The Red Arrows put on a spectacular performance at their home base in Lincolnshire, ahead of their tour of the Middle East, delighting thousands of aviation enthusiasts at the Scampton Airshow.
Tens of thousands of aircraft fans braved rain and thunder to attend the weekend of displays.
The Red Arrows are now preparing for an eight-country tour of the Middle East. The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is known across the world for spectacular displays of precision formation flying. Exercise Eastern Hawk will see them visit Greece, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Pakistan and Bahrain to demonstrate these skills.
It was an emotional day for Red 10, Squadron Leader Mike Ling MBE, as he will be hanging up his iconic red flying suit after the tour of the Middle East. The former Tornado F3 pilot has been Red 10 for six years and a part of the team for nine. He has flown 1,550 hours, visited 46 countries and performed at 631 public displays. Quite the résumé wouldn't you agree?
Demand for the team at home is always high but making time for an overseas tour, to share the excitement, demonstrate the professionalism, and celebrate the enduring connection with the UK’s friends and allies is just as important. The Red Arrows are key ambassadors in demonstrating the ‘Best Of British’.
Meet the air traffic controller on duty during the airshow
Over the weekend visitors were treated to 41 different flying displays and viewed 60 static aircraft types from modern jet fighters to Second World War warriors.
Scampton Airshow director Paul Sall said:
“With Scampton being the home of the Dambusters, the highlight for me was the arrival of the Lancaster, especially with the uncertainty in the run-up as to whether it would appear, so to see it was brilliant.”
PA474 is one of only two Lancaster aircraft remaining in airworthy condition out of the 7,377 that were built in 1945, just after the Second World War came to an end.
Watch the PA474 Lancaster fly in the video below which shows just how wet and windy it was. Thankfully, Forces Radio BFBS' Amy Casey (who filmed all the aircraft) had waterproofs with her.
A special Lincolnshire salute featured an RAF Waddington-based Sentinel aircraft flanked by the Red Arrows to mark the Service’s close links with Bomber County.