USAF 22 Raptors have now arrived at RAF Lakenheath from Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, much to the excitement of aviation fans in this country and across Europe. It was one of the many highlights of aviation I have witnessed in my time, and I?m sure many are looking forward to seeing it display later this year at RIAT. The stealth jets are in the UK until May for a training exercise with other Europe-based aircraft. Seen over many days, the aircraft flew with F-15 Strike Eagles of the 48th Fighter Wing on a daily basis. Col Dave Eaglin, vice commander of the USAF 48th Fighter Wing, based at Lakenheath, said: ?we?ve never had F-22s, the fifth generation, over in England.? With tensions around the boundaries of Europe we are seeing training increased, the F-35 is still in its trials, it cannot be relied upon as yet to act as a front line fighter: truth or rumour? ?Congress has asked Air Force bosses to look at the possibility of restarting the F-22 raptor productions line ? five years after it was shut down. In its review of the 2017 defence authorization bill, the House Armed Services Committee asked service leaders to look into what it would take to build 194 new Raptors, enough to finally meet the Air Force?s long-stated requirement of 381 jets. It comes amid mounting problems for the disastrous F-35 programme, which most recently suffered flaws with its electronic ?brain? that could see the fleet grounded? During the deployment there has been many complaints from spotters about the behaviour of some, who threw litter, failed to heed advice and not put ladders up against the fence. This does not put the hobby in a good light. The station provides a viewing area, which is adequate and should not be disrespected.
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