Pride of Britain: Red Arrows return to UK airshows

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Pride of Britain: The Red Arrows. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021.

Audiences in the UK will enjoy shows featuring the Red Arrows for the first time in almost two years after the team was given display approval.

Following a period of intense training, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team today successfully completed an annual assessment.

Known as Public Display Authority (PDA), this marks the start of the Red Arrows’ 57th season.

It means the team is set to perform at events in the UK for the first time since July 2019 – with airshows returning to this summer’s calendar, after the pandemic forced event organisers to cancel dates last year.

The 2021 season will also see the Red Arrows led by a new Team Leader, Squadron Leader Tom Bould.

The former Typhoon pilot, who flies as Red 1, said:

“I am hugely proud of what the whole team has achieved in being awarded Public Display Authority and being ready to perform for people in the UK, and beyond, across the new season.

“This is the culmination of several months of hard work and everyone’s dedication to the task has brought us to this point, whether they be fellow pilots in the team or our highly-trained support staff.

“Being my first PDA as Red 1, I feel incredibly honoured to have led the team to this point and to now have the opportunity to present a new show – featuring all the energy, excitement and excellence that airshow audiences expect and enjoy.

“We are all thrilled to bring the aerobatic display of our home audience for the first time since 2019 – Showcasing the Royal Air Force and representing the UK.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Red Arrows pilot is displaying in front of audiences wherever we are around the world and getting to meet people at different locations.

“Aviation has always inspired and this is something we’re eager to continue to help achieve in 2021.”

Attaining PDA involves detailed scrutiny of activity both in the air and on the ground and is only granted when the Red Arrows are deemed to have a show that is safe and visually appealing.

It follows months of winter training in the UK, at the team’s home base of RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

Preparations then moved abroad, in a deployment called Exercise Springhawk. This five week period, staged in Greece, is where the team perfects and polishes its display and flies up to three times a day – taking full advantage of more guaranteed, finer weather and settled conditions.

Dates and displays are subject to change due to operational, weather and other factors. More information on dates or types of moves can be found on the RAF Website Red Arrows Display Page.

L-R: Wg Cdr David Montenegro Red 11 and Officer Commanding The Red Arrows and Sqn Ldr Tom Bold – Red 1 and Team Leader with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – The Red Arrows.
UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021.

Source: Cpl Adam Fletcher – RAF  UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021.

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