Tornado Heritage Centre

Tornado Heritage Centre The THC has been in development for 3 years and open to the public for the last 10 months. Our aim is to provide a facility that heralds the Panavia Tornado Aircraft.

There are many layers to the THC (see products) and we offer guided tours of our facility which enables our visitors to gain a much greater experience than your average museum. Our building is set up to represent a typical RAF Sqaudron which includes, Breifing & Flight Planning room, Flying Clothing, Survival Equipment & History rooms, F3 Procedure Trainer/Flight Simulator. The THC is open to visi

There are many layers to the THC (see products) and we offer guided tours of our facility which enables our visitors to gain a much greater experience than your average museum. Our building is set up to represent a typical RAF Sqaudron which includes, Breifing & Flight Planning room, Flying Clothing, Survival Equipment & History rooms, F3 Procedure Trainer/Flight Simulator. The THC is open to visi

Operating as usual

The Tornado Heritage Centre is proud to promote the Wild Knight Distillery 'TORNADO GIN'.In conjunction with the RAF Mar...
17/08/2021

The Tornado Heritage Centre is proud to promote the Wild Knight Distillery 'TORNADO GIN'.

In conjunction with the RAF Marham Aviation Heritage Centre, Wild Knight Distillery have produced a limited run of 501, individually numbered, commemorative bottles, containing their 'Award Winning' London dry gin, which are available to order, exclusively online.

Check out their entire range, including Commemorative & Limited Edition RAF releases by visiting: www.wildknightdistillery.co.uk

The Tornado Heritage Centre is pleased to announce that we are now open and will be offering tours of our facility on th...
02/05/2021

The Tornado Heritage Centre is pleased to announce that we are now open and will be offering tours of our facility on the 3rd Saturday of each month from May - September.

Tours begin at 10.00, 12.15 & 14.30.
£6 Adults, £3 Children (8 - 16 years old)
Please pay on the day.

Due to the current restrictions, there will be a maximum of eight persons per tour so it may be advisable to book in advance.

We also offer Group visits and Aircrew Experience Days by appointment.

For bookings and other information, please call or text on 07583 308698.

27/08/2020

Unfortunately all of the places on the three tours for Saturday 19th of September have been booked.
Our sincere apologies to anyone who was hoping to visit us but due to the Covid-19 situation, we have had to limit numbers of entry but hopefully we will see you all next year when our tours begin again on the 3rd Saturday of May.

We are in the process of acquiring a RUBB hangar, so if we are able to start accepting visitors earlier than May, we will put a post on Facebook advising of our new opening times.

The Tornado Heritage Centre will be holding it's one and only open day this year on Saturday 19th September.Due to a hig...
27/08/2020

The Tornado Heritage Centre will be holding it's one and only open day this year on Saturday 19th September.

Due to a high demand, limited places are available on the 3 tours, so to avoid disappointment on the day, it might be advisable to book your place in advance.

10am 6 Places available.
12.15 Fully booked.
14.30 6 Places available.

If you would like to reserve a place on the tour, please contact us via the telephone number on our page.

Two busy days at the Heritage Centre. It was a pleasure to host the team from Justflight on Friday, their visit was in c...
15/08/2020

Two busy days at the Heritage Centre. It was a pleasure to host the team from Justflight on Friday, their visit was in conjuction with their upcoming launch of the Tornado F3 software so the guys were keen to get up close and personal with ZE966, which assisted them with details required for the model which will be used in their simulator software. The launch will take place at the Tornado Heritage Centre within the next few months, please visit - www.justflight.com for more information and to view their range of products.

Saturday was spent cleaning the aircraft in preparation for our opening later this month.

We will only be having one public open day this year which will be on Saturday 19th September tours will begin at 10am, 12.15 and 14.30.

Today we finally managed to get the chance to do a Main Pylon change, fit the HDERU's (Heavy Duty Ejector Release Unit),...
18/07/2020

Today we finally managed to get the chance to do a Main Pylon change, fit the HDERU's (Heavy Duty Ejector Release Unit), Drop Tanks & Stub Pylons. Huge thanks to 'Eric' Watkiss (former 56 Sqn Rigger) & Sol Legdani for making the trip down to help us.

