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, United Kingdom. They were formed in late 1964 as an all-RAF team, replacing a number of unofficial teams that had been sponsored by various RAF commands.
The Red Arrows badge shows the aircraft in their trademark diamond nine formation, with the motto Eclat, meaning "brilliance" or "excellence".
Initially, the Red Arrows were equipped with seven Folland Gnat trainers which were inherited from another RAF display team, The Yellowjacks, and had been chosen because they were less expensive to operate than the 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 Red Arrows have now performed nearly 4,000 displays world-wide, in over fifty countries, and are widely regarded as one of the world's most skilled and famous military aerobatics teams.
By kjfitz @ 2007-06-20 11:27:42