What are these two teardrop shaped thingamabobs on the bottom of the Panavia tornado? Circled in blue

They could be hardpoints but I haven't found any photos where anything would have been mounted there. They don't look like hatches. And they don't seem to be any kind of vortex generators either. What purpose do they serve?

Click to view full-sized image: Circled in red

Here's a few closer images:



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    $\begingroup$ Maybe chaff launchers? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 27 '17 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ They're not symmetrically aligned, so probably not hardpoints? (That's a guess -- it just seems like if you're going to be mounting things on the plane, even close to the centerline, you'd probably want them symmetric.) $\endgroup$ – yshavit Jun 28 '17 at 3:45
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    $\begingroup$ So, I did find something online that says they're "engine oil" -- I'm not sure exactly what that means, though maybe it's as simple as "here's where you plug in to change the oil"? The page I found it from looks like an official document, though, and says "NATO RESTRICTED" on every page. It's easily found on google, but I don't know if I should be posting it here. Anyone have guidance on that? $\endgroup$ – yshavit Jun 28 '17 at 4:19
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    $\begingroup$ @yshavit Big Red has google too ;-P I'm sure it's fine to post. $\endgroup$ – SnakeDoc Jun 28 '17 at 14:47

They appear to be related to changing the oil.

The Tornado's flight manual is available online. Page 448 shows what seem to be the features you're talking about:

Tornado engine oil

The features are the ones marked as "12." The previous page has a legend describing them simply as "engine oil."

This probably also explains why they're not placed symmetrically. It seems the engine oil access is off to the side, so each teardrop is a bit to the right of the engine's center line (that's most visible in the second picture).

  • $\begingroup$ Didn't even occur to me that the flight manual would be available, much other interesting information there as well. Thanks for sharing! $\endgroup$ – Steve Jun 28 '17 at 18:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Steve If NATO comes after me I hope the 45 InternetPoints will be worth it... ;) $\endgroup$ – yshavit Jun 28 '17 at 19:08

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