Red Arrows flying in diamond nine formation

Flying a display

Reds 1 to 10 flying position Reds 1 to 5 form the front section of the team’s formation, known as Enid, and Reds 6 to 9 make up the rear part, called Gypo.

The first half of the Red Arrows’ display consists of synchronised, formation aerobatics, followed by a more dynamic second half.

The Synchro Pair, Reds 6 and 7, perform the highly popular opposition manoeuvres during this latter section of the show.

During a display, Red 10 acts as the Team’s Supervisor who maintains two-way radio contact with the Team Leader. He also provides the commentary.

Types of display

There are three types of display the Team Leader can elect to fly – full, rolling or flat. To carry out a full, looping, display the base of the cloud must be above 5,500ft to avoid the aircraft entering the cloud at the top of the loop. If the cloud base is less than 5,500ft, but more than 2,500ft, the team will perform the rolling display – substituting wing-overs and rolls for the loops. And when the cloud base is below 2,500ft, the Team will fly the flat display, consisting of a series of flypasts and steep turns.

Requesting a display or flypast

Anyone can request a display or flypast by the team. The decision on where the Red Arrows perform is controlled by the Royal Air Force Events Team. The section receives more than 800 requests each year, with between 75 and 85 displays able to be fitted into the Red Arrows’ summer season. Many flypasts are also conducted by the team as they transit to and from these displays.

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