A Tornado GR4 of the Royal Air Force.

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> The level of wing sweep, the angle of the wings in relation to the fuselage, can be altered in flight **at the pilot’s control.** The variable wing can adopt any sweep angle between 25 degrees and 67 degrees, with a corresponding speed range for each angle; **some Tornado ADVs were outfitted with an automatic wing-sweep system to reduce pilot workload.** When the wings are swept back, **the exposed wing area is lowered and drag is significantly decreased, which is conducive to performing high-speed low-level flight.** The weapons pylons pivot with the angle of the variable–sweep wings so that the stores point in the direction of flight and do not hinder any wing positions.

> In development, significant attention was given to the Tornado’s short-field take-off and landing (STOL) performance. Germany, in particular, encouraged this design aspect. **For shorter take-off and landing distances, the Tornado can sweep its wings forwards to the 25-degree position**, and deploy its full-span flaps and leading edge slats to allow the aircraft to fly at slower speeds. These features, in combination with the thrust reverser-equipped engines, **gives the Tornado excellent low-speed handling and landing characteristics.**

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