Red Arrows

Meet The Team Keeping The Red Arrows Flying

It is the skills on the ground which keep the aircraft flying during their US tour.

The Red Arrows are now two months into their tour of North America, but taking their display on the road requires a full team effort.

While the public sees the show in the skies, on the ground 'The Blues', work around the clock to make it happen. 

There are more than 60 engineers on this tour and it is their job to keep the 12 Hawk jets in service.

They look after them before and after every display and flypast, as well as keeping them airworthy for the many transits.

Red Arrows The Blues Miramar Airshow
There are more than 60 engineers on the tour keeping the Red Arrows Hawk jets airworthy.

Among the engineers, ten are selected to be in what is called the circus, who fly backseat on each of the transits.

Corporal Lydia Ford, who is Circus 7, flying with Red 7, said: "I'm allocated to a specific aircraft.

"I'll look after that aircraft, service it, refuel it, fix any faults if I can and responsible for it while we're on the road."

Watch: Red Arrows perform at Miramar Airshow, the strike-fighter training base made famous in the film 'Top Gun'.

There are a mix of trades keeping the Red Arrows Hawk jets airworthy –  from avionics to mechanical, electrical and weapons engineers.

There is also the Dye team, who oversee the red, white and blue smoke that has captured the attention of the crowds stateside at every show.

It is their task to add the colour and load up the jet dye pods, listening carefully to make sure they are full and ready for the next show.

Cpl Philip Wands, Dye Team Leader said: "It's nice to see the colour up there.

"It's quite impressive, especially when you're on the crowd line.

"The Americans and Canadians really get involved, they're very enthusiastic."

The Blues Red Arrows US Tour
The Red Arrows are taking 11 weeks to fly coast-to-coast across North America.

Being on the move every few days can take its toll.

The team has three spare jets with them and lots of spare parts.

So far, there have been many wheel changes and minor fixes and an aircraft even had to be left behind in Chicago for repairs.

But not all 'The Blues' are engineers by trade – others are photographers and support staff helping with logistics and public relations.

Red Arrows flying over USA West Coast 240919 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
The Red Arrows fly over the North American landmark, Niagara Falls (Picture: MOD).

Already photographs and video footage from over Manhattan and Niagara Falls has been seen around the world.

Every flypast and display is filmed, Red Arrows Photographer, Corporal Adam Fletcher, said: "The imagery is being used back home in most newspapers.

"Over the social media channels that the Red Arrows have got, we've been getting millions of hits."