The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, has deployed to Greece to carry out essential pre-season training.

The Royal Air Force say that the five-week visit, which has recently got underway, is known as Exercise Springhawk and concludes at the end of May.

“It allows the Red Arrows to prepare a safe, visually-appealing and world-class display. The Red Arrows’ deployment to Greece means the team can operate in much more settled weather conditions than are often found in the UK and at its home base in Lincolnshire. Springhawk, which is an annual exercise, is an extremely valuable, focussed and intense training period for both the Red Arrows’ air and ground crews. The deployment provides opportunity to fly up to three times a day, with the aim of improving through every sortie and fully testing each aspect of the team’s activities.

A successful training exercise will permit the team to complete strict annual assessments on schedule, ready to perform for millions of people at what is expected to be a busy summer season in the UK. The superb aerial imagery of the Red Arrows training in Greece was taken by Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team photographer Corporal Adam Fletcher flying with Red 10, Squadron Leader Adam Collins, in a photo chase flight.”

The Red Arrows say in a news release are extremely grateful for the support received from the Hellenic Air Force, the Greek authorities and the British Embassy – “all of whom have worked closely to plan this exercise”.

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Ian M.
Ian M.
5 months ago

There is a joke about “Bubbles” in there somewhere.🙄
Still, good to see that the Reds are still flying, I watched the “Blue angels” in California 2 years ago, not a patch in my opinion.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Very different types of display (as also with the Thunderbirds). My favourites are the Frecci Tricolori.

James M
James M
5 months ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

I’ve never been lucky enough to see any of the yank teams, but the Italians were pretty damn good when I saw them. Not quite as good as the Reds though, IMO they were a bit less precise but very fluid.

julian1
julian1
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

I saw the Reds in Atlantic City together with Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. Even the Septics on the beach seemed to think the small red aircraft gave the best display even though they didn’t know who they were or where they were from. Perhaps if they’d known they’d have thought differently.

However Heidfest make a good point about display type. US teams are all about speed and power whereas European teams are more about accuracy and precision

Ian M.
Ian M.
5 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Good observations from the pair of you, horses for courses?👍

julian1
julian1
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Ballet Vs Hip Hop!

julian1
julian1
5 months ago

I thought the Reds traditionally spent their spring camp in akrotiri. Why the change?

Mark
Mark
5 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Op Shader I think?

julian1
julian1
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

I thought that but I’m sure they had camp there last year. Also A is a huge base and lets face it the MoD should be using it for as much as they can

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
5 months ago
Reply to  julian1

It’s not the size of the base that’s the problem, it’s the airspace around it. Lots of aircraft movement’s from Op Shader. The camp they use in Greece has lot’s of clear quiet airspace, ideal for 3 practice displays a day. 👍

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 months ago
Reply to  julian1

The Russians have been carrying out electronic attacks on Akrotiri’s navigation aids and radars, which also might be seen as a potential hazard while Shader is underway.

Herodotus
Herodotus
5 months ago

‘Red Arrows practice in Greece’, must slow them down a bit!😊

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

better than olive oil? 😜

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
5 months ago

I think the Reds put on the best overall ‘show’ something going on in front of the crowd at all times. The American teams fly closer, which is very impressive, but you get big gaps in between maneuvers. And the Reds are a fantastic soft power asset for flying the flag, and promoting the best of British innovation, skill, and engineering. Worth every penny. 🇬🇧

Expat
Expat
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I was at an airshow few years back and the pilots did a meet the fans and signing post display, the number of little kids in red air suits was fantastic to see, few kids just lost it ,they were like rocks stars to them. It not just flying the flag but encouraging future generation into aviation, engineering careers or the services.

Last edited 5 months ago by Expat
Robert Blay
Robert Blay
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Hi Expat. That’s great to hear. It was thanks to my dad taking me to airshows in the late 80’s that sparked my interest in aviation. And I took my son to his first airshow back 2019, and he loved the Reds.

geoff
geoff
5 months ago

Fantastic British institution along with the Monarchy and the former Royal Yacht Britannia, more than pay/paid for themselves in various ways apart from the sense of pride they engender. One question-with the Hawk surely approaching the end of its service life, what plans if any are in there for a replacement? Is there anything on the drawing board for the Reds and indeed a future Jet Trainer for the RAF and hopefully export orders?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
5 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Hi Geoff. The defence review said the Hawk T1A would be retired in 2025, but it didn’t mention the Reds specifically. So I’m not sure if the Reds can soldier on with the Hawk for a good few years yet, or they would have to look at a replacement pretty sharpish.

Nic
Nic
5 months ago

I wonder what the future is for the Red Arrows after the next season.
Will we still have them , Will they have a replacement aircraft in the future