Showing posts with label The Red Arrows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Red Arrows. Show all posts

13 December, 2023

MOD signs infrastructure contracts at RAF Waddington – the new home of the Red Arrows

The MoD has signed contracts to provide new and refurbished infrastructure for the Red Arrows at their new home of RAF Waddington.

These contracts, signed with construction company Galliford Try, also include work to build or refurbish facilities at three other RAF stations. The Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team (RAFAT), better known as the Red Arrows, moved to RAF Waddington in October last year. New facilities are now required for the team and their distinctive red Hawk fast jets.

The project is part of the MOD’s wider Defence Estate Optimisation (DEO) Portfolio, which is investing £5.1bn in the infrastructure needed by our service people through construction activity, unit and personnel moves, and the release of sites that are no longer suited to the needs of our modern military.

Air Officer Airbases, Air Commodore Portlock welcomed senior leaders from DEO, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and representatives from Galliford Try to RAF Waddington. They signed four contracts to deliver a project which spans RAF Leeming, RAF Saxton Wold, both RAF Boulmer sites and RAF Waddington.

Speaking at the signing, Air Commodore Portlock said:  "This significant milestone marks an exciting transition into the much-awaited design and build phase of the project. Providing this essential infrastructure will enable the RAF to make best use of its estate, whilst also delivering our capabilities which are critical to defence."

Earlier this year, multiple contractors from the construction industry were awarded packages of work across the DEO Portfolio in a landmark move to speed up project delivery. The move will also provide a more collaborative way of working, and a consistent approach to sustainable building practices.

27 May, 2023

2023 display season begins for Red Arrows

The new 2023 season of events is getting underway for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows who will be flying a more dynamic and updated display. During the season the team will perform more than 60 displays at various locations both in the UK and overseas.

The start of the season follows the Red Arrows being granted Public Display Authority (PDA) – a thorough, detailed assessment that concludes a training phase.  Squadron Leader Tom Bould, who is Red 1 and in his third year as Team Leader, said it was particularly satisfying to gain this validation given a much-reduced timescale to prepare for 2023. “I’m immensely proud to attain Public Display Authority with fantastic teamwork seen in every area of the Red Arrows.

It’s especially pleasing to achieve this feat in a shortened work-up period – the team usually has longer to train but only concluded its 2022 season in December, due to our return from a very successful tour to the Gulf and Egypt."

People watching the team at events in 2023 will spot the Wall arrival, with an arena-filling Union flag-coloured spectacle to announce the start of the display.  In patriotic tribute to the Coronation – where the Red Arrows were seen by a huge, global television audience carrying out a flypast over London – the front section of the team is performing a vertical break during the second half of the show, with red, white and blue smoke trails.

Squadron Leader Bould said: "What has not changed, however, this year is a focus on inspiring individuals of all ages and backgrounds with this display of teamwork.  Indeed, creating a safe, visually-appealing and world-class demonstration takes detailed planning, dedicated preparation and a pursuit of excellence by all involved – hallmarks found across the Royal Air Force."

The Red Arrows’ first show is at the Midlands Air Festival on June 2 and the last one of 2023 is in October.

19 April, 2023

Own your own Red Arrow's jet.......

The RAF is selling off a BAe HAWK T1A  former Red Arrows jet, XX306 which has recently been used as the gate guardian at the famous aerobatic team's former home at RAF Scampton.

The jet is currently on auction with the price now at £60,000, with the auction set to end in 6 days and 15 hours....
XX306 is a truly historic aircraft, it was one of the original Hawk T1 jets delivered to the Red Arrows.  It was also the last RAF aircraft to leave RAF Scampton prior to closure in March 2023. The jet has been dismantled by specialists, using the original manuals and is ready to be reconstructed by the new owners.

The BAe Systems Hawk succeeded the Folland Gnat as the aircraft type flown by the display team after the 1979 season. XX306 was built by British Aerospace at Dunsfold and delivered to the RAF on 23rd May 1980.  

The history of the aircraft shows it spent two months at RAF Valley before flying to RAF Kemble – which was where the Red Arrows’ were previously based and it joined the team early in July 1980.

Its last flight was on 26 September 2012 and officially retired from the aerobatic team on 20 October the same year. The aircraft was selected to be the Gate Guardian for RAF Scampton and arrived there by road on 11th August 2015 after having a cosmetic touch-up. 

Total flying time for XX306 - 7,378 hours and 15 minutes
Total number of landings - 13,007

To bid and for more details, of the BAe Hawk T1A XX306 - Former Red Arrows Team & RAF Scampton Gate Guardian auction please visit here

There is no engine fitted to the aircraft and no logs are supplied.

But if you can't quite afford a whole plane, there are other bits up for grabs, such as a cockpit canopy and a tailplane oh and a wing as well, see GPSV site for more details. 

