Watch An F-35 Scream Through Europe’s Infamous ‘Mach Loop’

Photo via YouTube

In the southwest corner of the United Kingdom sits a playground for fighter jets.

The Mach Loop, an unusual network of deep valleys nestled between the sleepy towns of Dolgellau and Machynlleth (where the loop gets its name), is a favorite training ground for Royal Air Force fighter jets and NATO aircraft looking to flit within 250 feet of the ground below while on maneuvers.

Sure, it’s not as cinematically awesome as the so-called “Jedi Transition,” the barren canyon in California favored by military pilots at nearby Air Force bases, but the Mach Loop is considered home to some of the best aerial military action observable from the ground.

“The cool thing about Mach Loop, and why so many photographers climb those steep, muddy hills and often camp out to capture the action, is the variety of aircraft that flies by,” Tyler Rogaway of Foxtrot Alpha explained in 2014. “The regulars are USAF F-15Es from RAF Lakenheath and RAF Typhoons, along with C-130s, Hawk Trainers, and various helicopters, but visitors do pop up, like A-10s or Saudi Tornadoes, or even Qinetiq test aircraft.”

On Wednesday, military aviation enthusiasts were treated to a nice surprise: a group of eight F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, drawn from the 34th Fighter Squadron and Air Force Reserve's 466th Fighter Squadrons and, according to Popular Mechanics, deployed in Europe for the very first time.  


It won’t be the last time the F-35 shows its gnarly face in the U.K.: The Royal Air Force ordered 138 F-35B fighters specially designed for vertical takeoffs and landings. In February 2015, the RAF 17 Squadron formed at Edwards AFB, California, to evaluate and test the new fighters.

It may be some time before the U.K. officially fields its first squadron of F-35s on the battlefield. Until then, it’s nice to watch these jets stretch their wings after a long trip to their new playground in the sky.

(U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland)

GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.

Read More Show Less
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)

Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.

Read More Show Less
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.

Read More Show Less
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)

With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"

But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.

The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.

Read More Show Less