All nine Red Arrows display pilots are fast jet pilots from frontline Royal Air Force squadrons.
Once they have finished their three-year tour with the Team they will return to their Royal Air Force duties.
To apply for selection to the Team, pilots must first meet certain criteria:
- They must have a minimum of 1,500 flying hours.
- They must have completed a frontline tour.
- Be assessed as being above average in their flying role.
A shortlist of nine applicants are examined during a thorough selection week, and are put through a gruelling flying test, formal interview and peer assessments.
Three new pilots are chosen each year to replace the three that have finished their tour. The Team Leader must have completed a three-year tour as a Team pilot earlier in his career, and is appointed in a separate selection process.
Reds 1 to 5 form the front section known as ‘Enid’, and Reds 6 to 9 make up the rear section of the formation. The Synchro Pair, Reds 6 and 7, perform the highly popular opposition manoeuvres during the second half of the display sequence.