27 May, 2022

UK Armed Forces aircraft take part in final rehearsal before Queen's Platinum Jubilee Flypast

UK Armed Forces aircraft take part in final rehearsal before Queen's Platinum Jubilee Flypast
Photo RAF / Crown copyright

An amazing airborne spectacle occurred yesterday, 26 May as aircraft from across the UK Armed Forces soared over RAF College Cranwell in a rehearsal for the Platinum Jubilee Flypast over Buckingham Palace on Thursday 2 June 2022.

The Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy were all represented in the 22 aircraft that took to the skies to practice the formations which will form part of the Queen’s Birthday Parade celebrations next week.  The full flypast will see 70 aircraft, including the iconic Red Arrows and historic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, put on a spectacular show over London.

The formation flew over RAF Cranwell’s iconic College Hall yesterday, which stood in for Buckingham Palace.  The first aircraft of the Flypast flew over College Hall at 13:00BST.  The display was reviewed by Air Commodore Mike Baulkwill, the Combat Air Force Commander for the RAF’s No 1 Group.  Air Commodore Baulkwill was standing in for Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, who is the Senior Responsible Officer for the Flypast.

Dedication, concentration and supreme skills needed to fly  in the flypast Photo RAF / Crown copyright

Commodore Mike Baulkwill, Combat Air Force Commander, No 1 Group said: "I was reviewing the Flypast from a safety and execution point of view, to make sure the timings, spacings, and the broad structure of the flypast was looking good for next week. It went really well, we’ll have to make some minor adjustments, but the timing was perfect, and the line-up was good."

"We are very proud to be able to show Her Majesty The Queen, our Commander-in-Chief, on this unique occasion for the longest-serving monarch and her 70 year Platinum Jubilee, our capability and present that as a fitting and appropriate tribute for her 70-year reign. It should be a good spectacle for the country, the union, and the Commonwealth."

Squadron Leader Greenhowe
Project Officer for the Flypast

The variety of aircraft that will take part in the flypast will highlight the armed forces' different roles and abilities.   Photo RAF / Crown copyright
Squadron Leader Longland, RAF Puma Pilot said: "The flypast today went really well. We made our time on target over the top of College Hall which was standing in as Buckingham Palace. It has been in preparation for months and requires detailed coordination between all the different aircraft which fly at different speeds. I feel hugely privileged and excited to get to fly over the Palace for The Queen on this momentous occasion."

The flypast on Thursday 2 June 2022 will follow the Queen’s Birthday Parade, known as Trooping The Colour, a major display of military pageantry involving 1,500 officers and soldiers and 250 horses from the British Army’s Household Division on Horse Guards Parade.  The Flypast will take place subject to weather, serviceability, and operational commitments.


Photo RAF / Crown copyright

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Photo RAF / Crown copyright

24 May, 2021

Red Arrows Return to UK Airshows

Photo RAF 

Audiences across the UK can once again enjoy the spectacular displays of the Red Arrows the first time in almost two years. 

They last performed in July 2019, at the Royal International Air Tattoo, but the Pandemic forced event organisers to cancel displays. However, now led by Squadron Leader Bould, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team were given Public Display Authority (PDA) to return to the skies for their 57th season.  

During the Pandemic the Red Arrows kept extremely busy with several major flypasts – including marking the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ Day – and a vast online outreach programme that explored themes around leadership, teamwork, and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Then, the Red Arrows trained as their home base RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and then moved overseas to a location with more settled weather on Exercise Springhawk.  Here RAF Air Officer Commanding, 1 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Al Marshall deemed them to be safe and visually appealing ahead of the new season. 

Photo RAF 

15 August, 2020

RAF Red Arrows Salute Llandudno WW2 Battle of Britain Hero

Photo RAF
Llandudno residents had an unexpected treat when the Red Arrows flew over the town. Their fly past was to acknowledge local hero Flight Lieutenant Glyn Griffiths DFM, who had fought as a Hurricane pilot in the Battle of Britain.  

Glyn was born in 1918 in Llandudno and attended John Bright County School. He worked at Llandudno Urban District Council’s gas department before joining the RAF just before the war. A Sergeant during the Battle of Britain, flying with 17 Squadron, Glyn was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM). The London Gazette of 26 November 1940 announced the award of his DFM and stated ‘This airman has shown splendid courage and initiative in his attacks against the enemy. He has destroyed at least six of their aircraft, two of which were shot down in one day’.

The Commanding Officer of the Red Arrows, Wing Commander David Montenegro, said: “Today, we were privileged to fly over Llandudno in aerial salute of Battle of Britain pilot Flight Lieutenant Glyn Griffiths DFM. The bravery and achievements of our Battle of Britain pilots remains an inspiration to all those who serve in the RAF today. It is hugely important that we continue to reflect on their incredible sacrifice, values and service. We will remember them.”

