Red Arrows

Red Arrows Get Display Approval For New Season

The RAF Aerobatic Team has passed an annual assessment, known as the Public Display Authority, after it was delayed over COVID-19.

The Red Arrows have been given display approval after completing an annual assessment, known as the Public Display Authority (PDA).

Normally, the final PDA process, which examines air and ground activity, is carried out during Exercise Springhawk overseas during calmer weather conditions.

However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, flying was paused during the UK's initial lockdown period, with the Red Arrows crew finishing training at their home base of RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

The coronavirus pandemic also meant the PDA was delayed this year by around a month.

"I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved," said Wing Commander David Montenegro, Officer Commanding of the Red Arrows.

"Everyone on the team has done their absolute best to adapt – as a collective we applied a measured approach to reaching this important annual milestone.

"It is one that enables us to support any national task we are required for in the short term and ensure we can deliver our best performance for next year and beyond."

Eleven pilots make up the team, including the Officer Commanding and Reds 1 to 10, with nine aircraft flying in formation at once (Picture: RAF).

The Red Arrows have performed a number of high-profile non-aerobatic flypasts recently, including over London to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, in the skies above Paris to acknowledge 80 years since an historic speech by Charles De Gaulle and over North Yorkshire to mark Armed Forces Day.

Eleven pilots make up the team, including the Officer Commanding and Reds 1 to 10, with nine aircraft flying in formation at once.

Red 1, Squadron Leader Martin Pert, is responsible for leading the nine-aircraft formation, choreographing the display and coordinating the training programme for 2020, which is the Red Arrows’ 56th season.

"The fact we’ve been able to attain PDA just a month later than originally planned demonstrates the flexibility, ingenuity and resilience – of the whole Red Arrows team and our supporting military colleagues across the RAF – in the face of such unprecedented circumstances," he said.

During the training, the Red Arrows have perfected new manoeuvres such as the 'Crossbow' and the 'Rolling Heart'.

Following the PDA approval, the pilots changed from their green overalls, used during training, into their famous red flying suits, which are worn during display season.

The support staff also changed from their coveralls into their royal blue flying suits, giving them their collective name – 'the Blues'.

The Red Arrows pictured over Lincoln, with the city's catherdral in the background (Picture: RAF).

Cover image: RAF.