For residents who live around the RAAF Base at Williamtown, the sound of jet fighter planes overhead is an everyday occurrence. The training facility at the RAAF teaches pilots how to fly the planes and execute manoeuvres in the sky, for Australia's defence. On Monday, 10th December the RAAF are going to be receiving the first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters, with much fanfare and celebration. This is a significant event for the Hunter and Port Stephens communities, as the previous fighter aircraft type – the F/A-18A/B Hornet – arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown in 1984.
The new planes will be doing a flyover of the Port Stephens and Hunter region, with up to three F/A-18A/B Hornets, as an impressive display of the speeds that these new planes can do. The flypast will start around 9:50am off Tomaree Head Lookout at Shoal Bay. The jets will fly into Port Stephens near Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, then south along the Tomaree coast and Worimi Conservation Lands, to Nobbys Lighthouse, and down the coast to Redhead Beach.
The jets will travel at approximately 500-550km/h.
The formation will loop back over Lake Macquarie to fly over Newcastle city at 10:00am, before heading north via Raymond Terrace and Medowie, landing at RAAF Base Williamtown around 10:10am.
It is advised not to visit the RAAF base at Williamtown to view the planes, as there will be a lot of traffic congestion, with the best vantage points along the coastline between those times.
See the Air Force website (and Fighter World Facebook) for details.