Talk:Red Arrows

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Former featured article candidateRed Arrows is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
April 17, 2005Peer reviewReviewed
April 22, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
April 1, 2011Peer reviewReviewed
Current status: Former featured article candidate

RAF Scampton[edit]

The article on RAF Scampton says it has been mothballed; if that is correct, are the Red Arrows still based there? -- S

RAF Scampton is still (As of 19/07/2006) a active RAF station and yes the Red Arrows are still based there. You can see them practicing over lincoln quite often, and get a great view from the track that runs along the airbases fence, though the Military police do tend to play a visit to make sure your behaving. -- SimonD

number of shows?[edit]

The article says that the Red Arrows have flown in 50 countries and then later that they have flown in 50 countries in their Hawks. Both can of course be true, but it just seems a bit of a coincidence. Are these the correct totals?

I would not consider it a big coincidence, and official webpage specifically says:

Since being introduced into service with the Red Arrows, the Hawk has taken the Team on tours of Eastern and Western Europe, the USA, the Middle and Far East, Africa and Australia - in all the Red Arrows have displayed in 50 countries.

however, to be on safe side, we could remove "in their hawks" from second reference. thanks for your modifications - Bluemoose 20:17, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am American - to us the 50 countries isn't much when USA get compared size wise (and USA has 50 states) to Europe - More impressive would be a listing of countries outside of Europe they have flown, and perhaps how many times visit/ shows in those countries. The Red Arrows are quite impressive- I have seen them only once. Wfoj3 (talk) 01:35, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Little Rissington?[edit]

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (RAFAT), the Red Arrows, was originally based at RAF Fairford, then a satellite unit of the Central Flying School. The team later moved to RAF Kemble, and after RAF Scampton became the CFS Headquarters, the Red Arrows moved there in 1983.

This has got to be incorrect or incomplete. They were based at RAF Little Rissington for many years, most definitely in 1971-72, though not sure when they first were there or when they left. Perhaps the reference to Fairford is incorrect,(Actually, I was reading a recently published 50th Anniversary magazine publication in England that they were based in Fairford for many years and flew the Gnats whilst there... Vision2020 (talk) 02:07, 28 June 2014 (UTC)) since I don't recall them ever being based there. I know this because as a schoolboy I lived in Tewkesbury, and the team used to practice over that area frequently. One of the teachers at the school had a husband who was a pilot in the team, and on one occasion they performed a private display right over our school for her birthday! That was pretty special (especially to a 9yo!) She told us that her husband and the team was at Rissington. This is also confirmed by an article in Aeroplane Monthly that I have from around 1973 that discusses the Arrows and the operations at Rissington.Graham 23:43, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

From the official page:

The Red Arrows began work in late 1964 to prepare for the 1965 Air Display Season. The squadron was officially constituted on 1 March 1965. The first official display was at RAF Little Rissington in the Cotswolds on 6 May 1965. This was a special display to introduce the Team to the media


The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, was initially based at RAF Fairford,

So there seems to be some confusion, it is possible they used rissington but were never based there. Martin - The non-blue non-moose 00:00, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Well, I'll try and find that old magazine (it's at home, buried in a huge pile somewhere) and re-read it. Graham 00:16, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
OK, I have located the magazine I was thinking of - it's "Air Extra", issue number 7, published by Ian Allan on January 25th, 1975. Cost 35p! (In case anyone wants to cross-check this!). The issue features four RAF airfields in detail, and one of them is Little Rissington. In fact there's a wealth of information here, certainly enough to have a crack at the Rissington article itself. As the home base of the Central Flying School from 1947 to ??? (after 1975, since the article was current at the time it was written), it has also been the home base of any number of aerobatic display teams - The Skylarks (DH Chipmunks), The Sparrows (Jet Provost), The Redskins (Jet Provost), CFS aerobatic team (Meteor T7s), Red Pelicans (Jet Provost), the "Vintage Pair" (Vampire & Meteor), and of course the Red Arrows (Gnats). However, while the CFS itself is based at Rissington, it does mention that the Yellowjacks originated at a FTS base, RAF Valley in Anglesey. The Yellowjack's Gnats and some pilots were moved to the CFS in '65 when the Red Arrows was first formed. The article suggests that the Gnats did fly into Rissington frequently for maintenance and general training work but were generally stationed at nearby Kemble. Other CFS units were also pushed over to Kemble because the runway length at Rissington was a bit restricted - the Gnats could get in and out but Hunters couldn't. Anyway, this sounds like it probably clears up the mystery, since Red Arrows pilots are students of the CFS, so their "home base" would be considered Rissington, even if in fact the aircraft are flown from Kemble. However there is no mention of Fairford at all, so I think the mention of Fairford in the article could well be incorrect. Wasn't Fairford a USAF base during that time anyway?
Incidentally this article also highlights another small error. Not all the other teams were disbanded when the Arrows were formed. The Red Pelicans continued until 1973, according to the magazine. Graham 12:15, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Since there has been no comment, I have changed the article so it is in line with what this magazine article reported. If that wakes up anyone who wants to take issue with it, then that's probably a good thing! Graham 01:59, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Red Arrows at Little Rissy[edit]

