In the centenary year of the Royal Air Force, 2018 is the Royal Acrobatic teams 54th flying season and arguably one of their most important.

As the world looks on while they twist and dance in the skies above, what is it like looking out?

Fair to say, the Red Arrows are used to being stared at. Eager crowds have been travelling from far and wide since 1965 just to get a glimpse of their trademark Diamond Nine shape, hair-raising combinations and precision flying.

Their world-class shows delight young and old and infuriate anyone trying to capture a decent photo.

Red Arrows fly over the England squad Picture England
Red Arrows fly over the England squad Picture England

Thousands flooded the Mall in London to watch the now famous "Centenary Fly Past" which featured more than 100 RAF Aircraft.

But what is it like to don that trademark red flying suit and look down from the cockpit?

The Red Arrows waited patiently over the North Sea to close the spectacular on that day as Flt Lt Dan Lowes AKA Red 5 explains: 

"As we were running in from 15 - 20 miles east of London, parks were full, there were people on rooftops, flashes going off... you look back and think wow the gravity of that moment was extraordinary. It was an incredibly proud moment to be a part of." 

The 2018 flying season has been incredibly successful, but one of the hardest for the Reds.  

"The tragic events at RAF Valley... It was an incredibly hard time. Like other units that have lost personnel, it resonates throughout the whole unit and stops you in your tracks."

On March 21 during a routine flight, a Hawk crashed and took the life of Corporal Jonathan Bayliss, a much-loved engineer with the team.

"It shows the metal of a unit and the armed forces... how we come together, how you support each other, how to get help for those that need it... how you come you move forward... that's where the family aspect comes into it."

You can hear Amy's interview with Dan in full below:

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