Two planes in Germany flying Racetrack patterns together [Likely Eurofighter Typhoon Practicing]

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Puchheim is just West of Munich, in the south of Germany.







They just look like a couple of military jets practicing holding patterns. But I've never seen two jets do a hold together. [Edit: although it's not really a hold, as they are doing a bunch of other maneuvers too. More likely a practice exercise of various maneuvers]

Satellite view that day:
https://earthdata.nasa.gov/labs/wor...09&map=8.529663,46.676147,12.741821,49.046997



15:10 German time is 14:10 UTC
 
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Mumbles

Active Member


They just look like a couple of military jets practicing holding patterns. But I've never seen two jets do a hold together.

Can't say definitively, but that looks very much like a Eurofighter Typhoon as operated by the Luftwaffe. Two jets holding together would be routine for the military - a pair is the basic operational element for most tactical aircraft.
 
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Balance

Senior Member.
My only input is that both appear to be "around military speed" due to speed and contrail distance from aircraft, and that they're not in holding pattern due to such speed. I can't fathom why they'd be repeating this racetrack course except it does seem to be at high speed - something not usual with holding patterns.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
What is "military speed"?

A holding pattern is generally 4 minutes - each side and each 180 degree turn are 1 minute long, and they are pretty unlikely to be going supersonic while doing so - which means the maximum speed they'll be doing is 600mph - more-or-less the same speed as a civil airliner in cruise.

ICAO standard holding pattern speeds are included in PAN-OPS document 8168 vol I:
(Table I-6-1-1. Holding speeds - note it is a big pdf document)
  • Up to 14000 ft: 230kts
  • 14000 ft to 20000 ft: 240kts
  • 20000 ft to 34000 ft: 265kts
  • Above 34000 ft: M0.83
I don't know how high those fighters are - but I don't think it would be too hard to imagine them as being above 34,000 feet.
 

FreiZeitGeist

Senior Member.
They are not flying holdings...

German Airforce-Pilots have one big problem: Germany is to small for training Pilots to fly Supersonic Figthers on their own small places. They are reaching the borders of an Temporary Reserved Airspace for military purpuse very often. So the have to take an U-Turn if they reached a border of such an TRA (see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flugbeschränkungsgebiet )

These U-Turns are very common in Germany near the most-important bases of the german Airforce...

Here you can see all Bases of the german Airforce.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Fliegerhorste_in_Deutschland
The Video in the first Posting was made near Munich (Bavarian), as you can see on the map, there are a lot of "Fliegerhorst" (Airbases) in Bavarian.

BTW: 2 Euro-Figthers nearby are common in the schooling for Eurofigther-Pilots. The Eurofigther is a one-seat-airplane, the Pilot in Practice has to learn how to fly alone - with his teacher on another Aircraft beside him. Some Eurofigthers are 2-seated for training-purpose, but in training a new pilot there will be allways the point, where the Student-Pilot have to fly on his own - controlled by his teacher beside him.
 
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pseacraft

Active Member
Looks more like a routine proficiency flight (catching their required hours in the seat) where they pilots are just playing follow the leader and making a occasional exaggerated maneuvers to stress themselves. The distance between them is too great for instructor/student.
 

Mumbles

Active Member
They are not flying holdings...

BTW: 2 Euro-Figthers nearby are common in the schooling for Eurofigther-Pilots. The Eurofigther is a one-seat-airplane, the Pilot in Practice has to learn how to fly alone - with his teacher on another Aircraft beside him. Some Eurofigthers are 2-seated for training-purpose, but in training a new pilot there will be allways the point, where the Student-Pilot have to fly on his own - controlled by his teacher beside him.

Looks more like a routine proficiency flight (catching their required hours in the seat) where they pilots are just playing follow the leader and making a occasional exaggerated maneuvers to stress themselves. The distance between them is too great for instructor/student.

Whether conversion training or front-line operational, fighters (and I think Eurofighters based on the image is a relatively safe assumption) operate in pairs or more as a routine - I don't think there is anything unusual or unexplainable on display here.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's another video showing some Eurofighters doing basically the same thing, also in Germany. The trails are not as persistent though.

Another showing them in pairs
 
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