THERE was an air of excitement at Point Danger at Tweed Heads as hundreds gathered to witness the arrival of Australia’s first new fighter jets in 25 years yesterday.
The aircraft left New Zealand earlier in the day and tracked north through Northern Rivers’ airspace.
Avid aircraft enthusiasts waited, staring at the clear blue skies in anticipation, and the sight of the incredible machines in the distance sent hearts fluttering with excitement.
First came an escort of four faithful F-111s, and the five FA/18F Super Hornets followed moments later.
Spectators scrambled to get their cameras out and focused, but just as fast as the Super Hornets had arrived, they disappeared on their way to Amberley Air Base near Ipswich.
“It was absolutely fabulous,” Helen Burgess said of the flyover.
“I would love to get in one ... but they would never let me in, I am too old,” she laughed.
Ms Burgess’ partner, David Coward, said it was amazing how such huge chunks of metal could move with such speed.
“They are tonnes of old iron, and somehow they have got them up there flying,” Mr Coward said.
Defence is buying 24 Super Hornets under a $6 billion.
It is believed the new fighter jets will also be taking advantage of the Evans Head bombing range.