Not very exciting but I'm sure of Interest to the 'Riggers' out there!!!!! but in preparation for the fitting of the HDE...
27/05/2020

Not very exciting but I'm sure of Interest to the 'Riggers' out there!!!!! but in preparation for the fitting of the HDERU's & Drop Tanks, the Adaptors & Mace Luggs have been fitted to the 2,250 ltr 'Hindenburger' AKA 'Big Juggs'. A huge thanks to Chris for making the 'Castle Nut' tooling.

A busy weekend at the Heritage Centre, lots of spectators turned up to see the surprise visitors. The Battle of Britain ...
25/08/2019

A busy weekend at the Heritage Centre, lots of spectators turned up to see the surprise visitors. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight arrived yesterday after their display at the Rhyl Air Show. We were treated to the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster who based themselves at Hawarden for the weekend. Various members of the team visited the Heritage Centre today including former Tornado Navigator Mike 'Judy' Garland, Nige Painter and members of the ground crew include former Tornado Sooty (engine technician) 'Corky' Cochrane.
Many thanks to the Boss, Squadron Leader Mark 'Disco' Discombe, Officer Commanding the BBMF who enjoyed his visit and hopes to return again for future airshows in the area.

THC staff spent a couple of hours this morning  at DECA Sealand. The final part of the assembly was to fit the 2,250 ltr...
06/04/2019

THC staff spent a couple of hours this morning at DECA Sealand. The final part of the assembly was to fit the 2,250 ltr 'Hindenburger' tanks. A slight issue with the 'Clutch' tools but nevertheless got the job done. It has been a pleasure assisting the team with their project and congratulate them on acquiring a fine example of the Tornado GR4.

The Tornado Heritage Centre would like to congratulate DECA Sealand on their resent acquisition of Tornado GR4 ZA607.Alt...
23/02/2019

The Tornado Heritage Centre would like to congratulate DECA Sealand on their resent acquisition of Tornado GR4 ZA607.
Although we only played a small part in this project, we were more than happy to assist.
Its always good to here that another airframe is to be preserved instead of being scrapped which will happen to the majority of the fleet when they finally retire in March this year.

Tornado Heritage Centre's cover photo
13/10/2018

Tornado Heritage Centre's cover photo

The Tornado Heritage Centre will be holding the first of it's open cockpit days on Saturday 30th June to coincide with A...
16/06/2018

The Tornado Heritage Centre will be holding the first of it's open cockpit days on Saturday 30th June to coincide with Armed Forces Day and associated local events. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to take a guided tour of the F3 tornado cockpit (£5). Associated aircraft parts and memorabilia will be available for sale and various ancillary equipment will be on display including a Mk10 Ejection Seat. Open:10am - 6pm.

The Tornado Heritage Centre is pleased to announce that we are offering our 'Aircrew' Experience Day via the 'intotheblu...
25/01/2018

The Tornado Heritage Centre is pleased to announce that we are offering our 'Aircrew' Experience Day via the 'intotheblue' website. Half day experiences are available for individuals as well as pairs.

The Tornado Heritage Centre is pleased to announce that we are offering a limited number of 'Aircrew Experience Days' fo...
04/12/2017

The Tornado Heritage Centre is pleased to announce that we are offering a limited number of 'Aircrew Experience Days' for 2018. The day is designed for two people and will include : Flying Clothing & Survival Equipment lectures, an introduction to the Tornado aircraft and its history, Guided tour of the Tornado F3 'ZE966', Practical tasks include-Pre Flight & Walk around checks, Access to the cockpit, Flight Planning, 2 x 20 min Simulator Sorties each, History Room. The cost is £295.00, Flying Suits & Gloves provided 'Bring your own Raybans' Single person supplement £155.00 (subject to availability and pairing). For more information and bookings, please call us on : 07583 308698.

Due to the popularity of our previous post, here are a few more pictures of the Bank Holiday/Open Day. The last picture ...
31/08/2017

Due to the popularity of our previous post, here are a few more pictures of the Bank Holiday/Open Day. The last picture of which can only be described as "stretching and peeking" is of a Red Arrows pilot as he taxies prior to departure for their display, pushing his shoulders up against the straps checking their tight.

