The Red Arrows’ official display season for 2016 will begin next month after the team was formally awarded its Public Display Authority (PDA) on Tuesday, April 26.
It was the final assessment before the Red Arrows were allowed to embark on their 52nd display season.
To celebrate the award, the team has released spectacular videos showing off some of the new moves that spectators will be able to enjoy this summer.
The latest season is the first as Red Arrows pilots for the team’s newest recruits – Reds 2 and 3, Flight Lieutenants Matt Masters and Si Taylor – who will stay with the Squadron for three years.
Following approval, the pilots were allowed to change from their green coveralls, used during training, into their famous red flying suits, which are worn during the season.
The squadron’s support staff, who number more than 100 and include engineering technicians, administrators, photographers and others, also changed their coveralls, into their royal blue flying suits.
Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Team Leader and Red 1, said: “Public Display Authority is a very important day in the Red Arrows’ calendar as it signifies the end of many months of training.
“We reflect on the efforts from the whole team that have gone into accomplishing the accolade of being ready to display for the UK and global public.
“Everyone on the Red Arrows has a role to play in our winter training months – we have 18-year-old technicians who are on their first detachment with the team, indeed within the Royal Air Force, and who have being honing their engineering skills throughout the past months and have enabled the air crew to fly our aircraft.
“There are also squadron transport drivers who have covered thousands of miles delivering spare parts for the aircraft around the UK and mainland Europe.”
Preparations for the new season began in October, when training commenced at the Red Arrows’ home base of RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.
Pilots fly three times a day, five days a week, beginning with small groups of three or four aircraft.
The training develops until the team’s full nine-ship formation comes together in February.
The final part of the PDA process took place at the Hellenic Air Force Base (HAF) in Tanagra, Greece, where the team has been perfecting the 23-minute show.
Squadron Leader Montenegro added: “The arrival into the 2016 show is called ‘Wall’, which sees the widest Red Arrows formation flown for many years rapidly transforming into the closest of all our shapes while flying a loop.
“Another new move is ‘Tornado’ and celebrates 25 years of continual operational service of the RAF’s Tornado force and displays Reds 8 and 9 rolling around the rest of the team.
“Also, we have the ‘Double Goose’ – a manoeuvre flown by the team many years ago which presents seven aircraft in a pyramid formation while the Synchro Pair – Reds 6 and 7 – fly right through the middle, at a closing speed of 750mph.”
The Red Arrows will return to their home base later this week before kicking off the 80 displays planned for this season on Sunday, May 8, at Shuttleworth in Bedfordshire.