Hornets swarm over Ipswich skies

THE last four Super Hornets to be based at RAAF Base Amberley will fly over Ipswich today as part of a 20-strong jet formation.

Ipswich residents will see 16 F/A-18F Super Hornets depart Amberley about 10am before they fly over various south-east Queensland locations from the Sunshine Coast to Tweed Heads.

After they meet the four new jets at the Sunshine Coast, they will return, and Ipswich residents will be able to look to the skies about 11.24am to see all 20 Super Hornets return to base.

But keep your eyes looking out towards the base, because after they land at 11.30am, there will be a solo aerial display over the base.

Defence officials said for the best viewing experience, try to have a vantage point looking towards the RAAF Base.

The formation will be accompanied at intervals by up to two Hawk Mk127 lead-in fighters.

Officials said the large formation flypast would not only be a historic event that may not be repeated, but it served as an important training exercise for operational planners and aircrew.

The arrival of the four new aircraft completes the Australian Super Hornet fleet of 24 aircraft.

A statement from Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare said 12 of the jets, half of the total quota, were wired with the potential to be converted into Growlers in the future.

Growlers give the aircraft the ability to jam the electronics systems of enemy aircraft and land-based radars and communications systems.

The jets will fly at about 2000 feet (609m) and at up to 350 knots (648kmh).

Times, locations and the number of jets may vary dependant on the weather and other conditions.


  • 16 F/A-18F Super Hornets depart Amberley about 10am.
  • 20 Super Hornets fly back over Ipswich about 11.24am before landing at 11.30am.
  • A solo display will start soon after their return.

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