Formation of British Aerospace Hawk T1A from the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows"
(officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team) at the RIAT 2018, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
The British Aerospace Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown at Dunsfold, Surrey, in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. It has been used in a training capacity and as a low-cost combat aircraft. Operators of the Hawk include the Royal Air Force (notably the Red Arrows display team) and a considerable number of foreign military operators. The Hawk is still in production in the UK and under licence in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with over 900 Hawks sold to 18 operators around the world. The Royal Air Force BAe Hawk T1 is expected to remain in service until 2030 despite being replaced as the RAFs advanced fast jet pilot trainer by the new Hawk T2. Like the T2, the T1 is a fully aerobatic, low-wing, transonic, two-seat training aircraft that is still used in a number of roles for the RAF. 100 Squadron, based at RAF Leeming, fly the Hawk T1 in the 'aggressor' role, simulating enemy forces and providing essential training to the RAF front-line units. In addition to this, the Squadron carries out close air support training to British Army units, defence engagement tasks and participates in numerous overseas exercises throughout the year. The T1 is also in use with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton,
in addition to the flight test and evaluation unit at MoD Boscombe Down.
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is one of the world's premier aerobatic display teams. Representing the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force, the team is the public face of the service. They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom at home and overseas and promote the best of British. Flying distinctive Hawk fast-jets, the team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with frontline, operational experience. Together, they demonstrate the excellence and capabilities of the Royal Air Force and the Service's skilled, talented people. All Red Arrows display pilots have flown operationally, in frontline aircraft such as the advanced Typhoon, and helped the Royal Air Force to secure the skies every day of the year. Based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, the Red Arrows had flown almost 4.900 displays in 57 countries, by the beginning of 2018 – the Squadron's 54th season.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.
The 2018 Air Tattoo will reflect the 100th anniversary of the RAF with a commemoration
and celebration of a century of service to the United Kingdom and its allies.