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Return of the Mach

As you hike through the Machynlleth valleys in Western Wales the crisp air, the soaring hills, and scenic vistas are the perfect setting for a tranquil experience. That is until a Eurofighter Typhoon screams past, 250 feet above your head. Welcome to the Mach Loop.
A tornado flies through a snowy Mach Loop

Photo courtesy of Philip Stevens

The Mach Loop is one of the areas where I’ve really been able to push myself, and an aircraft as capable as the Typhoon to it’s limits. It’s a lot of fun, but more importantly it allows you to safely push the limits of low level flying

Nat Makepeace Experimental Typhoon Test Pilot

The Mach loop covers the series of valleys North of the Welsh town of Machynelleth, which for decades have been renowned for their use as low-level training areas for fast jets. The training area is within the Low Flying Area (LFA) LFA7, covering most of Wales. Aircraft which frequent the area include Royal Air Force Tornado, Typhoon, and Hawk jets.
A Typhoon makes a pass through the Mach Loop
Low-level flying is a vital skill in a pilot’s armoury, with exercises like those performed in the Mach Loop forming an integral training program allowing the pilot to fully reach their potential while demonstrating the ease of flying and agility of aircraft such as Typhoon.
A Hawk soars through the Mach Loop valleys

It's the closest you can get to the real thing

Nat Makepeace Experimental Typhoon Test Pilot

At our Warton site we have state of the art simulators allowing pilots and engineers to develop and test the handling characteristics of the aircraft, practice flying, and develop new capabilities . One particular simulator features the Mach Loop challenge. A computer simulated route through the Mach Loop testing users to see how quickly they can pass through the Mach loop route while navigating through a series of markers, testing agility and accuracy.
Warton's Typhoon Simulator