U.S. Air Force F-15E flying in the Mach Loop prove how maneuverable a Strike Eagle can be at low altitude and high speed.
Low level flying is quite demanding because of the risk involved with flying at high speeds close to the ground.
Some unpopulated areas of the UK, designated ‘Low Flying Area’ (LFA), as LFA-14 (Scotland), LFA-17 (Lake District) and LFA-7 (North West Wales), have been chosen for training activities of RAF at altitude as low as 250 feet.
LFA-7, used also by U.S. units as well as allied air arms and aerospace industries, has a series of valleys lined by steep sides with mountains either side rising to around 1,000 meters that allows the pilot to do training circuits at ultra low level altitude.
Among the most frequent visitors of the North West Wales valleys are the F-15E Strike Eagles from RAF Lakenheath that frequently cross the area that has become popular with photographers, aviation spotters and enthusiasts from all around the world.
One them has recently filmed two Strike Eagles going fast and low though the Loop.
Top image credit: Jez B/Flickr
What are the 2 targeting pods under the F-15?
Sniper targeting pod, and the other I think is the Link 16 communication pod
I love that you can vaguely hear car alarms going off in the background.
doesn’t really look like an “unpopulated area of the UK”
Nice, but it must have been a relatively dry day as the F-15s weren’t pulling a lot of streamers. Pilot of the lead jet probably lit the burners for the benefit of photographers on the hillsides.
This is my favorite shot of F-15s in the Mach Loop – the lift distribution is clearly visible in the condensation.
Back in the 1980s, I saw a Navy A-6 Intruder doing similar flying well below the mountain tops in Washington state’s Cascade Mountains. Looked like fun, but it was probably quite dangerous too.