Since military aviation was established, there were always special events like anniversaries, high totals of flying hours, introduction or romoval of aircraft types and so on, when units coloured one or more airplanes in special designs.
Since the foundation of the NATO Tiger Association (NTA), it became tradition, that for the visit of the annual NATO Tiger Meet, an airplane is coloured with a complete or partial cover of the fuselage. The Lechfeld Tigers have, since their introduction to the NTA, brought up one of those nearly each year of their membership. Each design has a story of its own. Under them were spectacular schemes like the skin peeling (Metamorphosis of a tiger) Tigerjet 46+44 (see TIGER 2001 SPECIAL below) which was copied to uncountable numbers of models and which is also available as a plastic model from the most well known model brands.
Unfortunately is for each of those birds the clock ticking from the beginning until it is reverted back to a grey 'nobody'. This time has always come when the airplane has collected the number of flying hours which make it neccessary to give it for the big inspection to the industry. There, were the whole plane is ripped appart into nealy every little pieces part, of course the complete colour comes down, down to the bare aluminum skin.
The colouring of the Tigerjets itself was in former days done by the squadron members together with the painting specialists of the wing and mainly during their freetime. In the last years of the squadron the airplanes went to the dockyard in Erding but not before the design went through a complicated clearance procedure which went up to the highest commanding levels.
Before the real painting takes part, a more or less long time of brainstorming and projecting happens in the squadron. Its obvious that after the paintjob the safety of the jet doesn't have to be threatened. There are certain areas on the airplane which may not be coloured at all. These are areas with moving parts, e.g. the wingsweep area, and spots where active or passive antennas are hidden, like the black radar nose.
Klick the picture to the right and read everything about Tigerjet 46+44, starting with the painting by the squadron members until its end at the EADS overhaul station.
Als es daran ging für das Tiger Meet 2011 in Cambrai, Frankreich, einen neuen Tigerjet aus der Taufe zu heben, nahm man einen Vorschlag des Webmasters von vor vielen Jahren auf, den neuen Tigerjet aus einem öffentlichen Design Wettbewerb heraus entstehen zu lassen.
Ankunft des Tigerjet 2011 im Geschwader:
Since end of march was Tornado ECR 46+33 for the paint job at the department "surface technology" of the Luftwaffe system center in Erding. There the tranformation from a normal jet to a tigerjet took place.
The transfer to Lechfeld was planned for week 3 or 4 in the course of a special night flight (to give spotters no chance to get an early shot of the tiger).
Nachdem die Lechfeld Tigers beim Tiger Meet 2011 wider Erwarten mit ihrem Design nicht in dem Maße punkten konnten, wie es eigentlich zu erwarten war, konnten Sie schließlich beim RIAT 2011 einen der begehrten Preise für die Teilnehmer abräumen, nämlich die "Jeppesen Trophy", einem Adler aus massivem Sterling Silber. Zwei Jahre wird der Preis in der Staffel bleiben bis er wieder zurück gegeben werden muss. Hier der original Wortlaut von der RIAT Seite:
.... And finally, the Best Livery award went to Maj Ingo Heinle and Capt Rene Lorgen of JBG 32, German Air Force with their Tornado ECR. They received the award from Gardiner Porter, Senior Manager, Military Global Sales for Jeppesen. Maj Heinle said: "The award belongs to the designer of our scheme, Joey. Thank you very much on his behalf." July 18, 2011 (... und schließlich der Preis für die beste Bemalung ging an Major Ingo Heinle und Hauptmann Rene Lörgen vom JaboG 32 (Monsterstaffel, seufz). Maj Heinle sagte: "Der Preis gehört eigentlich dem Designer, Joey (eigentlich TOM), vielen Dank in seinem Namen.)
TOM der Designer der Gewinnerbemalung vor dem Tigerjet 2011 anläßlich des Besuches der Tigerjet Designwettbewerb Teilnehmer in der Staffe am 28. Juli 2011l.
Tigerjet Model Projects
Tigerjet 46+44 of 2001 made from toy blocks
46+44 Metamorphose Jet as a toy blocks (the ones which begin with a big L, but their brand may not be told here) Project by Kenneth Vaessen from the Netherlands.
More pictures of Kenneth on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25101337@N05/