The test pilot Keith Hartley flew at 500 knots in a Tornado aircraft with the canopy off.
In 1988, the test pilot Keith Hartley flew at 500 knots in a Tornado aircraft with the canopy off, testing the emergency escape procedures of the jet.
The photo is featuring Pilot Keith Hartley conducting the ‘cockpit habitability trial’ in his open top Tornado XZ630.
The Panavia Tornado XZ630 was the first British pre-production aircraft which flew on Mar. 14, 1977 and participated in weapons release trials at the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down.
Noteworthy Pre-production Tornados incorporated a number of refinements over earlier prototypes that would be incorporated onto production aircraft.
After a successful career as a trials aircraft, Panavia Tornado XZ630 was retired to ground duties and has been the Gate Guardian at RAF Halton’s Recruit Training Squadron Parade Square since 2004. It was refurbished to resemble a GR4 from 31 Squadron, currently based at RAF Marham, and known as the ‘Goldstars’. The refurbishment was carried out by Serco contractors.
Photo credit: Kate Yates, BAe Heritage Centre