The Mach Loop (also known as the Machynlleth Loop or CAD West among plane spotters) consists of a series of valleys in the United Kingdom in west-central Wales, notable for their use as low-level training areas for fast jet aircraft. The system of valleys lies 8 miles east of Barmouth and is nestled between the towns of Dolgellau to the north and Machynlleth to the south, the latter of which it takes its name from. The training area is within the Low Flying Area (LFA) LFA7, which covers most of Wales. Aircraft which use the training area include Royal Air Force Tornado, Typhoon, Hawk jets and C-130J as well as U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles, F-15E Strike Eagles, F-22 Raptors, and F-35A Lightning IIs, which are based at RAF Lakenheath in eastern England.
In virtual aviation
Many flight simulators have replicated the Mach Loop in Wales but a notable one is present in the FlightGear flight simulator, done by the FGUK community as an artificial intelligence (AI) scenario add-on for the simulator which allows the player to challenge themselves by going at high-speeds through rings that mark the route with any fast aircraft. In addition, the scenario has a "start" and "finish" points and each run in the Mach Loop is timed to let the player know the time per lap.
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