Ultimate boy’s toy fighter jet restored to former glory

Restored: Chris Wilson, of Jet Art Aviation with the Tornado

Restored: Chris Wilson, of Jet Art Aviation with the Tornado

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This painstakingly restored fighter jet is the ultimate boy’s toy for Top Gun fans.

The iconic RAF Tornado Tornado has been rebuilt over the last 16 months to bring it back to its former glory, and the finished spec is almost identical to when it last served.

This supreme Airfix model is up for sale with Jet Art Aviation, who specialise in the supply of static display and museum aircraft, among other aviation oddities.

A spokesman for the company said: “The new owner will be able to act out some Top Gun style fantasies in the cockpit which is largely intact and comes with two Martin Baker MK10A ejection seats as well as head up display.

“The aircraft was first flown in November 1980 and served the first part of her life training aircrew from Britain, Italy and Germany. It was then retired to a ground instructional role where she served as the RAF Lossiemouth weapons load trainer and last flown in 2001.”

The ex-RAF Panavia Tornado GR1 ZA355 was acquired back in 2014, and the final touches in the lengthy restoration process were carried out in the last few weeks.

Parts were acquired from Germany, Italy and England and assembled at BAE in Preston. The spokesman said: “The exterior has been fully panelled and polished to within an inch of our lives resulting in one very sleek and sexy looking ‘Tonka’.”

Managing director Chris Wilson said: “This is a fully refurbished Tornado, ready to display and we are looking for offers in the region of £70k.

“Which is a bargain when you think you would be paying around £30m for one that has just rolled of the production line. Generally it is high worth individuals looking to invest in rare and unique items interested in something like this. Many of them have an interest in motor sport.”

“Last year we sold a refurbished Harrier for £105,000.”