22 May, 2020

Red Arrows to stay in Lincolnshire following RAF Scampton closure

Red Arrows to stay in Lincolnshire following RAF Scampton closure

The Red Arrows are set to stay in their home county of Lincolnshire and move to RAF Waddington after the closure of their current base RAF Scampton.

With their planned new headquarters a short distance away from their current home, the aerobatic team will still take to the skies above Scampton to practise their world-famous displays.

The Ministry of Defence will look at options for preserving the rich history of RAF Scampton after its closure. During the Second World War, the base was home to 617 Squadron which famously took part in the Dambusters raids in 1943.

A safety assessment deemed RAF Waddington to be the best possible home for The Red Arrows, and the relocation, which was first announced in 2018, will now move into the assessment and planning stage.

17 April, 2020

Red Arrows carry out limited training

following an operational pause in sorties since March 23, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team carried out flying on Wednesday 15th from RAF Scampton. Image by SAC Hannah Smoker.
Following an operational pause in sorties since 23rd March, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team carried out flying from RAF Scampton on Wednesday 15th April.

The activity was limited in nature, involving single aircraft flights, and aimed at allowing the Red Arrows to carry out essential training.

For safe flying proficiency, the team’s pilots are required to fly – as an absolute minimum – every 31 days.

As well as at the Red Arrows’ base of RAF Scampton, flying activity involving the team's aircraft was in the vicinity of Doncaster, Humberside, Leeds/Bradford and Manchester airports.

23 July, 2019

Former Army Pilot and Astronaut Maj Tim Peake takes flight with the Red Arrows

Former Army Air Corps Apache Pilot and British astronaut Major Tim Peake has spoken about how aerospace can help inspire future generations after flying with the Red Arrows.  He joined the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team for a scheduled, practice flight which involved a 20-minute display.  The astronaut flew in the rear seat of Red 1’s aircraft, getting to feel, first-hand, the team’s hallmark combination of close-formations, precision passes and dynamic loops and rolls.

22 July, 2019

Astronaut Tim Peake takes a flight with The Red Arrows

Former Army Air Corps Apache Pilot and British astronaut Major Tim Peake has spoken about how aerospace can help inspire future generations after flying with the Red Arrows.  He joined the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team for a scheduled, practice flight which involved a 20-minute display.  The astronaut flew in the rear seat of Red 1’s aircraft, getting to feel, first-hand, the team’s hallmark combination of close-formations, precision passes and dynamic loops and rolls.

10 June, 2019

British Airways to fly BOAC livery 747 alongside The Red Arrows at Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire

Photo British Airways
The Red Arrows will join forces with a special British Airways B747, which has been painted in the airline’s predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) livery, for a spectacular fly-past at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire on July 20.

To mark the airline’s centenary this year, the specially decorated 747 will perform a joint fly-past alongside the RAF’s aerobatic display team at the world’s largest military air show.

Spectators will have the chance to see the vintage design, which flew between 1952 and 1974, at the air show that takes place at RAF Fairford. British Airways has painted four aircraft in heritage liveries to mark its 100-year-history, the other two featuring the Negus (1974 to 1980) and Landor (1984 to 1997) liveries. Completing the line-up is an Airbus 319 painted to reflect its British European Airways heritage.

02 June, 2019

The RAF's Red Arrows gets underway for an impressive transatlantic season.

Following months of training, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team has been given the go-ahead to begin one of its busiest ever seasons.
The Red Arrows’ 2019 campaign will culminate in a major tour of North America and displays and flypasts across the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.
Formal approval to perform for audiences, known as Public Display Authority (PDA), was granted to the team on Wednesday, May 29th, marking the official start of the Red Arrows’ 55th display season.

19 March, 2019

Where will the Royal Air Force Red Arrows go.....

Photo RAF
There is a huge question mark over the future home of the Royal Air Force iconic Red Arrows aerobatic display team this week, with three options being put on the table, by defence minister Tobias Elwood 

Following a far-reaching and intense cost-cutting process, the UK's Ministry of Defence has decided that the current home of the country's premier display team, RAF Scampton is to close.  

RAF Scampton has a long and illustrious history, along with the Red Arrows, it was also the home base of the famous 617 Squadron as they prepared for the daring Dambusters raid during World War II.  During the height of the cold war, Scampton was also home for the Vulcan bombers and their deadly payloads.

As the base is to close before the end of 2022, the hunt was on to find a suitable home for the Red Arrows, other than the Cyprus winter training base the team utilise. Now the long list has been reduced to a shortlist of just three bases - RAF Leeming, RAF Waddington and RAF Wittering.