From Ministry of Defence News Site
The Red Arrows aerobatic display team has today, Wednesday 31 October 2007, unveiled a new paint scheme for its Hawk aircraft, the first change to the world-famous design since the Red Arrows took delivery of the aircraft in 1979.
The Red Arrows leave the UK on Sunday 4 November 2007 for a six-week good will tour of the Middle and Far East, returning to the UK on 18 December 2007. They are set to visit 13 countries, including Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Malaysia, India and Pakistan.
During their 15,000 mile trip they will perform their famous air display a total of 18 times: ‘The Red Arrows’ Hawk aircraft are known and loved by millions of people around the world,” said Wing Commander Jas Hawker, ‘Red 1’. “We needed to keep a careful balance between making our famous aircraft unrecognisable and reminding people that we are proud to represent the Royal Air Force.
“This is especially important when many Royal Air Force personnel are away from home, serving overseas in front line operations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. We are a visible way of reminding people of our colleagues’ hard work and professionalism in the line of duty. The change to our aircraft paint scheme will help us to do this more effectively.”
Wing Commander Hawker continued:
“We are proud to represent the UK overseas. We hope to demonstrate the very best of British to millions of people in the countries we will visit, both in terms of the skill of our people and of the quality of the Hawk aircraft that we fly.”
Flying the BAE Systems Hawk, all nine display pilots are operational fast jet pilots from front line Royal Air Force squadrons. They will be supported during the six-week tour by a support team of 30 Royal Air Force personnel. The aircraft play a key role within the Royal Air Force and other air forces worldwide.
With a top speed exceeding Mach 1.2, the Hawk is powered by a Rolls Royce Adour engine producing 5,200lbs of thrust. During the Red Arrows’ 23-minute displays, pilots pull up to eight times the force of gravity showing off the aircraft’s power and manoeuvrability.
2007 is the Red Arrows’ 43rd display season. Since the team’s creation in 1965, the Red Arrows have performed over 4,000 displays in 53 countries.