The Heritage Centre held its first open day over the bank holiday weekend. The many visitors took full advantage of bein...
29/08/2017

The Heritage Centre held its first open day over the bank holiday weekend. The many visitors took full advantage of being able to get up close and personal with the F3 tornado as well as being able to access the cockpit. We also received some surprise guests at 10 a.m. on Monday morning when 7 of the Red Arrows pilots visited our facility and stayed for approximately 15 minutes before heading to breif for their departure at 11.13. Five of the team members previously flew the Tornado F3 or GR4 operationally before joining the Red Arrows, so they were pleased to have an opportunity to reunite with the aircraft. Squadron Leader, Mike Ling (Red 10)Team Supervisor, paid compliment to the Tornado Heritage Centre team on the work that had been carried out on the aircraft as well as the Procedures Trainer/ Simulator and internal exhibits.

As you can see by the pictures below (courtesy of Mark Atkins), the aircraft is in superb condition. In order for us to ...
06/06/2017

As you can see by the pictures below (courtesy of Mark Atkins), the aircraft is in superb condition. In order for us to preserve this aircraft in such a condition, we need to raise funds to purchase a 'RUBB' hanger. Although we have posted this request before, problems have occurred with the link to our crowdfunding page. If you would like to make a donation, please go to...... http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/TornadoHeritageCentre. Thank you for your support.

If anyone is having problems finding our page on the justgiving.com site, please use the search panel at the top of thei...
30/05/2017

If anyone is having problems finding our page on the justgiving.com site, please use the search panel at the top of their page and type in Tornado Heritage Centre. Thank you.

The restoration of the F3 is now complete and we would like to thank all of the team for their hard work and effort over...
29/05/2017

The restoration of the F3 is now complete and we would like to thank all of the team for their hard work and effort over the last 12 weeks. In order to ensure the long-term preservation of the aircraft, we need to protect it from the elements and to do this we need to purchase a 'RUBB' hangar which is a purpose built 'Tornado' shelter use by the RAF. Not only will this keep the sun & rain off, it will also allow us to show our Visitors/Cadets/Students around during the winter months. We are therefor appealing for donations to help fund this project so if you would like to make a donation to help us achieve our goal, please go to Justgiving.com....School/Education....Tornado Heritage Centre. Thank You for your support.

Yet another major goal archived today at the Heritage Centre........... 'Wings On'. Massive thanks to Simon Pulford & 'E...
29/04/2017

Yet another major goal archived today at the Heritage Centre........... 'Wings On'. Massive thanks to Simon Pulford & 'Eric' Watkins AKA 'Wing Team', minimal equipment but got the job done. The wing fairings etc should be fitted next weekend so hope to have her finished on Saturday, weather permitting.

A busy day at the Heritage Centre but everything went to plan. Huge thanks to.......The Aviation Park Group for the use ...
15/04/2017

A busy day at the Heritage Centre but everything went to plan. Huge thanks to.......The Aviation Park Group for the use of Hangar 4 & 'Rich' for helping tow the aircraft out, Alisdare Morgan Ltd ' Hi-Abs' Chorley, and his team for all their help with the lift (we'll never use a crane again) and Jason from Dragon Hydraulics, Deeside.

07/04/2017

Sorry for the late announcement but due to logistical issues with the Lifting Equipment, the move of the aircraft will not be taking place tomorrow but it is possible that it could happen on Sunday and will post any updates ASAP.

The cleaning process is now complete after just 12 'actual' days spent on the aircraft. As you can see by the 'Before & ...
02/04/2017

The cleaning process is now complete after just 12 'actual' days spent on the aircraft. As you can see by the 'Before & After' pictures, the Team have worked extremely hard to produce these results in such a short time. A special thanks to Rab 'Lecky' Muir, who has given up every other weekend to assist us and lend his knowledge of the F3. We are expecting to move the aircraft from Hangar 4 to our facility next Saturday and then the rebuild can begin. It is estimated that we will have aircraft complete within 3 weekends during April and will open the Heritage Centre for visitors on 6th May. We will be offering a 'Guided Tour' format, 3 times a day, which begin at 10am, 12.15 & 14.30 (weekends only) and will last approximately 1hr 30mins.

