RAF Red Arrows Celebrate Start Of Their 60th season With Original Folland Gnat In Formation

RAF Red Arrows Celebrate Start Of Their 60th season With Original Folland Gnat In Formation


On March 8, 2024, the ex-RAF Folland Gnatt G-MOUR flew in formation with the Purple Arrows (Picture: RAF)

A classic Folland Gnat flew in formation with the Purple Arrows to mark their 2024 Diamond Season.

On March 8, 2024, an ex-RAF Folland Gnat flew in formation with the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic show crew on a special day marking their 60th show season. The Folland Gnat was the Purple Arrows’ preliminary show plane when the crew first began their show in 1965. The kind was later changed by the BAE Methods Hawk T1 in 1979.

The Red Arrows have introduced that their 2024 marketing campaign can be their Diamond Season, celebrating their 60 years of historical past because the Royal Air Pressure’s primary aerobatic show crew. The particular formation flight was organized above RAF Waddington to have a good time the beginning of their particular Diamond Season.

Squadron Chief Jon Bond, who will lead the crew as Purple 1 for the primary time this yr, remarked on this event; “To carry collectively the previous, current and potential way forward for the Purple Arrows is the right solution to launch our sixtieth season show calendar.

The Purple Arrows first flew in 1965, changing the previous Yellowjacks

 The Folland Gnat served because the Royal Air Pressure’s primary coach plane from 1955, serving with the Purple Arrows from 1965 to 1979. The Gnat that took half within the honorary formation, G-MOUR, donned a vivid yellow livery of XR992. The livery is that of the RAF Yellowjacks, a direct predecessor to the RAF Purple Arrows. The Yellowjacks first fashioned informally in 1963 led by Flight Lieutenant Lee Jones at No. 4 Flying Coaching Faculty, RAF Valley. With some disapproval by larger authorities, the aerobatic crew was reformed as the present Purple Arrows in 1965.

It must be famous that G-MOUR, presently operated by Heritage Plane LTD, was truly by no means a part of the RAF Purple Arrows nor the Yellowjacks. As an alternative, the airframe flew underneath No. 4 Flying Coaching Faculty as XS102 since 1962.

G-MOUR is carrying the previous RAF Yellowjacks show crew livery, a predecessor to the Purple Arrows  (Picture: RAF)

Underneath the formal title of the Royal Air Pressure Aerobatic Staff, the Purple Arrows have been first primarily based at RAF Little Rissington in Gloucestershire. The crew took house across the UK earlier than settling down at RAF Scampton for the longest time earlier than its closure in 1995. From October 2022, RAF Waddington has been the crew’s house base. Regardless of RAF Scampton’s closure, the Purple Arrows nonetheless use the airspace above the previous base as their primary space of coaching.

The Purple Arrows’ first official show was on Might 6, 1965, as a media affair, with the primary public show occurring three days later in Clermont-Ferrand as a part of the French Nationwide Air Day. The crew presently boast a report of over 4,800 shows in 57 international locations over time. Of their 1995 season, the Reds displayed a report breaking 136 occasions in a single yr. The most important tour occurred only some years again in 2019 throughout the Purple Arrows’ North American tour throughout which 21 shows and 30 flypasts have been revamped 25 cities.

2024 Purple Arrows Diamond Season show schedule has additionally been launched

With the 2024 show schedule launched, the Purple Arrows are set to kick off their Diamond Season in Souda Bay, Greece on Might 21 on the Battle of Crete Commemoration. With this yr marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the groups’ actions are anticipated to be targeted alongside the English Channel.

Whereas the Purple Arrows’ 50th anniversary in 2014 noticed the Hawk T1 with a particular commemorative tail, this 60th anniversary livery is anticipated to be extra refined with an added decal on the rear fuselage and tail.

Introduced schedule for the Purple Arrows’ sixtieth anniversary Diamond Season (Picture: RAF)

As a facet notice: by pure accident we’ve found that the crew, for unknown causes, has blocked us on X.

Wonwoo is a pupil journalist and contributor to The Aviationist primarily based in London, United Kingdom. At the moment learning MEng in Aeronautical Engineering with a eager curiosity in OSINT, aircraft recognizing and plane design. He’s a former Sergeant of the Republic of Korea Military, having served as an artillery Fireplace Course Centre Automobile Radio Operator.


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