Red Arrows News

Red Arrows join French display team for London and Paris flypasts

Two flypasts over London and Paris have been carried out in a single day by the Red Arrows alongside their French counterparts.

It marks 80 years since an historic broadcast by Charles De Gaulle from the UK capital to Occupied France.

The Patrouille de France’s aircraft led the sortie over Paris this morning, with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s Hawks moving to the front of the 18-jet formation for London this afternoon.

The Red Arrows over Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
The Red Arrows over Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Image by Corporal Adam Fletcher.

The second of the flypasts also welcomed President Macron of France to the UK.

His visit to London has highlighted the cooperation between the two countries during the Second World War and marked the anniversary of De Gaulle’s speech, which led to the foundation of the French Resistance to Nazi occupation.

Squadron Leader Martin Pert, Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said the Red Arrows felt incredibly privileged to carry out the aerial salute over both cities.

London was the venue for the second flypast of the day. Image by Corporal Adam Fletcher.
London was the venue for the second flypast of the day. Image by Corporal Adam Fletcher.

He said: “It was a huge honour for the Red Arrows to fly alongside our French friends and counterparts, over the skies of Paris and to help welcome President Macron to the United Kingdom.

“With Charles de Gaulle having made his famous speech to the French people from London, this makes our two teams’ collaboration – over both the UK capital city and Paris – particularly significant and a poignant way of marking this important moment in history and remembering our shared sacrifices.

“Our joint flypasts are also a vivid demonstration of how, today, the UK and France remain committed to working together as allies on a global scale.”

 
Both teams over London's landmarks. Image by Dave Jenkins.
Both teams over London's landmarks. Image by Dave Jenkins.

It is not the first time the two national display teams have joined each other in the air during their long histories.

In 2019, the Red Arrows and Patrouille de France flew in a special formation to celebrate 50 years since Concorde’s first flight – with each team using its jets to create the shape of the iconic supersonic airliner at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

For more information on the Red Arrows, follow @rafredarrows on Twitter, like the team’s Facebook page at RAF Red Arrows, view pictures on Instagram @rafredarrows or visit www.raf.mod.uk/reds

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