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Red Arrows - worth the effort now?

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Red Arrows - worth the effort now?

Old 18th Jul 2019, 23:22
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Red Arrows - worth the effort now?

I have been a huge fan of military formation aerobatics since the 1950’s, from Treble One Hunters through Gnats to the current excellent Red Arrows Hawks. The sight, sound and demonstrated skill never failed to impress and were an excellent advertisement for the capabilities and excellence of our aircraft, pilots and technical support.
However, I recently witnessed a Reds display at a well known venue and was severely disappointed to see that the display appeared to be focussed on a point a mile or two away from the venue. The participating aircraft were reduced to distant dots and at times could only be seen by reference to the smoke trails. The display seemed disjointed with many formation manoeuvres actually out of sight of the main audience. I have no doubt at all that the Shoreham accident has impinged badly on what is now permissible in a display of fast jet aircraft, so I have two questions: What are the new parameters for a Reds display? Is it worth all the time, expense and effort if the display is so remote from the audience that all impact is lost?
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 05:35
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Was it possible that they found a yodelling contest?

OK, I'll go quietly.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 06:07
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Q. Red Arrows - worth the effort now?
A. Personally, NO
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 06:28
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How many frontline aircraft types have we lost but the Arrows survive? Surely with the size of the RAF now, they can no longer be justified on cost grounds alone!

Retired to my bunker with a glass of water!!
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 06:43
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Yes! Absolutely. The Red Arrows do more for the good will of the public and inspiring young people to join than anything else combined.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 07:33
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Originally Posted by newt View Post
How many frontline aircraft types have we lost but the Arrows survive? Surely with the size of the RAF now, they can no longer be justified on cost grounds alone!

Retired to my bunker with a glass of water!!
I have to say that I sadly agree with this now.

There aren't even any RAF base At Home or Battle of Britain Days any more, so I really struggle to see the point as a recruiting tool, especially when they are flying an aircraft that has almost vanished from RAF inventory as well.


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Old 19th Jul 2019, 08:25
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The Red Arrows are only in existence to remind the British Public that the RAF still exists - if they go there will be next to no coverage and the"man in the Street" will forget all about them

It's not a cost/relevance issue - the moment they started using trainers (Gnats!) for display they became entertainment not a reflection of actual combat readiness

Look at the Royal Navy - they have effectively disappeared from public view........... except when the current Sec State needs a PR puff
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 08:37
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I like watching the Reds as much as anyone, and think they do a great job, so no element of criticism in what follows, but in the context of the current RAF, I too agree that the Reds are no longer appropriate. My own rationale isnt concerned with the cost of the Reds, but rather with the fact that they help perpetuate a myth in the minds of the general public that we still have an enormous and al-capable air force, and all is shiny and bright. Again without criticism of those currently serving, this impression seems to me rather detached from reality, and not one we should be investing to promote.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 08:39
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Close the recruiting offices and invest in an exhibition van to follow the Reds - far more effective according to a recruiter.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 08:42
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Perhaps the Reds' display needs to incorporate a proportional amount of time where they do f**k all in order to represent the impending holding times that any of the enticed future pilots might have to encounter in the future?!
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 09:04
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Battle of Britain days are a relic from the past and rightly so, we tend to lean on our laurels a little too often imo. We should be grateful that the BBMF exist as a reminder of those days. I'm with the OP in that displays are not as entertaining to the general public as they were, where I can still appreciate the precision and skill in a display, many can't and want to see it up close and personal. Remembering displays from days past, North Weald springs to mind and the glorious cacophony of hundreds of car alarms objecting to 4 olympus at full chat as a Vulcan displayed (beautifully), a german registered visitor not reading his Notams and arriving in the middle of the BBMF display (the irony), Mark Hanna flying under a spit in a P-40 with his prop tips about 2 feet off the runway and various WWII fighters in formation with a (Northwest?) B747.
As regards the use of training aircraft by the Reds, most folk just see it as an RAF jet.
As regards Shoreham, an avoidable tragedy yes, but in the present safety above all else climate, the outcome wasn't a surprise, also remember that Ramstein was also a game changer in its day, modern jets not classics.

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Old 19th Jul 2019, 09:09
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I just watched a C5 fly-on-the-wall documentary about the Household Cavalry.
Huge amount of money spent on 325 personnel, looking after 300 odd horses, riding schools, a warhouse full of ceremonial kit, full-time-vets, four full-time farriers etc...
Oh, and a band.

All for ceremonial duty, mainly around central London.

Bin them too...??
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 09:24
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Originally Posted by Nige321 View Post
I just watched a C5 fly-on-the-wall documentary about the Household Cavalry.
Huge amount of money spent on 325 personnel, looking after 300 odd horses, riding schools, a warhouse full of ceremonial kit, full-time-vets, four full-time farriers etc...
Oh, and a band.

All for ceremonial duty, mainly around central London.

