The Tornado F2 had a troubled introduction to service. Unwanted by its crews and procured as a political imperative, it was blighted by failures in the acquisition system. It was adapted from a multi-national design, planned by committee, and developed to counter a threat which disappeared. Modified rapidly before it could be sent to war, the Tornado F3 eventually matured into a capable weapons system, but despite datalinks and new air-to-air weapons, its poor reputation sealed its fate.
David Gledhill, a former Tornado F3 navigator, tells the story from an insider’s perspective of the early days as one of the first instructors on the Operational Conversion Unit, through the aircraft’s development and operational testing, to its demise. He reflects on the aircraft’s capabilities and deficiencies, and analyses why it was mostly under-estimated by opponents. Although many books have already described the Tornado F3 in detail, Gledhill’s involvement in its development provides a unique insight into this complex and misunderstood aircraft programme, dispelling some of the myths that have dogged its reputation for decades. This is Gledhill’s third book, and like the others, it captures the story in pictures taken in the cockpit and around the squadron.
David Gledhill trained as a navigator and flew the Phantom and Tornado F3 on squadrons and as an instructor. He eventually became the Executive Officer on the Tornado Operational Conversion Unit and also commanded No. 1435 Flight in the Falkland Islands. He was responsible for many of the development programmes for the Tornado F3 and much of its operational testing, both in the MoD and at the Air Warfare Centre, throughout the aircraft’s service life. Tornado F3 in Focus: A Navigator’s Eye on Britain’s Last Interceptor is Gledhill’s third book for Fonthill. His first title was the critically acclaimed The Phantom in Focus: A Navigator’s Eye on Britain’s Cold War Warrior, published in 2012 and reprinted twice in hardback and once in paperback. He also wrote Fighters Over the Falklands: Defending the Islanders’ Way of Life published in 2013. David is currently working on Tornado in Pictures: The Multi Role Legend which will be published later this year.
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Illustrations: 123 b/w and 62 colour photographs
Praise for The Phantom in Focus
‘There are no two ways about it, this is an excellent book about the Phantom’
The Log, BALPA
‘This is essential reading for any Phantom fan’
Airfix Model World