Here's what were up against. Estimated 4 hours work just to get the dirt & mold off!!!!! Not complaining though, just ha...
05/03/2017

Here's what were up against. Estimated 4 hours work just to get the dirt & mold off!!!!! Not complaining though, just happy she's being looked after now.

No expense spared with the elbow-grease this weekend. Tail Fin has taken a day and a half but well worth the effort. The...
05/03/2017

No expense spared with the elbow-grease this weekend. Tail Fin has taken a day and a half but well worth the effort. The fuselage has had a second clean and is starting to look more like the 'Air Superiority Grey' and the canopy is coming along but will need more cleaning on the inside once we are able to open it!!! Big thanks to Rab Muir (Former 43 Sqn 'Lecky') great effort on wiring and connecting everything up.

The restoration process for 966 is well underway. We have so far spent 3 days just cleaning the aircraft and as you can ...
26/02/2017

The restoration process for 966 is well underway. We have so far spent 3 days just cleaning the aircraft and as you can see, the before and after pictures say it all. We have received more than 100 visitors over the last two weekend and are very pleased that people are coming to see her during the restoration period. We are open on Sat/Sun 10am-4pm.

20/02/2017

We would like to say a special thank you to the Aviation Park Group. To Managing Director Caroline, for her generosity in loaning us the hangar, which will enable us to start the restoration of the aircraft, regardless of the weather conditions, to Andy, Rich & Peter for assisting with the arrival plans & last but by no means least, Russ for towing the aircraft to the hangar.

20/02/2017

It's been a busy week............The Wings & ancillary equipment was collected on Tuesday, the Tail Fin & Tailerons were collected in Thursday. We arrived at Wroughton at 10.20 on Friday, the crane was already on site, thanks to Sparrow Crane Hire, Steve Stennett and Jason the driver. After changing the nose wheels the aircraft was towed out of the hangar, big thank you to Kirsten, Simon & John from SMG at Wroughton. The lifting rigg was assembled and fitted to the aircraft (huge thanks to JARTS) then the jacks were put in place. Undercarriage up & secured then lifted onto the lorry (Transport provided by DR & FA Ford Ltd, Wem). We departed Wroughton at 16.20, a little later than expected due to a couple of minor snags but made up some time on the journey to Shrewsbury. We departed at 08.20 on Saturday morning, thanks you to Mark Kavney for coming out to take some pictures of us passing through Nesscliffe, arriving on schedule at Hawarden 09.30. The Hi-Ab arrived as planned at 10am, thanks to Alisdare Morgan & the aircraft was unloaded, undercarriage down & towed into the hangar by 11.30. Massive thank you to my right hand man Nigel Morris, could have done it without you. The aircraft is now in hangar 4 & visitors are welcome, Sat/Sun 10am-4pm. Please observe the signs and directions to the hangar, so as not to block the access road to the Police Air Support Unit.

14/02/2017

Day 1 of 3 completed successfully. Lifting equipment collected from 'JARTS', massive thanks to all the team, "Good Effort Lads". Aircraft is now on a Nose-Jack ready for wheel changes and the Nose-Cone has been removed. Wings & Ancillary equipment have been loaded and will be delivered to Aviation Park Wednesday morning. The Tail-Fin, Tailerons and Nose-Cone will be collected on Thursday morning & delivered mid-afternoon. The Fuselage is still scheduled for collection on Friday morning and the ETA at Aviation Park is still 09.30 on Saturday 18th.

01/02/2017

The wait is finally over and we are pleased to announce that the long awaited arrival of F3 Tornado 'ZE966' will be 'by road' on Saturday 18th February, at approx 9.30am.(provided it doesn't snow!!!)

The planned route will be:
Friday 17th, Depart Wroughton Airfield, Swindon approx 13.00hrs, onto the M4 to Bristol, North on the M5 to Birmingham, M6 and onto M54 to Shrewsbury. Scheduled overnight stop in the Shropshire area.
Saturday 18th, Depart Shropshire onto A5 to Chirk, A483 Wrexham bypass to Chester, A55 to Broughton and into Aviation Park, ETA 9.30am. Any changes will be posted here.

