A little bit of disappointment for around a dozen plane spotters and enthusiasts at and around Rockhampton Airport on Monday 3 October as only four of the six visiting Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing F-15SG 'Shikra' Strike Eagles of 149 Squadron out of Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore, departed for Darwin at the conclusion of their deployment to participate in the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2016.
The four F-15s departed together as "Singa 3609A-D". They were identified as 8310, 8327, 8323 and 8328.
As shown the four F-15s were fitted with underwing fuel tanks - and two also with belly tanks - which coupled with a 10 to 17 knot tail wind, ensure they all made a spectacular sight as they left the ground at Taxiway Bravo.
After departure, the F-15s met with a RSAF Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker - serial ‘752’ - near Blackwater and Emerald and all five aircraft continued to Darwin.
The remaining two F-15s still at Rockhampton Airport - 8326 and 8332 - both have underwing tanks and a small tank on the left side belly. One of the two is reportedly suffering maintenance issues following a suspected 'bat-strike'.
It was noted that 8326 was completing engine runs during the afternoon on Monday 3 October with information suggesting they are due to depart early on Tuesday 4 October.
Finally, we reported below that RSAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules '731' was also due to depart Rockhampton Airport also on Monday 3 October. This didn't happen. The flight was cancelled. It is possible that '731' may now depart to Darwin on Tuesday 4 October.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Kayanne H and 'IAD' who had all angles covered at the four F-15s departed Rocky! Thanks guys!
Photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman and 'IAD' ©