Red Arrows

Red Arrows: New Team Leader Confirmed For 2021 Season

Former frontline Typhoon pilot Squadron Leader Tom Bould is taking over as Red 1 for the RAF aerobatic display team.

The Red Arrows have appointed a new Team Leader ready for the 2021 display season.

The role of Red 1, which rotates every three years, has been handed to Squadron Leader Tom Bould.

A former operational Typhoon jet pilot, Sqn Ldr Bould will be in charge of training and choreography for the Royal Air Force aerobatic display team – leading the other eight Hawk T1 aircraft and maintaining radio contact with team supervisor Red 10 during displays.

He replaces Squadron Leader Martin Pert in the role.

From Bradford, Sqn Ldr Bould joined the RAF in 2005, and had an initial spell as a pilot with the Red Arrows from 2015 to 2017, performing in China and the Middle East.

More recently, he has been training the next generation of fighter pilots at RAF Valley on Anglesey.

Sqn Ldr Bould said he is "massively excited" and "honoured" to be taking over as Red 1.

"[I] can't wait to build a new display with the aim of inspiring people, whatever your age or background," he added.

Sqn Ldr Bould previously flew as a Red Arrows pilots from 2015 until 2017 (Picture: MOD).

"Training for next year gets under way in just a few days.

"We look forward to displaying for you as the Red Arrows very, very soon."

Red Arrow Team Leaders undergo a separate selection process to the other pilots, all of whom must have at least 1,500 flying hours and one frontline tour on their résumé.

Supported by a team of engineers and other staff, all 11 Red Arrows return to other duties after three years in the team, with up to three newcomers joining every year.

Sqn Ldr Martin Pert, outgoing Red 1, wrote about his successor on Twitter: "One thing I’m certain is you’ll give Tom as much support for the next 3 years that you have me. "Best job in the world."

In July, the Red Arrows received display approval for the next year, following an annual assessment.

It came after a new officer commanding of the team was appointed in April.

Cover image: MOD.