Subject to weather conditions the aircraft will be unloaded:
Outside, on the apron to the rear of the 'Hawarden Air Services' hangar. Spectators welcome.
Inside, 'Hangar 4'. Visitors are welcome but due
to 'Airfield Regulations' can only be allowed in once the unloading process is complete.

29/10/2016

Due to administration issues, which are outside of our control, we regret that the arrival of ZE966 has been delayed until further notice. We expect to have the aircraft at Aviation Park before the end of November but we will post updates as soon as we can confirm a date.

21/10/2016

Due to logistical issues we regret that the arrival of F3 Tornado ZE966 has been delayed and is now scheduled for Saturday 5th November @ approximately 9.30am. Contrary to some beliefs, the aircraft is arriving by road and is not flying in. Updates will be posted here and we look forward to seeing everyone on the 5th.

12/10/2016

In preparation for the arrival of our aircraft, we regret that the THC will be closed until Saturday 12th November 2016. Tours will begin at 09.30, 11.45 and 14.00 hours.

08/10/2016

We are pleased to announce the long awaited arrival of our aircraft. Former 'Royal Air Force' Tornado F3, ZE966 is scheduled to arrive at Aviation Park on Friday 21st October at approximately 5pm. This is subject to change but all updates will be posted on this page.

Untitled Album
01/10/2016

Untitled Album

Address

Unit 14, Aviation Park, Hawarden Airfield,
Chester
CH4 0GZ

Telephone

07583 308698

Products

Aircraft Enthusiasts 'Aircrew' Experience Days
F3 - Fast Jet Simulator
ATC 'Cadet' Procedures Training
PPL* Basic Flight Control Training
School, College, University Field Trips
Pre-Recruitment Lectures
Photographic, Video, TV, Film Availability
*(Flintshire Flying School)

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The THC is open to visitors on the 3rd Saturday of each Month from May - Sept. Tours begin at: 10.00, 12.15 & 14.30. Maximum of 12 persons per tour. Admission fees apply: Adults £5.00, Senior Citizens/Students £3.50, Children 8+ £2.00. If you would like to visit us outside of these dates or times, please contact us on 07583 308698 to arrange an appointment.

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Comments

Out now! 😀
Fabulous visit today. Thank you so much. One very happy boy!😊
2017 hope to come to the next open day 👍🏻
A great big thank you to the TORNADO HERITAGE CENTRE for their support of this meaningful tribute to all who have served at RAF Scampton. - LAST 7 DAYS to ensure you are in the draw of this 'SPECIAL AVIATION RAFFLE' to be drawn on 14th August by Wing Commander (rtd) Bill Ramsey - co-pilot of the last ever Vulcan flight.... In aid of RAF Scampton Commemorative Window - an aviation heritage project 75 prizes including many aviation original collectables: www.scamptonchurch.org/aviationraffle
Tonka Take-off. My shot from departures day, RIAT
I'm so glad something like this has been set up for the Tornado, I've been looking for something like this to go to. Love the work you guys do, shame the F3 carrying my initials (DL, ZG755 formerly of 11 SQN) was scrapped at Leeming in January 2010. Since then I have wanted to be able to sit inside one, and now I know where to go, I'll see you guys in the future.
Thanks so much for a great day on Saturday! Amazing to get so close to a real tornado jet and wearing a flight suit was an added bonus! Stuart was very patient with my poor flying skills - sorry I crashed your plane! Landing is hard... 😂 Thanks again!
This is in my collection of Squadron Prints. ZE966 when she was on No.XI (F) Squadron at LEEMING.
A great evening out at Tornado Heritage Centre with Hawarden Photographic Society. A really interesting pace to visit, with a friendly, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable team showing us around - thank you guys! 😉
The last day that No.56 (R) Squadron was at RAF Coningsby before they moved up to RAF Leuchars when the Gound Crew "Water-bombed" the aircrew. You can just make out ZE966?VT in the background.