A strange sighting on Friday morning as four fighter aircraft belonging to the French Air Force landed at Alicante-Elche airport having been diverted from the base area of Los Llanos, in Albacete, their initial destination, but where they could not take land due to fog.

However the pilots were soon on their way as they were back in the air at about 14.30 headed toward their home destination.

It is usual, however, for aircaft belonging to the Spanish Air Force to land in Alicante as part of their training but the arrival of our French comrades raised an eyebrow or two with many people wondering how such ‘state of the art’ fighters, were not able to land in reduced visibility.

The aircraft were Dassault Rafale, a multipurpose 4th and 5th generation, twin-engine, fighter jet. It has a delta and canard wing configuration, designed and built in France by the Avions Company Marcel Dassault-Bréguet Aviation.

The aircraft made their first flights on July 4, 1986, entering service in the French Air Force at the end of 2000. They can fly at a speed of more than two thousand kilometres an hour and have a range of 3,500 kilometres.