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What type of fighter jets do we see flying around ILM airport?

Amanda Lisk
StarNews

Mostly they are Harriers out of the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point conducting training flights. They often stop at Wilmington International Airport to refuel, says Bill Cherry, president and CEO of Air Wilmington.

“We get a lot of military airplanes coming in and out on a regular basis,” he said, agreeing there’s been a notable increase in military plane presence in recent months.

Harriers are jet-powered attack aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations (V/STOL).  F-15, F/A 18 and F-35 fighter jets have also been flying in our airspace, but don’t land.  Cherry said the F-15s come from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. The F/A 18s are either from Cherry Point or the Marine air station in Beaufort, S.C.

The F-35 Lightning II jets made headlines in February when President Trump negotiated with maker Lockheed Martin for 90 more at a $700 million savings. Cherry says the F-35s are starting to show up at Cherry Point as a replacement for the Harriers.

The F-35 is the most advanced fighter jet in the world, capable of going 1,199 mph.

Two F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, prepare to land at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 18, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron Henson)

Two F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, prepare to land at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 18, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron Henson)

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gerry Erdman

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