RAF expert explains ‘fighter jets’ sightings in skies above Eastbourne

Did you see the jets this morning? Some people thought Airbourne had returned  (Photo of Airbourne 2018 by Jon Rigby)
Did you see the jets this morning? Some people thought Airbourne had returned (Photo of Airbourne 2018 by Jon Rigby)

An RAF expert has explained the sightings of what appeared to be jets escorting a plane in our skies this morning (October 8).

Reports of up to six ‘fighter jets’ were spotted soaring overhead at around 9am, surrounding a larger plane.

Some speculated Airbourne had returned a little early, while others joked it could be the US President’s plane, Air Force One.

Read our latest story: Eastbourne fighter jets sightings spark interesting theories

The Herald contacted the Ministry of Defence and a Royal Air Force spokesperson said it would in all likelihood have been a refuelling exercise.

He said, “It was likely an air to air refuelling tanker with fighter jets taking fuel.”

The spokesperson explained the aircraft is called RAF Voyager – a 192ft airbus based in Oxfordshire which is capable of delivering around 60,000kg of fuel.

Its main task is to refuel fast jets, but it can also operate as ‘strategic air transport’, with the capacity to take 290 passengers.

Read more about it at www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/voyager
Eastbourne Airbourne 2018 in pictures