2015 Engineers

Engineering - the Blues

The Red Arrows 100 engineering technicians and engineering support staff are headed by a Senior Engineering Officer, who along with his management team of 2 Flight Lieutenants, a Warrant Officer and a Flight Sergeant, are responsible for ensuring that the correct number of aircraft are available for the pilots during both the display and training seasons, and that the aircraft undergo the appropriate servicing and maintenance. They are responsible for engineering standards and safety, and the welfare of the Red Arrows' engineering team.

Mechanical technicians Mechanical technicians

Mechanical technicians make up two thirds of the Red Arrows’ engineering team and are responsible for the maintenance and rectification of the Team’s BAE Systems Hawk T1 aircraft. The mechanics look after the complete range of mechanical components and structure of the aircraft including the engines, gearboxes, flying controls, landing gear, hydraulics, air conditioning, anti-icing and fuel systems – everything from the smallest nut and bolt to the wings.

Avionics technicians Avionics technicians

The Red Arrows have 14 avionics technicians who are responsible for all the electrical and avionics systems on the aircraft. They maintain equipment ranging from emergency compasses to complex engine control circuits, as well as introducing upgrades such as new radio systems and engine performance monitoring equipment.

Weapons techicians Weapon technicians

The smallest of the Red Arrows’ three engineering trades, the weapons technicians are responsible for the maintenance and control of the explosive components and survival equipment fitted to the Hawk aircraft. The team work on the aircraft’s ejection seats, explosive canopies and fire suppression and emergency systems.

Red Arrows logisitics Logistics

Responsibility for ensuring spare parts get to the Red Arrows wherever they are operating throughout the world falls upon the three-strong supply team. They also ensure that the team’s transport, whether it is an RAF Hercules C130 aircraft or an articulated lorry, are correctly loaded. All of the thousands of pieces of equipment that help the Red Arrows work smoothly – everything from nuts and bolts to aircraft engines – are purchased, stored, managed and distributed by the suppliers.

A truck with line of Red Arrows planes Mechanical Transport

The Red Arrows have six drivers who are responsible for a fleet of 18 vehicles, from 38-tonne trucks to Land Rovers. A vital part of the team, they ensure all the equipment and personnel reaches the right place as well as ensuring the aircraft are refuelled and replenished with the diesel needed for the smoke systems.

Red Arrows survival equipment fitters Survival Equipment Fitters

The team has three Survival Equipment Fitters who maintain all elements of the pilots’ safety kit. This specialist equipment includes helmets, anti-G trousers, life rafts, oxygen masks and parachutes.

Photographers

Without one of the team’s photographers, the Red Arrows would not be able to display. There are three in the team – Corporal Steve Buckley, SAC Hannah Beevers and SAC Rose Buchanan. Their role is crucial for safety and training purposes and one of the three-strong section videos every manoeuvre of the display from the ground – both during winter training and the summer season. They also take still images for the team, capturing pictures of the jets in action around the world, in the air and on the ground.

Fg Off Keith Edge Engineering Support Flight

Engineering Support Flight (ESF) is responsible for maintaining quality assurance, standards, support, records and training. The section is led by Flying Officer Keith Edge and has a mixture of regular and reserve personnel of various ranks. Support and training is pinnacle within the Red Arrows to ensure compliance in the air and on the ground, regardless of trade or rank.

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