INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE RED ARROWS

The very first display by the Red Arrows was on 6 May 1965 at RAF Little Rissington, near Cirencester. The display was laid on to introduce the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team to the media. The weather was poor; a flat display was flown.

There were only 7 display pilots in 1965, 1966 and 1971.

Within hours of a Red Arrows display in Amman, Jordan, in 1966, a British businessman received an order from a Jordanian company for 1 million Christmas cards featuring the Red Arrows.

The Red Arrows received a bill for the petrol used in a hire car during their stay at Turin, Italy, in 1966. The bill amounted to 17s 3d (approximately 85p).

The first authorised display with 9 aircraft was on 8 July 1966 at RAF Little Risisngton. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh watched the display.

In 1968, the RAF's 50th Anniversary, every single display (98 in total) were flown with 9 aircraft - no drop outs.

The C-130 Hercules was first used as support aircraft for the Red Arrows in 1970. Before that the Argosy had been used.

The black and white cine film used by the Team to record displays in the early years was available only from the USA. In 1971 a postal strike in USA deprived the Team of any film and so most of the work up period was flown without the benefit of film for debriefings. It was recommended that video replace film in future. Video was introduced in 1972 and has been used ever since.

Fuse 13 was the item removed from the standard Gnat aircraft to permit the aircraft to carry out the extremely fast aileron rolls. The Team was forced to replace this fuse for the 1972 season with the result that fast aileron rolls were not possible.

In 1972 a planned display at Florennes in Belgium had to be cancelled because a transport aircraft for the ground crew and technical equipment could not be provided. This was the first, but not the last, time a display had to be cancelled because of lack of transport support.

An authenticated crowd of 650,000 people watched the Red Arrows' display at Lisbon on 13 June 1973, a figure that was not exceeded until Sydney in 1996.

The world-wide fuel crisis of 1974 meant that the Red Arrows flew only 59 displays, then the lowest since the Team was formed. The fuel crisis continued and only 56 displays were flown in 1975.

In 17 years out of the 35, the Team has flown more than 100 displays.

Until early 1976 the Red Arrows operated from RAF Kemble as a detachment of the Central Flying School (CFS) based at RAF Little Rissington. CFS moved to Cranwell in April 1976 and, thereafter, the Red Arrows were parented by RAF Brize Norton although they continued to fly from Kemble.

The Team moved from Kemble to Scampton in the Spring of 1983. Mail addressed to the Red Arrows at Kemble is still being received by the Postmaster at Cirencester and faithfully forwarded to RAF Cranwell in 2000.

6 of the 12 aircraft currently used by the Red Arrows have been used by the Team every year since the Hawk was introduced in 1980.

The famous photograph of the Red Arrows flying in formation with Concorde over the QE2 was taken by Arthur Gibson in 1985.

The first time the Red Arrows deployed to Cyprus in the Spring was in 1980. The intention was, and is, to find good weather for the concentrated work up period. The first time the detachment was called Springhawk was in 1985 but the detachment was still arranged on an 'as required' basis. It was not until 1986 that Springhawk was officially recognised as a necessary annual training detachment.