The US Air Force’s premier air superiority fighter is back in Europe, and this time, its pilots were given an opportunity to fly through the canyons of the world-famous Machynlleth Loop, also known as the Mach Loop or CAD West. F-22 Raptors were recently spotted zipping through the Mach Loop, followed by F-15E Strike Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing. The Raptors, belonging to the 95th Fighter Squadron from Tyndall AFB, Florida were deployed to England this month, and have been flying air-to-air fighter integration training operations with both the 48th Wing and the RAF throughout this deployment.
Located in west-central Wales, Mach Loop sees hundreds of flights yearly of “fast movers” including Eurofighter Typhoons fighters and BAe Hawk trainers of the Royal Air Force, and F-15E Strike Eagles of the USAF, based at RAF Lakenheath. The Mach Loop has been used for years as a low flying area (LFA) training zone for the RAF, USAF, and other allied air forces. The hills overlooking the valley are a planespotter’s dream, offering incredible vantage points of fighters streaking by at fast speeds and close ranges. The jet noise, is also fantastic, especially given the reverberation off the Loop’s natural walls.
The Raptors were also involved in a flyover in France, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Lafayette Escadrille. Two of the squadron’s contingent have also been sent to Romania as part of the deployment, to show support for partner nations in the area.
A shout out and huge thanks to Elwyn R. for his awesome footage of the event!