View Full Version : Red Arrows support vehicles in the '60s

Amos Keeto
2nd Nov 2012, 19:03
I am planning on building a model diorama featuring the RAF Red Arrows Gnats on the ground, but need some photos of the team's support vehicles during the Gnat years 1965-79. They have had LandRovers and a J2 Minibus during that period in RAF blue-grey and at some stage the LandRovers were painted red and white. Does anyone happen to have any photos of these, particularly during the 1965-70 period?

2nd Nov 2012, 19:40
ISTR the LandRovers (or at least one) was in fact a Lightweight with a hardtop on it - something it never wore from the factory, the hardtop was about an inch or so too wide.

Amos Keeto
2nd Nov 2012, 19:50
Interesting, but not sure when they took delivery of that/those? They certainly had a Series 1 LandRover painted in RAF blue-grey with standard soft-top during 1966-67.

Red Three and a half
2nd Nov 2012, 20:33
I can only talk for 1970-1973! We had few dedicated vehicles. The main one was a short wheelbase series 2A Land Rover which was standard RAF blue/grey with a canvas tilt. Initially this was 84AA40 but later it was 99AA40. In 1973 this was replaced by a long wheelbase series three which was a standard Army grey/green.

We also had:-

A standard Bedford Bus
A Mini Van
A Morris 1800 Land Crab (the Bosses car which we didn't see very often)
All these were RAF Blue/grey

At Kemble there were two TK Bedford fuel bowsers in yellow

And don't forget the two Paloustes which were red and two Messerschmidt KR200 bubble cars painted the same as the Gnats! (Don't ask!!)

Any questions just ask.................and no I am not a Landy anorak!

2nd Nov 2012, 21:56
Goggling results in a photo. It's an S2a or S3, so post 69 at least: it could have coincided with the Gnat during the 70s.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2511/4127831536_32551914b9_z.jpg?zz=1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/homer----simpson/4127831536/)
X - Red Arrows Lightweight Land Rover (http://www.flickr.com/photos/homer----simpson/4127831536/) by homer----simpson (http://www.flickr.com/people/homer----simpson/), on Flickr

Amos Keeto
2nd Nov 2012, 22:59
Nice find.I would guess that this has been sold privately, hence it has no military reg or markings. Think it had 'ROYAL AIR FORCE' or some lettering on the white stripe?

Still looking for photos of the blue Series 1 and the J2 Minibus. Just had a reply from a member of the 1966 team, who confirmed that the Red Arrows did have a J2 minibus as the Chief of Air Staff spotted it in Soho one evening and questions were asked. When they asked what the CAS was doing in Soho, it all went quiet!:hmm:

3rd Nov 2012, 09:48
I have seen a photograph in which in the background is a std RAF blue series II L and R over with white lettering Royal Air Force above Aerobatic Team on the side doors with a red stripe from mid rear wheel arch culminating in an arrow head at the rear of the front wheel arch. The broad red stripe is edged in white. The L-R was a SWB with canvas top, the time, mid sixties.
The stripe was positioned just below the window and above the lettering and at a guess was about 5-6" thick.

It is reasonable to assume that this was a Red Arrow support vehicle.

(The unusual gaps in vehicle name are to avoid auto correcting into Trabant!)

3rd Nov 2012, 10:03
The Arrows has a lightweight hardtop van 05KD07 in the colour scheme above but with red wheels and no side windows. Royal Air Force lettering within the stripe aft of the door and a CFS crest on the door. It also had hazardous chemical markings on the side door. The roof had a yellow rotating beacon on a short stanchion and the rear tow hitch was not a NATO pintle but a tractor type vertical bar with a half dozen levels to accommodate an aircraft tow bar.
>doffs anorak<

Amos Keeto
3rd Nov 2012, 11:19
Thanks once again for all your help. This is typical of the sort of things we took for granted and ignored, concentrating on photographing the Gnats and later Hawks, without any thought to recording those, then seemingly irrelevant things that have now been resigned to history and seldom recorded. After searching through my slides, I have found these shots that appear to have accidentally captured that first LR here at Bristol Filton on 18 June 1966:


Although not in focus on the first shot. you can clearly see the markings as described and I am assuming the 'red arrow' down the side was sticky dayglo paper and that the LR is indeed 84AA40.

This b/w photo was taken at Kemble on 29 March 1967 and the reg is clearly visible as 84AA40 with the side markings replaced by the team's crest.

Now the next question is, what markings did this LR, or its successor, have in 1968 and afterwards and when was it replaced by 99AA40? The challenge is to find photos!

Amos Keeto
23rd Nov 2015, 15:43
Unbelievably, three years has past since I started this thread and decided to hold-off until the new Airfix Gnat was released in 1/48th scale. I have sourced a RAF LandRover and Morris J2 minibus in 1/43rd scale, which is close and now this modelling project is gaining momentum. However I am still in need of any reference photos of these ground support vehicles used by the Red Arrows during the 1965-68 period. I have even managed to contact the official Red Arrows photographer who was at Kemble during that period and who helped apply the lettering and markings to their vehicles...but never thought to take any photos of them! Perhaps there are some former 1960s Red Arrows ground crew out there that may have captured these vehicles either directly or inadvertently?