10 Amazing Red Arrows Facts to Impress Your Friends With

Airshow Flying DisplayRed Arrow Facts:

  1. The Red Arrows’ first UK public display was at the Biggin Hill International Air Fair in 1965.
  2. The pilots fly in the same position in the formation for the entire year. If one is unwell, a gap is left. If the Leader (Red 1) cannot fly, the display is cancelled.
  3. Each Red Arrow Hawk aircraft carries enough dye to create five minutes of white smoke, one minute of red and one minute of blue during each display.
  4. The Red 1 (Team Leader) who led the Red Arrows for the most number of years was the legendary Ray Hanna. Ray flew as Red 6 in 1965, the team?s first year, before becoming Red 1 for 1966-69. Post RAF, Ray became a world-famous civilian display pilot perhaps best known for his solo Spitfire finale at the Biggin International Air Fair ? a tradition that carries on at the Festival of Flight today.
  5. In 1968, the RAF’s 50th Anniversary, every single display (98 in total) was flown with a full complement of 9 aircraft – no drop outs. Will the same happen next year ? the RAF?s 100th Anniversary?
  6. In 2010 Flt Lt Kirsty Moore became the first female Red Arrow pilot.
  7. The Red Arrows first home was RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. The Red Arrows moved to RAF Kemble in 1966 after Concorde moved in to RAF Fairford to conduct test flights.
  8. The first display was on 6 May 1965, at RAF Little Rissington in Gloucestershire, for a press day. It rained!
  9. Why are they called the Red Arrows? In the 1960s, RAF training aircraft were predominantly painted red. The ?arrows? part of the title was in recognition of the Black Arrows, a very popular aerobatic team in the late 50s and early 60s. Hence, Red Arrows!
  10. Current Red 10 ? Red Arrows Supervisor and Commentator ? is our very own Squadron Leader Mike Ling. ?Lingy? was born in Orpington and was an Air Cadet with No 2427 (Biggin Hill) Squadron Air Training Corps.

See them perform at this year’s Festival of Flight on 19th and 20th of August.

Sign up for our Newsletters

Keep up to date with news and events happening in and around the airport.