Just a note to try and help clear up the confusion about the Reds time at Rissy. Although the team aircraft were based at Kemble for day to day operational flying and First and Second line technical cover, Central Flying School at Little Rissington was the overall HQ base for personnel accommodation (Messes, Medical centres, station duties etc!) and Winter Servicing. Three aircraft at a time were sent up to Rissy at the end of the season for Third line (deep) servicing which took about 6 weeks each to complete. The other aircraft still at Kemble were used to start training up the 3 new pilots for the next season. I was privileged to have been at Rissy and Kemble, apart from a couple of short tours to far-flung places, from 1970 to 1981 as an aircraft electrician and was with the travelling team for the 78, 79 and 80 seasons which included the changeover from the Gnat to the Hawks at the end of 1979. My first seasons secondary duty was on the coloured smoke team so if anybody has blue or red spatters on their stuff from those days......... Sorry!!! If anyone wants to get in touch about those days please leave a message.

Regards, Mikeinfrance

Hi Mike, thanks for that. It confirms the above, which pleases me no end! By the way, if you indent a paragraph it gets formatted within a box like computer code, so I have taken the liberty of correcting that. Graham 23:44, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

See alsos[edit]

It seems to me that a lot of the see alsos - specifically, the ones to the foreign aerobatic teams - are not really relevant, as we have the template down at the bottom which links to all of them. With the exception of the Black Arrows, none of them are particularly more relevant than any of the others already in the template, so I think they ought to be removed. --Scott Wilson 20:29, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

There are many RAF squadron display teams of the 1950s & '60s that are NOT in the template; such as the Macaws, Poachers and 56 Squadron. Astronomy Explained (talk) 15:22, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

Costs of hiring[edit]

Quoting: In 1977, a charge of £200 was introduced for a Red Arrows display. By 2000, the charge had become £2,000 (including VAT and insurance). To date (April 2005), the Red Arrows have performed over 3,400 times.[1]

This fact is according to somebody I know is very much innaccurate as, in 2001, the cost including tax is over £7000 and that exclude insurance and other costs. Willirennen 21 July 2006

That would make sense though, inflation/insurance costs have been a lot since 1977. Of course it would be great to have some referenced up-to-date info. Martin 14:12, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
This quote is not helpful. Who is charging whom for what? Can I hire the Red Arrows for my birthday party for £2,000? This makes no sense at all. --Yath 22:03, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
There is a charge made by the Red Arrows for displays, whether they would display for your birthday has nothing to do with this, as they clearly accept/reject requests on a range of criteria. Martin 22:09, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
It still doesn't say who charges the amount, and to whom. It's an unconnected statement that will only make readers scratch their heads. --Yath 00:10, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
It now says a charge was introduced "by the MOD", clearly the charge is going to be for the organisation requesting the display. Martin 08:43, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

In reply to Yath, you'll be pleased to hear, you can arrange a flyby by the Red Arrows for free! There is a form on their website. Just fill it in, and if they're nearby they'll divert their route to fly over your event. Go check it out for yourself!


  1. ^ Sky-Flash. "the Red Arrows history". Accessed 12 April 2005

other air force demonstration teams[edit]

The article says the USA equivalent is The Blue Angels. The Blue Angels are the US Navy aviation demonstration team. The US Air Force demonstration team is the Thunderbirds.

