The RAAF has welcomed four new aircraft to its Super Hornet fleet.
And to celebrate the new arrivals a mass formation flyover was staged over South East Queensland.
Maddison Nunn reports.
Sixteen of the aircraft and a lead-in fighter trainer accompanied the four new Super Hornets on their flight.
The new aircraft wil take the hornet fleet to a total of 24 and replace the F-111s, which have been used by the AirForce for more than four decades.
For their celebratory flight, the planes made their way down the Gold Coast, up the Sunshine Coast and back to Amberley via Brisbane in just over an hour.
Zed Roberton, Officer Commanding Number 82 Wing: “In layman’s terms, how fast did you go this morning? Slowly. Ah, for us it was about 650km/h which is just motoring along nicely. Ah, probably about a third to maybe a quarter of what our capacity is.”
Jason Clare, Minister for Defence Materiel: “Today it flew from Surfers Paradise to Tweed Heads in two mins. And then it flew from Brisbane to here in Ipswich in three mins.”
The historic event, involving 20 aircraft, may not be repeated and is an important training exercise for operational planners and flight crew.
The two-man fighter jets will remain based at Amberley.
AirForce veterans, politicians, pilots families and defence force personnel were all there to welcome the pilots and their new planes home.
Louise Jones, Wife of Squadron Wing Commander Murray Jones: “It’s just so great to watch them, and you’re just proud of them and what they do and yeah. It’s wonderful to have them home.”
Maddison Nunn, QUT News.