Red Arrows

The Red Arrows’ 57th season ended in style last week, and it was one that will be remembered for years to come as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team once again proved why they are the crown jewel of the nation.

The final display of the season was staged above the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier in Portsmouth on Wednesday, October 20, coinciding with the Prince hosting the Pacific Future Forum, a major defence, security, trade and technology summit.

It has been a season which has seen the Reds host a flypast of Wembley Stadium during the final of the European Championships, when England narrowly missed out on footballing glory against Italy in the summer.

The Reds flew over Wembley Stadium ahead of England’s Euro 2020 final this summer. | Photo: Royal Air Force

The team flew over Silverstone for the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, they have flown to Dubai for the Expo 2020, representing the United Kingdom in the wider event, as well as hosting other high profile displays such as the G7 summit.

The team coped with challenging times during the coronavirus pandemic, and paid tribute to the NHS and key workers with an all-blue smoke trail in the slalom move after an extended break from live displays due to lockdowns.

In total, the Reds managed 37 public displays and 22 major flypasts during the 2021 season, and were notably flanked by the RAF’s new submarine-hunter aircraft, Poseidon MRA1 for the first time, for a flypast of RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland in July.

The Reds flying back from an amazing display at Dubai Expo 2020. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

The Reds will now have a brief end-of-season break in November before returning to training ahead of next year’s events, where they are sure to dazzle once again. Read more of The Lincolnite‘s stories about the brilliant 2021 season on the Red Arrows section of our website.

The ending of the 2021 season also signals the end for two of the Red Arrows’ famous pilots, as they call time on their careers as display pilots for the famous RAF team.

The Poseidon MRA1 was flanked by our famous Red Arrows for the first time in preparation for the RAF Family & Friends event. | Photo: Corporal Adam Fletcher / RAF Red Arrows

Squadron Leaders Jon Bond and Steve Morris have notched up eleven years of pilot service for the Red Arrows between them, flying in Reds 6 and 9 respectively.

They have now flown their final sorties with the team, and bid an emotional farewell to the world famous Red Arrows.

Steve Morris is one of the longest serving Red Arrows pilots of all time, and he will now call time on a wonderful career with the display team. | Photo: Royal Air Force

Sqn Ldr Morris, originally from Sheffield, has clocked up over 400 public displays, and he said: “My seven years with the Red Arrows have been the most enjoyable years of my life.

“It’s been a busy, intense job but incredible to represent the Royal Air Force and the United Kingdom.

“To be able to be part of such a special team has been a great privilege, both in terms of the flying and also the opportunity to hopefully inspire individuals of all ages and backgrounds.”

Jon Bond. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Sqn Ldr Bond joined the RAF in 2006 and started flying the Typhoon aircraft, which he will be returning to after leaving the Red Arrows display team.

He said: “Clearly, flying at 100ft pointing at another aircraft is something I am incredibly privileged to have done during my Service career and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

“However, living and breathing the whole team ethos, in striving to achieve the goal of delivering a display season to a standard of excellence on a daily basis, is what I have enjoyed the most.

“I have been incredibly proud to wear the red suit for four years and, I certainly believe, the glow surrounding the team has grown ever brighter, even in that short period of time.

“It has been a total honour to be part of Red Arrows history in some small way and to work with such driven and capable colleagues and I wish the team the very best for the future.”

The Red Arrows returning to base at RAF Scampton. | Photo: Royal Air Force

New pilots to replace Bond and Morris have already been selected, and will be announced once training for the new season gets underway, following a break in November.

The Red Arrows helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates with various displays at the Expo 2020 in Dubai, and on Wednesday they returned home to Lincolnshire.

The Royal Air Force’s Aerobatic Team flew over to the UAE for the first week of the Expo, representing the UK to support the country’s wider role at the event.

The Expo is the first of its kind to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and is the largest event to ever be held in the Arab world. It runs for six months between October 1 this year and March 31, 2022.

The Expo 2020 in Dubai brought together over 190 countries in the spirit of shared purpose between the nation. | Photo: UK Mod Crown Copyright/Cpl Adam Fletcher – RAF

It was the Red Arrows’ first visit to the UAE since performing there in 2016, and it was hoped that the Abu Dhabi display would further celebrate the relationship between the two countries.

The Red Arrows headed back to the UK this week with stops in Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia and France.

See the rest of the gallery below:

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/Cpl Adam Fletcher – RAF

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/Cpl Adam Fletcher – RAF

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/Cpl Adam Fletcher – RAF

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/Cpl Adam Fletcher – RAF

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/Cpl Adam Fletcher – RAF

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/Cpl Adam Fletcher – RAF

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Abigail Drewett

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Abigail Drewett

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Abigail Drewett

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Abigail Drewett

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Abigail Drewett

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Abigail Drewett

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Abigail Drewett

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Abigail Drewett

| Photo: SAC Katrina Knox/UK MOD Crown copyright 2021

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Katrina Knox

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Katrina Knox

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Katrina Knox

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Katrina Knox

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Katrina Knox

| Photo: UK Mod Crown copyright/SAC Katrina Knox

| Photo: Sgt Matt Barber, Circus Leader

| Photo: Sgt Matt Barber, Circus Leader

| Photo: Sgt Matt Barber, Circus Leader

| Photo: Sgt Matt Barber, Circus Leader

The Red Arrows have been helping celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates, with a number of displays at the Expo 2020 in Dubai.

The Expo will be the first of its kind to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and is the largest event to ever be held in the Arab world.

It will run for six months from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 and bring together over 190 countries in the spirit of shared purpose between the nations.

Reds 8 and 9 wrap around the colourful trails of the other seven Red Arrows aircraft in Tornado, seen above the desert adjacent to Dubai Expo 2020 on October 8, 2021. | Photo: SAC Abigail Drewett

The Royal Air Force’s Aerobatic Team, based in Lincolnshire, flew over to the United Arab Emirates to celebrate the first week of the Expo, representing the UK to support the country’s wider role at the event.

It is the Red Arrows’ first visit to the UAE since performing there in 2016, with the Abu Dhabi display hoped to further celebrate the relationship between the two countries.

The Reds flying over Dubai Expo’s distinctive Al Wasl plaza dome, arriving for the team’s display on October 8, 2021. | Photo: SAC Abigail Drewett

Wing Commander David Montenegro, Officer Commanding, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai presents a perfect opportunity for the Red Arrows to join the UK’s participation at the event and help showcase Global Britain – to thousands of people – through our dynamic aerial display.

“At the heart of a Red Arrows show is innovation and precision, which mirrors the inspirational theme of the stunning UK Pavilion at Expo.

“Furthermore, the Red Arrows’ visit to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and through our collaboration with counterparts there, demonstrates the close ties we continue to enjoy with the UAE as important partners of the UK.”

+ More stories