11 black was part of the Soviet team at the Bicentennial Air Show that included a Kamov Ka-32 and the An-124 that transported them. It was the first time the Soviet Union had brought aircraft to an Australian air show.
VH-XWS is its final form with a pylon-mounted engine driving a tractor propeller. When first flown the engine was buried in the fuselage and used belts to drive two propellers mounted on separate pylons projecting from the rear fuselage. -XWS as withdrawn from use in 2006. WS14N is the aircraft's boat registration.
The second prototype, ZH200 made the long trip to Australia to demonstrate to the Australian air force which was formulating a requirement for a lead-in fighter. ZH200 was retired to the Loughborough University when its career as a demonstrator ended.
VH-KDP was delivered to Kendell in April 1986. It remained with Kendell after it became part of the Ansett group and was still in service when it closed in 2001. In the liquidation of Ansett, the Kendell operation, including VH-KDP, was sold to Regional Express in 2002. A year later -KDP was withdrawn from use, painted white and stored. It was sold to Saab Leasing and ferried to Sweden in 2005.
A9-759 was later converted to an AP-3C, with an enhanced electronic suite and radar. The "759" in the serial is a reference to US Navy serial 160759. It is the way the US Government processes foreign military sales but A9-759 was delivered new from the Lockheed factory to the RAAF in December 1978.
The Bicentennial Air Show was a rare chance for Australians to see a Tornado. The logistics of bringing a fighter aircraft from Europe means going the long way round, via the US, or skilled diplomacy. Either way it involves long flights aided by tankers. A Tristar accompanied the Tornado visit.
XV234 wears an Australian Bicentennial logo behind the cockpit with the legend "Fincastle 88". This is a reference to the Fincastle Trophy ASW contest staged in Australia that year. XV234 became one of the Nimrods converted to a MRA4 (as serial ZJ518) before that project was cancelled and the aircraft scrapped.