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I have just had an e-mail from a friend who told me about this. It seems the cost of the famous "Red Arrows" is to be reviewed. There is a petition for anybody interested in saving them. Log on to click here and sign the petition. Please. ..Bingalau..
I think that aerial display teams have had their day.
Must disagree with you on this one!
i saw them twice last year and both times they seem to stop people in their tracks as people stand and stare in awe. The second time in Bournemouth on a hot sunny day we had people on roof tops of office buildings and crowds trying to find the highest vantage point to view the aerobatics.
They still command a huge audience wherever they fly!
They are not only an excellent advert for the professional abilities of RAF pilots, but they also help sell aircraft overseas thus helping UK plc.
To disband them would end an era of display teams as they replaced the individual Command and Squadron teams which existed up to the creation of a dedicated RAF team.
I strongly disagree with your position.
"I think that aerial display teams have had their day"
for most of his working life, I grew up on RAF stations. When he left the RAF my father continued to work in the aviation industry, and I attended pretty well every air fair going for many years - I saw more aerial display flying than I can remember, and there was a time when I would have defended the possibility of an end to the red Arrows vehemently, but times change.
I don't think it's necessary to advertise the flying skills of RAF pilots, any more than it's necessary to advertise, say, the driving and shooting skills of tank crews, or the ship-handling prowess of the Royal navy. We need armed forces to protect our national interests and security, and I'm all for taking a pride in the efficiency and skill of our services, but maintaining a team of pilots and arcraft so they can indulge in fancy flying tricks? I don't think it's necessary or valid in today's world.
"indulge in fancy flying tricks"
I think the phrase you're looking for is 'precision flying'.
I've been able to see the Red Arrows every year for the last 10 years at our local airshow but to be honest it's pretty much the same thing every year.
For the last 2 years the Eurofighter has also been at the Airshow and like many other people around here we are stunned with the capabilities.
I also saw the RAF Display Team (not sure if they were the Red Arrows at that time) on a number of occasions flying the Hunter which was by then a training aircraft but had been the frontline fighter.
If overseas sales are being generated then I would say that a (almost) front line fighter is a better selling product than a training aircraft. I also doubt whether Display teams generate much business today. I would have thought TV footage of aircraft performing under battle conditions were more of a selling point.
There must be a substantial cost in maintaining the team which would be better spent on combat equipment for those that need it. Transport helicopters spring to mind.
I think an ambition of every Royal Air Force pilot must be to hone his skills. I imagine one way of doing that is to do his utmost to become one of the elite pilots of the Red Arrows. Maybe there is more competition involved which can only be conducive to becoming better pilots. The ones that don't actually make the grade must nevertheless be better pilots for trying. Surely this better skill attainment makes for better pilots when they leave the R.A.F. and become civilian pilots. We need the best we can get. So keep the incentive there. ..Bingalau..
Actually, entry to the Red Arrows is - for all practical purposes - only open to a small group, rather than all RAF pilots.
Selection is via a volunteer system, but all applicants must have completed at least one operational tour on a fast combat jet such as Tornado, Jaguar or Harrier. This rules out many pilots who are skilled in flying helicopters or other types of aircraft.
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