Eleven jets from the Red Arrows aerobatic team have left their Lincolnshire base bound for the Squadron’s annual overseas training – known as Exercise Springhawk.
The Hawk aircraft took off from RAF Scampton and flew to Germany for refuelling, before continuing to Albania and staying overnight in Tirana this evening.
It is the first time the Squadron has formally visited the country and will provide a chance for the team to meet military officers and NATO partners in Albania. The aircraft will then complete the transit to Greece tomorrow.
For the next five weeks, the team – including pilots, engineers and other support personnel – will operate from Tanagra, an Helenic Air Force base, as they prepare for the 2016 season.
The annual training sees the Red Arrows fly three times a day, five days a week, to perfect their performance.
The overseas location provides the better weather which is essential to enable the team to practice and polish the 2016 display, which will be seen by millions of people this summer. It will be the Red Arrows’ 52nd display season since the first in 1965.
Exercise Springhawk is the final part of the pre-season preparation and is also when senior Royal Air Force officers assess the team and decide whether to give approval for the Red Arrows to display in front of the public – known as Public Display Authority (PDA).
It is hoped the Red Arrows will attain PDA at the end of April before returning to the UK. Fore more information on the Red Arrows click here
The Red Arrows took off from their Lincolnshire base to perform the flypast over Twickenham before the final of the Rugby World Cup.Read the full story ›
There is to be a change of crew at the Red Arrows, with two pilots stepping down - as another pair prepare to take to the skies. The famous nine, based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, have now completed this season having displayed 65 times in four countries. Calendar has been speaking exclusively to the two that are leaving.
Following the Shoreham air crash, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has amended the display permissions for the Dartmouth Royal Regatta so that Lincolnshire's Red Arrows will only be performing flypasts, and not their usual full display.
"It has been assessed that the required changes to display heights and positioning would have reduced the visual quality of the display for the public to an unacceptable level and therefore, with regret, the Red Arrows’ will not be conducting a full display at Dartmouth this year."
Hollywood star, Tom Cruise, says he wants to take to the skies with the Red Arrows one day.
Cruise, who played fighter pilot Maverick, in Top Gun, filmed scenes for his latest film Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation at RAF Wittering. And speaking to Forces TV on the red carpet at the premiere in London, he praised the RAF for helping turn some of his most complex film stunts ever into a reality:
The Red Arrows and Vulcan bomber, have performed a joint flypast for the last time at the Royal International Air Tattoo
Jets from the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, which is based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, met with the distinctive Cold War aircraft over the skies of Gloucestershire to mark the Vulcan's final flying season.
The Vulcan, XH558, is the last airworthy example of the UK's famous V-Force fleet and the delta-winged aircraft will not take to the skies again after 2015.
To salute the remarkable former RAF bomber, the Red Arrows performed a flypast with the Vulcan in front of tens of thousands of people at the Royal International Air Tattoo, at RAF Fairford.
The Red Arrows' nine British-built Hawk jets made a V-shape in front of XH558, which is operated by the charity Vulcan to the Sky Trust.
Tourists can now get a taste of life as a red arrows pilot.
A new ride based on the famous Lincolnshire display team has just opened letting riders experience at least a third of the G-forces that Red One and his team mates face during displays.
The new £2 million white-knuckle attraction is 72 feet high and will take thrill seekers on a 360 degree tour of the skies.
Paul Crone's been along for the ride:
Former England cricket all-rounder Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff is set to swap the crease for a taste of high seas adventure when he is expected to take part in a raft race at this weekend's Whitby Regatta.
The 36-year-old, who retired from international Test cricket five years ago, is filming a series for Sky1 called "Flintoff: Lord of the Flies", in which he and a friend tour the country in an eco-friendly mobile fish and chip van and take part in local events.
Thousands of visitors are expected in Whitby for the three day regatta, which begins on Saturday. The raft race, which is held in the harbour, is at 4pm, on Saturday. The Red Arrows are scheduled to fly their aerobatic display at 6.30pm on Sunday.
Three new pilots have been chosen to join Lincolnshire's famous aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, for the 2015 season.Read the full story ›
David Cameron says the Red Arrows will continue flying following warnings the RAF display team's planes are ageing.Read the full story ›