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Super Hornet re-enacts Top Gun over Surfers Paradise

A RAAF Super Hornet flies over the Gold Coast (Defence)

The RAAF has released Top Gun-style footage showing one of its Super Hornets clocking 8Gs as it soars over Surfers Paradise.

The RAAF has released Top Gun-style footage showing one of its Super Hornets clocking 8Gs as it soars over Surfers Paradise.

The in-cockpit footage was taken from a display at the Gold Coast Pacific Airshow last month and has already clocked up more than 300,000 views.

You can watch it in full below.


Today, the RAAF has 24 Super Hornets and 11 Growlers, which have also participated in Exercise Pitch Black in the Northern Territory and Exercise Bersama Shield on the Malaysian Peninsula.

Australia originally bought the Super Hornet to act as a stopgap between the retirement of the RAAF’s Classic Hornets and the delayed arrival of their true successor, the fifth-generation F-35.

Both models are operated out of RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland after arriving in 2010 and achieved final operational capability in 2012.

The US Navy has a fleet of more than 600 Super Hornets and the aircraft were flown in the new Top Gun film, Maverick.

The Pacific Airshow Gold Coast was created by the team behind the Pacific Airshow at Huntington Beach, California, and attracted around 200–300,000 total attendees.

Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin, Pacific Airshow chief executive officer Kevin Elliott said that starting in 2024, the event – which occupied roughly 1 kilometre of beachfront this year – could widen its footprint on the beach, add VIP areas, expand deeper into the streets, and add “double-storey hospitality”.

“We built the venue and sized it for what we thought we could sell without taking more of the beach than we thought we needed. The last thing we wanted to do was take more beach than there was demand. Fortunately for us, demand met our capacity,” he said.

“Now we know there is more demand, we can expand. Next year, we plan to expand the event precinct even wider to accommodate more capacity.

“I think we can go 50 per cent larger – there are a lot of ways we can expand, either side [of the beach area], push back in the street a bit too, which would require diligent planning and traffic management. We close the street anyway, so we’ll look at that.”

Elliott also hinted that the line-up could expand for future events, and nighttime music events are also “on the docket” for consideration.

The schedule for 2023 included flypasts from RAAF C-130 Hercules and Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft, as well as displays from the RAAF, US Marine Corps and US Air Force.

In addition, Westpac Helicopter conducted a lifesaving rescue helicopter demonstration, Gold Coast Skydive performed a formation skydive, and Fw190 Downunder and the Precision Fighters showed off a Focke Wulf 190, P-51D Mustang, and a P-40 Kittyhawk, among other displays.

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