calcs showed it was a little too porkly here. The fuselage is all built up and is built in 2 halves, front and back which interlock later in the build... as ever, the first job is to make yourself a kit of parts from the drawing.

Tony Bennett22/11/2014 16:28:49
5016 forum posts
129 photos

thats a nice plan sir.


swing wing as well ?


Edited By Tony Bennett on 22/11/2014 16:30:11

Phil Cooke22/11/2014 19:00:30
2187 forum posts
1508 photos

Good evening Tony, yes - it's a nice plan, as with all of Andy's stuff it's well drawn and nicely laid out with lots of helpful sketches aiding visualisation of the assemblies as they come together. Handy in this case as the fuselage assembly is quite unconventional!

I do know that Andy built a version of this model in the past with a swing wing mechanism, it worked well too - but I'm not going that route, opting instead for an interchangeable pair of wings with different sweeps.

Having talked sections with Andy Blackburn, I've chosen the SD6060 aerofoil, I've maintained scale sweeps and tapers but have gone up a little on both chord and span, as you can see from the 3-view further below.

I sent my sketches to Barry Johnson at Foamwings and in what seemed like no time at all I had my 2 pairs of wings on the bench. Each panel is beautifully crafted with L/E fitted and shaped, the veneers are epoxy vac bonded and the roots cut correctly for the required anhedral. Upon request, Barry even included a 1" strip of glass cloth under the veneer along the T/E top and bottom to stiffen the panels where they taper out.

tornado foam wing layout.jpg

The 3-view below shows the 2 sets of wings as modelled, the red wing with 25 degrees LE sweep, the grey wing with 40 degrees LE sweep.

3-view wing.jpg

Tony Bennett22/11/2014 19:28:32
5016 forum posts
129 photos

oooh soooo tempting.

swing wing

pusher prop



nooo i got enough to do.

Monz22/11/2014 20:17:39
532 forum posts

Hubba hubba hubba Mr Cooke! Please do post lots of pictures

Matt Jones22/11/2014 21:12:09
1186 forum posts
1 photos
Looking good Phil, I'll be following this closely...
Peter Garsden23/11/2014 07:59:01
1441 forum posts
1016 photos

Looks brilliànt Phil. Looking forward to seeing more soon

Mark Kettle 123/11/2014 23:06:40
2153 forum posts
1302 photos
Very nice Phil, very nice, I'll be watching with interest.
Olly P24/11/2014 09:15:57
3215 forum posts
181 photos

Oooh...pilots at 1:14 scale - please tell more - I need at least 5 figures at this size....

Andy Meade24/11/2014 09:28:15
2490 forum posts
639 photos

Real Model Pilots will knock those out for you Olly :

Looking good Phil

Phil Cooke24/11/2014 20:37:51
2187 forum posts
1508 photos

Thanks all, glad to have you along! Mark have you started your Tornado yet??

Hiya Olly, yeah as Andy stated we discussed our requirements with Sean at Real Model Pilots after we met them on their stall at Gaydon LMA in October. They've been brilliant, they've modelled our exact requirements right down to hand and head positions and even helped produce the Mk10 ejector seats that the Tornado uses - I'll add more detail later in the blog (I've not received the pilots yet and they'll need painting when they do arrive) but would highly recommend the service if you want anything a little different. As an example, our pilots and seats are modelled to 1:13.7 scale nerd - you certainly wont find them in your LMA!!

Phil Cooke24/11/2014 20:53:26
2187 forum posts
1508 photos

About time I showed a bit of progress blush ...

I spent a little time kitting some parts from the plan, starting with the forward fuselage assembly. The nose profile is 1/8th light ply, the rest of formers 1, 2, 3 and 6 are balsa. Andy's plan (drawn on CAD) now includes a number of key slots allowing the formers to interlock with the fuselage floor and sidewalls - a little more cutting now leads to an easy assembly.

formers 1.jpg

The fuselage floor is made up of a number of butt-jointed balsa sheet sections, with a hard balsa spine for rigidity.

fus base 1.jpg

Slots are required in the base to accept the formers. I chose to add 1/4" triangular section along the edges instead of the 1/8th sq strip shown on the plan and the formers were modified to suit.

fus base 2.jpg

Formers dropped into position, ready to accept the forward fuselage sides. I need to decide where the Rx Battery needs to sit and cut holes in formers 2 and 3 accordingly. The channel in these formers will allow a 3/4 depth cockpit bathtub.

front fus 1.jpg

Mark Kettle 125/11/2014 00:57:14
2153 forum posts
1302 photos

Eh...a little bit, happens I'm at the stage where I know that -2 litre pop bottles- are not big enough to mould the canopy in one go! Will have to join them on a canopy support. Any way Phil, I'm glad you went first with you 'built blog', it only seemed fair that you went first as it was your baby.

I think mines turning into a F3. For the other mk's, I'm still getting my head around the point where the intakes start near / against the canopy line in front of the navigator. Phil question is that a : GR3 and 4? I agree the body was too wide at the rear end.

Phil, I'll put a video on showing the wing sweeping forward and back quickly and it appears to happen without much trim change to plane's height or attitude, I thinking the balance point is around the wings knuckle swing point.

Phil Cooke25/11/2014 06:57:16
2187 forum posts
1508 photos

Morning Mark, nice to know you are making some progress... canopies are available from Andy Conway of course if continue to find issues with the pop bottle DIY route!

Regarding your question on the fuselage length - it was only the Tornado F3 that had the longer fuselage with the additional section mounted immediately behind the cockpit - this effectively made the air intakes look further rearward, when in reality it was the cockpit section mounted further forwards...

So ALL other Tornado marks, whether the RAF GR1, GR4 or its German/Italian equivalents will have the air intake lip forward up to the canopy hoop - ahead of the navs seating position.

Mark Kettle 125/11/2014 07:21:04
2153 forum posts
1302 photos

Morning Phil, thanks for the finer details on the fuselage differences, on plan it looks a big model especially in fuselage length, happens its not much longer than the Folland Gnat some of us are building.

Edited By Mark Kettle 1 on 25/11/2014 07:33:05

Andy Meade25/11/2014 09:21:17
2490 forum posts
639 photos

Nice progress Phil - neat and tidy as always!

So I guess with this 'Nado being started, the A10 must be finished and ready to fly, right...? wink

Whereas I ALWAYS finish previous builds before starting another angel

Mark Kettle 125/11/2014 09:28:36
2153 forum posts
1302 photos

......yes that's always a problem for me, well I'm back to the Vulcan shed.

Cliff Bastow25/11/2014 17:12:34
772 forum posts
426 photos

Hi Phil,

You are correct about the F3 having an extra length nose, however I think I remember that it also has an extra plug in the rear section as well. If you look at the positions of the tail pipes you can se that they are further behind the fin on an F3 than to other marks.

hope this helps.

Cheers Cliff

Phil Cooke25/11/2014 18:57:34
2187 forum posts
1508 photos

Evening Cliff - yes you are right the F3 utilised more powerful engines as I understand, which were 14" longer than the GR1 engine marks - as such they protruded out beyond the T/E of the tailplanes and no doubt a couple of lengthened body panels were required on the fighter variant to fill the gap!!

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