RAF

The Red Arrows have completed over 30 displays, and performed for hundreds of thousands of people at home and overseas, since the end of May and the 2022 season has now reached its halfway point.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s 58th season got underway in late May after pre-season training in Croatia and Greece.

Since then, the Red Arrows have made appearances at big shows and festivals in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, including several marking Armed Force’ Day, and even meeting Hollywood actor Tom Cruise at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire.

With tens of thousands of people lining the coastline, the Red Arrows performed a display at Cleethorpes Armed Forces’ Weekend on June 25. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by Corporal Adam Fletcher


The Red Arrows display at the English Riviera Air Show in Torbay in June. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by AS1 Katrina Knox

The Red Arrows have also had high-profile moments including providing a finale to a flypast over London to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June.

There’s also been several mixed formations, such as with the RAF’s VIP Voyager aircraft known as Vespina.

The Red Arrows conduct a mixed formation flypast with the RAF’s VIP Voyager aircraft, known as “Vespina”, over RAF Fairford for the Royal International Air Tattoo. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by AS1 Abigail Drewett

The Red Arrows performed a joint flypast with the Royal Air Force Typhoon Display Team’s aircraft to open the Farnborough International Airshow. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by AS1 Katrina Knox

The Red Arrows join the Black Eagles, from the Republic of Korea, at the Royal International Air Tattoo in July. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by AS1 Abigail Drewett.

The team have also represented the UK overseas, including through visits to events in France, Denmark and Ireland.

The first week of August brings a traditional pause in display flying and shows, allowing the Red Arrows’ dedicated engineers and support staff to carry out planned work on the Hawk jets and make preparations for the second half of the season.

The Red Arrows performed a joint flypaat with a Royal Air Force Typhoon on the opening day of the Farnborough International Airshow.

The next public display by the Red Arrows is on August 10 at Falmouth.

The domestic season runs until September, before the team deploys to the Gulf to participate in the Bahrain Air Show for the first time in November.

The Red Arrows returned to the Royal Air International Air Tattoo in July. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by AS1 Abigail Drewett

A Survival Equipment Technician from the Red Arrows works on flying equipment and clothing after the team arrived at Prestwick airport, in preparation for a display at The Making Waves Festival in Irvine, Scotland. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by AS1 Abigail Drewett

A Red Arrows engineer helps a pilot crew into the aircraft in Zadar – a Croatian airbase – during pre-season training in April. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by AS1 Abigail Drewett

Pre-season training was concluded in Greece, where this image was taken in May. | Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright 2022 – picture by AS1 Abigail Drewett

Squadron Leader Tom Bould, Team Leader and Red 1, said: “This really has been a summer of celebration, helping to mark the Platinum Jubilee and supporting world-class events, such as opening the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“It’s been a packed first half of the display season – with sell-out venues and capacity crowds everywhere we’ve gone and highlighting everyone’s insatiable appetite for airshows, live events and aviation.

“We’ve really enjoyed performing for these huge audiences and having opportunity to also meet so many people at these events and, hopefully, inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds through teamwork and precision.”

The Red Arrows Trust has shown that its service to the country continues on the ground as well as in the air.

The trust gains an income from royalties associated with sales of approved Red Arrows memorabilia and then distributes it to worthy causes twice a year.

The trust has donated thousands of pounds to a list of charities in the last year, adding up to a total of £91,000.

The biggest donation, of £12,000, was made to Flying Scholarships for the Disabled in January this year.

Other charities gifted included Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, who received a donation of £3,000 in January.

The following charities received donations:

Flying Scholarships for the Disabled – £12,000

The Red Arrows handing a cheque for £12,000 to The Flying Scholarships for the Disabled on July 8. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

LIVES – £4,000

The Red Arrows hand a cheque for £4,000 to LIVES. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance – £3,000

The Red Arrows handing over a cheque for £3,000 to Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

 Jon Egging Trust – £3,000

The Red Arrows handing over a cheque for £3,000 to the Jon Egging trust. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

St Barnabas Hospise – £3,000

The Red Arrows hand over a cheque for £3,000 to St Barnabas Hospice. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

Other charities donated to:

July 2022 donation:

  • Models for Heros – £5,000
  • Aerobility – £5,000
  • St Andrew’s Hospice – £500
  • FareShare – £500

January 2022 donation:

  • RAFA – £10,000
  • RAFBF – £10,000
  • Stubs – £5,000
  • Douglas Badar Flying – £3,000
  • Care for Veterans – £3,000
  • On Course Foundation – £3,000
  • Blind Veterans – £3,000
  • Combat Stress – £3,000
  • Blesma – £3,000
  • Ranchers Riding Ranch – £2,500
  • Rainbows – £2,000
  • War Memorials – £1,500
  • Alzheimers UK – £1,000
  • Diabetes UK – £1,000
  • Happy Days – £1,000
  • Derby Air Ambulance  £3,000

The Red Arrows with one of the group visits on July 8. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

A team of Lincolnshire-based RAF personnel are set to become the first people ever to paramotor around the entire coastline of the mainland UK.

They are raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity.

The team of Force Protection personnel, based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, are known as ‘The Raptors’ and are embarking on the daring, and potentially record-setting, fundraising feat to mark 80 years of the RAF Regiment and 100 years since the formation of the RAF Armoured Car Companies.

The team has already raised more than £1,200 and consists of three pilots: Flight Lieutenant Mike O’Hara, Squadron Leader Tim Taylor and Flight Lieutenant Andy Whisker.

The attempt will take place 1-30 August, but there are a number of build-up events at various locations around the UK. The aim is to complete the 3,192 miles of the UK coastline in 30 days.

The courageous attempt is potentially a record-setting series of flights | Photo: RAF Benevolent Fund

The team will be supported by a small ground unit of Reservists that will follow the attempt in vehicles.

Mike, who joined the RAF in 1978, started paragliding in 2006 before converting to paramotoring in 2016.

He said: “Tim and I are RAF Regiment Reservists and Andy is a Regular RAF Police Officer. I am looking forward to the challenge and hope to inspire and promote adventure to the young and old within the Air Force and the Corps.”

The 61-year-old revealed he was looking forward to “good weather, teamwork, establishing a record and completing the challenge”.

He added: “Our aim is to raise funds for two worthy causes, the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Centurion Fund.”

The attempt will take place 1-30 August spanning 3,192 miles of the UK coastline | Photo: RAF Benevolent Fund

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity, providing practical, financial, and emotional support to RAF personnel, veterans, and their partners and dependants. If you know a member of the RAF Family in need, please go to rafbf.org to find out how the Fund could help.

To support the fundraiser visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ukparamotorchallenge

The ground team of Reservists that will follow the attempt in vehicles | Photo: RAF Benevolent Fund

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