Formation of British Aerospace Hawk T1A from the Royal Air Force (RAF) "Red Arrows"
(officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team) at the RIAT 2019, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
Comprising nine BAE Systems Hawk T1/T1A jets, the Red Arrows form one of the world's premier aerobatic display teams, performing exciting manoeuvres and breath-taking flying formations to spectators around the globe. Since it formed in 1965, the team has flown more than 4800 displays demonstrating excellence, precision and the best of British in 57 countries worldwide. Audiences can expect exuberant and exhilarating displays as the Red Arrows, widely acknowledged as ambassadors for both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United Kingdom, take to the skies in Fairford on all three days of the Air Tattoo.
The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force based at RAF Scampton. The team was formed in late 1964 as an all-RAF team, replacing a number of unofficial teams that had been sponsored by RAF commands. The Red Arrows have a prominent place in British popular culture, with their aerobatic displays a fixture of British summer events. The badge of the Red Arrows shows the aircraft in their trademark diamond nine formation, with the motto Éclat, a French word meaning "brilliance" or "excellence". Initially, they were equipped with seven Folland Gnat trainers inherited from the RAF Yellowjacks display team. This aircraft was chosen because it was less expensive to operate than front-line fighters. In their first season, they flew at 65 shows across Europe. In 1966, the team was increased to nine members, enabling them to develop their Diamond Nine formation. In late 1979, they switched to the BAE Hawk trainer.
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.