Watch F-35 Stealth Fighters Tear Up the ‘Mach Loop’
Joint Strike Fighter goes low one year after the F-22
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has flown through Wales’ world-famous “Mach Loop” low-flying area for the first time. The impressive display occurred one year after the bigger F-22 Raptor first performed the same feat.
The video clip below shows an F-35A Lightning IIs threading the iconic mountain range on May 2, 2017. The stealth fighters belong to the U.S. Air Force’s 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 466th Fighter Squadron, 419th Fighter Wing.
The F-35s deployed from Hill Air Force Base in Utah to Lakenheath in the United Kingdom on April 15, 2017 for the type’s first deployment to Europe.
In the above video by Neilb1940, you can see the aircraft maneuvering at low altitude more or less one year after F-22s temporarily based at Lakenheath in support of the Pentagon’s European Reassurance Initiative themselves visited the Loop for the first time.
Take note of the distinctive wingtip vortices the F-35 generates.
The flaperon and wingtip vortices have long been subjects of debate. The U.S. Government Accountability Office claimed that the vortices could affect the aircraft’s stealth performance. Others have suggested that these visible tubes of circulating air, which are left behind the aircraft’s wing as it generates lift, may make the aircraft easier to spot during a visual-range dogfight.
Some pilots have explained that the vortices aren’t a factor — because if you’re close enough to see the vortices, you are probably close enough to also see the jet itself.