A PAIR of the world’s most expensive aircraft have dropped into to RAF Fairford.

Two B-2 Spirit Stealth Bombers of the United States Air Force arrived at the giant airfield north of Swindon just after midnight on Tuesday, having flown non-stop for 16 hours from their home at Whiteman airbase in Missouri.

The aircraft, worth a billion dollars each, are visiting Fairford as part of a Global Power mission – a training exercise which tests aircrews to their limits, flying long distances for up to 24 hours, before dropping inert bombs on a range in the north of England.

The missions aim to demonstrate the global strike capability of America’s bomber force.

Major Craig Mockler, of the 509th Operational Support Squadron, who planned the mission to Fairford said: “We love coming to Fairford, it’s a great base to visit.

“This mission has given us a chance to test the aircraft with the facilities here at Fairford, the last time we got to do that was two years ago.

“We’ve also been able to use Fairford’s new operations building, which is fitted with very high-tech, secure equipment to plan our missions, and we hope to make more use of the base in the future.”

The base is just one of a handful which have been designated as a stealth bomber base.

But, despite the bomber being so top secret, the US Air Force allowed aviation enthusiasts from the Cirencester and Fairford Aviation Groups to look around one of the aircraft on Wednesday while it sat in one of the specially designed climate-controlled hangars at Fairford.

Swindon Mayor Coun Steve Wakefield was also present and said he was impressed by the openness showed by the US Air Force.

“It’s the first time I have been to an event like this, and it was great that the USAF and the RAF could welcome the enthusiasts,” he said.

“Swindon is in the middle of a triangle with Lyneham, Fairford and Brize Norton and these bases are important to the town and the economy and watching aircraft as the enthusiasts do.

“It was a shame the air tattoo was cancelled, but hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves today.”