Australia has a long history of executing some of the most spectacular flyovers anywhere in the world. Some even occur during regular training. For decades, F-111 "Pigs" were the centerpiece of the RAAF's aerial displays, with the aircraft's ability to "dump and burn" being the ultimate air show and flyover crowd pleaser. Since the F-111's retirement, Australia's other combat aircraft have taken on more aerial display missions, with the jet that replaced the F-111, the F/A-18F Super Hornet, becoming the most visible in this role. But even the country's nimble little Hawk Mk127 trainer can put on a lively flyover.
And there are just a few more prominent displays of Aussie air power than the flyover for the annual Gold Coast 600 race held in picturesque Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. This year the Hawk attempted to fill some pretty big shoes, and we have some thrilling in-cockpit footage to show for it. The RAAF's aerial displays for the event are known to be well below building level, and as you can see, the jet actually maneuvers between the buildings at high speed as part of its display route.
Here's the first and second part of the cockpit video, as well as a perspective from one of the towers:
This type of flight by a military fast jet through urban terrain is rare, but it isn't unheard of outside Australia. Even here in the U.S., the Blue Angels weave between buildings during their display over Chicago's coastline on Lake Michigan.
The Hawk serves as Australia's intermediate and advanced jet trainer, with 33 examples split across two squadrons. Although the legendary Hawk design is over 40 years old, Australia's Hawk Mk127s were procured in the late 1990s and they have recently been through a series of technological upgrades. They feature color multi-function displays, updated HUD, and can carry AIM-9 captive training rounds on their wingtips and a 30mm gun pod on their centerline station.
The little Hawk is cool and all, but it's hard for anything to compete with this:
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