10 things you might not know about the Red Arrows
- Credit: Archant
The official name of the Red Arrows team is the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team. They are the public face of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and are acknowledged as one of the world’s premier aerobatic teams.
The Red Arrows began training in late 1964 and their first official display was on May 6 1965 at Royal Air Force Little Rissington in Gloucestershire.
The pilots are among the most highly qualified and experienced within the RAF and they are all subject to rigorous annual examination.
The Red Arrows fly the in Hawk T1 which can reach speeds of just over 600 miles per hour.
The pilots use visible vapour trails primarily for safety, to judge wind speed and direction.
All Red Arrows’ display pilots are volunteers. Applicants must have completed at least one operational tour on a fast jet such as the Typhoon, Tornado, Harrier and Jaguar before applying for the team.
Pilots stay with the team for three years.
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The Red Arrows have been based at Royal Air Force Scampton in Lincolnshire since 2001.
The team’s display consists of nine pilots, including the team leader.
With the exception of their arrival manoeuvre, the Red Arrows do not fly directly over the crowd. Manoeuvres in front of and parallel to the crowd can be flown down to 300ft. The synchro pair are allowed down to 100ft.
MORE: Weston Air Festival: See the weekend’s full schedule here.