Red Arrows unveil patriotic new jets design

The world-famous Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, has revealed a new Union flag-inspired design on its jets.

Complete with flowing red, white and blue lines, the new design aims to emphasise the team’s role as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and Royal Air Force.

Tail fins on the RAF Scampton-based team’s Hawk aircraft have received the fresh look, and the makeover will be seen by millions of people every year at UK and overseas displays.

Squadron Leader David Montenegro, who will lead the team as Red 1 for the first time this year, said: “The new tail fin perfectly illustrates the spirit of the Red Arrows – representing the UK, our engineering excellence and the continuing capability of the Royal Air Force to secure our skies.”

Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, with the new Union flag tailfin. Photo Craig Marshall, MoD/Crown Copyright 2015.

Squadron Leader David Montenegro with the new Union flag tail fin. Photo SAC Craig Marshall, MoD/Crown Copyright 2015.

The Red Arrows celebrated their 50th season in 2014, performing in more than 80 displays across the UK and in nine other countries.

The milestone was marked with a special, one-off tail fin design on its aircraft, replacing the iconic three-stripe livery the team’s jets had flown since the 1960s.

Instead of returning to this original design following the anniversary, the new Union flag pattern has been adopted for the future.

Since the end of September, the Red Arrows have been training at RAF Scampton, in Lincolnshire, for this year’s shows which are due to begin in May.

Of the nine 2015 display pilots, three are joining the team for the first time, having previously flown other Royal Air Force fast jets, such as the Tornado and Typhoon, on operations.

Squadron Leader Montenegro added: “The Red Arrows have a major ambassadorial role. When we go abroad, it’s not just Defence we are representing, or the Armed Forces in isolation, it’s all of the UK’s industry.

“To have this ability, to keep spreading the message and promoting the UK in this unique powerful way around the world, is invaluable.

“The 120 people who make up the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team are highly-trained, highly-skilled individuals who are motivated in the pursuit of excellence.”