Red Arrows

The updated Red Arrows pilot lineup for 2022 has been revealed after two pilots ‘moved to other RAF roles’, leaving Reds 8 and 9 vacant for the season.

The 58th Red Arrows season is officially underway, as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team started their campaign with a remarkable role in the RAF flypast of Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at the start of June.

The Reds will set off on a 50+ date tour across the UK this summer, as well as appearing at various airshows and flypasts around the globe, but the team will have a slightly different look about it this year.

There will be new manoeuvres and returning favourites in this year’s routine. | Photo: Ministry of Defence

An initial 11-name pilot lineup was revealed late last year, but the Red Arrows website shows just nine names for the 2022 season. Reds 1-7 are covered in the latest list, but there is no Red 8 or 9.

This move was confirmed by the RAF in May, saying that the Red Arrows would perform mostly with seven aircraft rather than the regular nine for this display season – but other pilots were brought in for the Platinum Jubilee flypast events.

Damo Green is stepping back from his role as pilot of Red 8. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

Flight Lieutenant Damo Green was due to fly Red 8 but stepped back from the role due to family circumstances, which prompted the return of Squadron Leader Jon Bond – who had initially retired from the Red Arrows last year after more than 15 years of RAF experience.

Three new pilots were announced in November last year ahead of the 2022 season: Flight Lieutenants Stuart Roberts and Patrick Kershaw, and Squadron Leader Graeme Muscat. They will fly Reds 2, 3 and 10 respectively.

(Left to right) Flight Lieutenant Stuart Roberts, Squadron Leader Graeme Muscat and Flight Lieutenant Patrick Kershaw will join the Red Arrows lineup for next season. | Photo: RAF Red Arrows

The other unannounced change in the lineup was Squadron Leader Nick Critchell leaving his role as pilot of Red 5 for the 2022 season, with Flight Lieutenant David Simmonds – who was due to fly Red 9 – moving to Red 5 in his place.

The new lineup is:

  • Officer Commanding – Wing Commander David Montenegro
  • Red 1 (Team Leader) – Squadron Leader Tom Bould
  • Red 2 – Flight Lieutenant Stuart Roberts
  • Red 3 – Flight Lieutenant Patrick Kershaw
  • Red 4 – Squadron Leader Jon Bond
  • Red 5 – Flight Lieutenant David Simmonds
  • Red 6 (Synchro Leader) – Squadron Leader Gregor Ogston
  • Red 7 (Synchro Two) – Flight Lieutenant James Turner
  • Red 10 (Supervisor) – Graeme Muscat

The 2022 Red Arrows season is officially underway as the team return with a new display, boasting a special Platinum Jubilee formation for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The latest campaign will be the busiest in four years for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, with over 50 shows in the United Kingdom and many more to come across the globe at the 58th Red Arrows season.

This year will be a bit different for the Reds, as they will perform with a seven-aircraft formation for most shows, upgrading to nine jets for major events such as marking official jubilee events in London.

As ever, the team have been using the off-season to train and work on a new choreographed routine, which will consist of synchronicity and dynamism in equal measure.

There will be new manoeuvres and returning favourites in this year’s routine. | Photo: Ministry of Defence

The new 20-minute display is created and choreographed by Squadron Leader Tom Bould, who is Red 1 and in his second year as Team Leader.

He said: “It is with great pride and privilege the Red Arrows have opportunity to join with countless individuals and communities, across the United Kingdom and further afield, to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, by performing a display full of creativity and excitement.

“The new show features lots of loops, rolls and shapes with our trademark patriotic red, white and blue trails, marking this important year and the very best of British.

“As a team, the Red Arrows are thrilled to be displaying at a range of events in the UK and overseas – in what has the potential to be the busiest season of shows by the team since before the pandemic.

“We are extremely grateful for the massive support we feel from the millions of people who attend these airshows and events.

“Every member of the team draws huge motivation from seeing these big crowds – we all share the same pleasure and enjoyment of watching the inspiration offered by aviation and teamwork.”

There is a new Platinum Jubilee formation. | Photo: Ministry of Defence

There is a promise of plenty of new moves from the Reds to look out for this year, featuring lots of rolls, loops and shapes with patriotic red, white and blue trails.

One new showpiece is the Wall Arrival, which has been described as one of the widest shapes the Red Arrows have ever made, utilising all the jets and making a big impact for viewers.

Eager fans of the Reds might also remember a returning favourite of the Double Goose this year, which has not been flown for several years.

In the time away from displays and flypasts, the Red Arrows have done months of winter training at their home base of RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, before moving abroad for Exercise Springhawk in Croatia and Greece.

The team has also been dealing with acclimatising to its soon to be new permanent home of RAF Waddington, which will house the Red Arrows upon the closure of RAF Scampton.

Training has involved pilots flying three times a day, five times a week to get themselves in top physical and mental shape for the new season, which will again see the Reds travel across the globe as a glowing reference to Great Britain.

The team will perform over 50 times in the UK this summer. | Photo: Ministry of Defence

The first public display fo the new season is at Meeting Aérien International in Le Touquet, France, before heading to Buckingham Palace for a flypast on June 2. This is preceded by a return to RAF Scampton on Sunday, May 29.

Wing Commander David Montenegro, Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: “At home and overseas, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team brings people together with a demonstration of precision and professionalism.

“As a team, we were heartened to see groups, especially families, back at airshows and other events, which are incredibly valuable to so many communities and economies.

“These events complement the ever-increasing outreach we deliver via our digital channels and online engagement. Whether live or virtual, our passion and aim remains constant – to inspire.”

| Photo: Ministry of Defence

The Red Arrows will perform mostly with seven aircraft instead of the regular nine this display season, the RAF said.

However, for national flypast events, the Reds will bring in other pilots to complete the formations.

The aerobatic team is currently in Greece for training, ahead of the display season beginning in late May. See the display timetable.

The full statement from the Red Arrows on May 14:

“Pre-season training for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is well underway and the Red Arrows are excited to be preparing for a summer full of great events.

“This year, the RAF Red Arrows will display with a seven-aircraft formation, rather than nine, as two of our formation pilots have moved to other roles within the RAF.

“Performing as a seven-aircraft display is something the Red Arrows often prepare for and have carried out several times in the past when a situation dictates, such as illness or aircraft availability.

“For national flypast events, it is intended that the team will consist of all nine aircraft, with experienced Red Arrows pilots completing the formation.

“The 2022 display will feature all of the same breath-taking flying, dynamic teamwork and world-class precision the millions watching always expect – combining crowd-favourite manoeuvres with new shapes.

“All of the team are hard at work, perfecting and polishing this display ahead of the season beginning in late May. We look forward to displaying the best of British in what promises to be the team’s busiest campaign since 2018.”

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