• Tony Bosworth

F35 Lightning fighter jets coming into land at RAAF Richmond on Monday

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

Lots of locals were disappointed on Friday when the RAAF F35 Lightning jet fighters were a no-show at Richmond base but they will be here Monday and Defence say the supersonic planes will be flying both morning and afternoon.

The RAAF had to unfortunately cancel their F35 Lightning take off and landing at Richmond because of the sudden COVID lockdown of Newcastle, they told us, but they will be here Monday, weather and other conditions permitting.

The fighter pilots from No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit will be practicing take off and landing into RAAF Richmond from 10am to midday, Monday and then in the afternoon for an hour from 2.15 to 3.15pm.

The pilots – there will be three aircraft –will be practicing what they call diversion training which sees aircraft which normally fly out of other airfields practice take offs and landing at Richmond.

A Defence spokesperson told the Post on Friday afternoon, “Our foremost concern with notices like this is being neighbourly and making sure residents aren’t taken by surprise – especially with families home schooling and so many people working from home right now.

“We appreciate people are excited to see the jets and it’s disappointing when they’re a no-show, but that’s why we include the message that planned training flights are always subject to change and cancellation at short notice.”

Fingers crossed for Monday then, and if you want to get a look at a state-of-the-art flying machine, watch out for them from Monday morning.

Not too surprisingly, the F35 is said to be the most expensive weapon system ever built, at around $90million per plane, and Australia has ordered 72, all of which will be here by 2023.

Currently we have 33 flying our skies. The government committed to buying $15.5billion worth of these potent machines.

Worth a look then.

Pics courtesy of Defence, taken by Cpl Craig Barrett, (main picture) and LAC Adam Abela

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