Italian Air Force F-35s to make August 20 flyover

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Italian Air Force F-35 Lightning II at Ämari. Source: Sigrid Paula Pukk

Italian Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters based at Ämari are marking restoration of independence day Friday afternoon, by circumnavigating the whole country in just over an hour.

After taking off from Ämari at 2.05 p.m., the jets will, weather permitting, fly southeast to Rapla, head back north towards Tallinn, then describe a clockwise route over major Estonian towns (see schedule below), finishing just over an hour later, at 3.15 p.m.

The planes' minimum altitude over built-up areas will be 300 meters, organizers say.

F-35 flyover timetable, local Estonian time and location.

14:05: Rapla, Kuusiku airfield.

14:15: Tallinn, Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square).

14:25: Rakvere, Rakvere Castle.

14:30: Kohtla-Järve, Rahvapark.

14:33: Jõhvi, Rakvere street.

14:45: Tartu, Anne canal.

14:50: Viljandi, Viljandi Lake.

14:55: Pärnu, Pärnu Beach.

15:05: Kuressaare, Kuressaare Bishop's Castle.

15:15: Haapsalu, Haapsalu Bishop's Castle.

F-35s' flight route around Estonia, August 20 2021. Source: Estonian Defense Forces

The flights may be canceled if weather conditions are poor; updates in Estonian are available from the Estonian Air Force (Õhuvägi) Facebook page.

The Italian Air Force  (Aeronautica Militare) F-35s have been at Ämari since May, and hold the NATO Baltic Air Policing role, after already completing a tour in Šiauliai, Lithuania.

The F-35 Lightning II is a state-of-the art supersonic short take-off and vertical landing aircraft (STOVL) stealth fighter. Over 600 have been built over the past 15 years or so, and operators include Britain's RAF, and the Israeli Air Force, as well as the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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