List of Shows?[edit]

Is there a list of shows online anywhere? Does anyone have the date of the 1973 Lisbon display? Bastie 08:20, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

According to this it took place on 13 June 1973. 2fort5r (talk) 13:57, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Accidents Fatal? And Cranwell[edit]

Growing up (in part) near RAF Cranwell I thought they practiced there in the 1960s. And I thought some of the accidents were fatal. The main article doesn't mention Cranwell and it doesn't mention any accidents being fatal. Am I wrong? I'm quite prepared to accept I may be. Martin Packer (talk) 13:53, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Here is a website here that outlines the accidents in more detail, there were four fatalities from a mid-air collision in 1971 - and two more in 1978.
I happened to see the two planes go down in Welton in 1987, as I was at school there at the time, there's a little more info here -
Not sure how much of this is really important apart from the fatalities - which should get mentioned. Escobar otter (talk) 14:21, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Here's a source for the March 2009 near miss that needs a citation. I still haven't figured out how to do citations properly, so can some one do it for me.MidlandLinda (talk) 20:59, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Winter Training[edit]

Does anyone know the sort of dates the squadron is based at Akrotiri during their winter training? Thanks, Colds7ream (talk) 11:21, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

August 2011 accident[edit]

The accident has now been widely reported (e.g. by the BBC [1]), so I can see no reason not to include this - an I.P. has twice deleted the section though. Can I ask him/her to explain why?

I'll remind everyone than any content on this will need to be based on published reliable sources: no speculation please, in the article, or on the talk page. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:26, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Agree a fatal accident is notable to a display team - the pilot has been identified by the media but doesnt really need a page of his own so I have redirected Jon Egging to this page. MilborneOne (talk) 18:56, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that, Thanks. The Telegraph has more details [2], though I'd take their comment about Egging making a "dramatic attempt to steer [the plane] away from nearby houses" as pure speculation - the media tend to say this about every aircraft crash. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:02, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
This photo shows a light to the rear of the plane, it isn't a fire nor a strobe, perhaps a laser pointer reflecting off a part of the aircraft? Twobells (talk) 18:30, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

diamond nine[edit]

The Diamond Nine Formation is mentioned multiple times in this article, and yet no picture is shown of it. I think there's scope for this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Team list[edit]

Anybody know why the current team is listed, if this is an encyclopedia should it not list all the team members in each slot since the team was formed. The pilot section is a bit biased towards the 2011 team and fails to cover other years in the same way. Perhaps this section should be revised. MilborneOne (talk) 11:51, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Surely it is better to have a list of the current pilots than no list at all. Instead of deleting a list all together it would be more helpful to add all the pilots, potentially in a new article called something along the lines of List of Red Arrows Pilots. In the mean time I have added a Wiki Table with this years pilots which I only see point in removing if a full list is created.Matthewm192 (talk) 11:11, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I have removed the list it is not the role of an encyclopedia to be a guide to the current team, anybody notable can be mentioned in the text and the current team can be found in the link to the RAF website. Highly likely a misuse of crown copyright images as well. MilborneOne (talk) 19:14, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

November 2011 incident[edit]

As the reports on this are very mixed at the moment, I would think it's probably best to wait until official MOD confirmation before adding it to the article -- Dave_Dubya 17:26, 08 November 2011 (UTC)

Planned relocation to RAF Waddington[edit]

The planned move to Waddington and final closure of RAF Scampton, originally scheduled for 2011, has been backspaced to at least 2014 and possibly longer. 21st CENTURY GREENSTUFF 17:47, 18 February 2012 (UTC)


Why are people promoting this for Featured article status when it cannot pass B-class?--Petebutt (talk) 19:34, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

It was back in 2005.... KTC (talk) 20:01, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Awards / Recognition[edit]

What awards or recognition have the Red Arrows received in all their flying years i.e. Worlds Best Aerobatic Team, Services to the Public, etc.? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Dusty, dog mascot[edit]

There is no mention of dusty, mascot of the red arrows. 10:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Red Pelicans to Red Arrows[edit]

I was stationed at RAF Little Rissington 1962-63 and 1964-1966/ I was a navigation instruments Engineer working on HP2. At one time in 1963 we had a line of JP4 Red Pelicans and a line of Gnats Red Arrows. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scouseatrissy (talkcontribs) 14:39, 30 January 2020 (UTC)