Bin them too...??
Yes, it is a disgrace when people die on ops for lack of good kit and we fund this
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 09:25
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I am more concerned that the pool of potential recruits to RAFAT is now so small that it may best be described as a puddle.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 09:39
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Personally No, they are dinosaurs left over from a past culture, and their displays no matter what they call their new formations are the same dull repetitive stuff just regurgitate year in year out.
Even their "World sales tours on behalf of British industry is now past its day, the world has moved on from the Hawk, it is old and no longer a world leader.

It is a sad indictment that when you go the the RAF's only official airshow they can only managed to rustle up flying wise, the Reds, a few Tutors, a lone Chinook, a lone Typhoon and a Tucano...

Participating aircraft:
(F)=Flying Display, (S)=Static Display

Royal Air Force
Red Arrows (F)
BBMF Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane (F)
RAF Chinook (F)
RAF Typhoon FGR4 (F)
RAF Falcons (F)
Tucano T1 (F)
Tucano T1 (S)
Tutor T1 (F)
Tutor T1 (S)
Prefect T1 (S)
Viking T1 (S)
BAE System Tempest (Mock Up) (S)
BAE Systems Hawk T1 - Defence School (S)
BAE Harrier GR9 - Defence School (S)
Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 - Defence School (S)
Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 - RAF Museum (S)
Panavia Tornado F3 - Defence School (S)
Panavia Tornado GR4 - Defence School (S)
SEPECAT Jaguar GR3 - Defence School (S)
Juno HT1 (S)
Westland Puma HC2 (S)
Westland Wessex HC2 (S)
Percival Provost T1 - RAF Museum (S)
Percival Jet Provost T1 - RAF Museum (S)
de Havilland Devon C1 - RAF Museum (S)
Gloster Gladiator I - RAF Museum (S)
Percival Pembroke C1 - RAF Museum (S)
Supermarine Spitfire XIX - RAF Museum (S)


A Military Airshow was or is there to show the RAF's capabilities to the people paying for them and as a recruiting aid, while raising monies for worthwhile charities, so you do have to ask where was the following, indeed they managed to provide a Juno to fly red 10 back to Shawbury but not one to show it off to the public, though it was seen arriving and departing.

Attack
  • General Atomics MQ-9A Reaper
  • General Atomics MQ-9B Protector RG.1
Fighter
  • Typhoon FGR.4
  • Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning
Trainer helicopter
  • Airbus Helicopters Jupiter HT.1
  • Airbus Helicopters Juno HT.1
Utility helicopter
  • Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma HC.2
  • Leonardo AW109SP GrandNew
  • Bell Griffin HAR.2
Reconnaissance
  • Beechcraft Shadow R.1
  • Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1
  • Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint
  • [*]
Trainer
  • [*]
  • [*]
  • [*]
  • [*]
  • [*]
Transport
  • Airbus Voyager KC.2/KC.3
  • Airbus A400M Atlas C.1
  • Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
  • BAe 146 CC.2/C.3
  • Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules C.4/C.5
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 09:47
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Sobering to realise that 40 years ago it was their last season on Gnats...
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 12:04
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Originally Posted by beardy View Post
I am more concerned that the pool of potential recruits to RAFAT is now so small that it may best be described as a puddle.
I believe I heard in the commentary from Red 10 at IWM Duxford, that one of the current team (CL-S) now holds the record of having flown in the most number of positions in the team (6 I believe). Thus illustrating your point.

Most Reds used to do a second tour only when promoted to Red 1-now there are several returners on the team (and not all emergencies either).
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 13:15
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
Yes, it is a disgrace when people die on ops for lack of good kit and we fund this
Of course we could just forget that the Household Cavalry also have a front line combat role! Who is dying on ops for lack of good kit; now, not 10 years ago?

Even their "World sales tours on behalf of British industry is now past its day, the world has moved on from the Hawk, it is old and no longer a world leader.
Thereby completely missing the point that it is not about selling Hawks, but British Industry generally. That is why the Reds support trade fairs where British industry is involved, around the world. How much direct investment resulted from the Reds tour of the Far East a few years ago?

As for:

if they go there will be next to no coverage and the"man in the Street" will forget all about them
Really? The man in the street is up in arms that the RAF is closing the Reds base and selling it off, let alone shutting them down altogether.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 13:47
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"The man in the street is up in arms that the RAF is closing the Reds base and selling it off"

post us a link to this concern - it's mainly ex RAF types and spotters

BUT - I'm sure the Daily Mail, Express and Torygraph plus at least one political party would see it as a symbol of British Decline - something the RAF play on I suspect
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 15:33
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"The man in the street is up in arms that the RAF is closing the Reds base and selling it off"

post us a link to this concern - it's mainly ex RAF types and spotters

BUT - I'm sure the Daily Mail, Express and Torygraph plus at least one political party would
see it as a symbol of British Decline - something the RAF play on I suspect
I live in Scampton village, it can get a bit noisy at times but they were there before I moved in. I can't speak nationally but I do know that in the Lincoln area, to a man, there is a lot of pride in having RAFAT at Scampton and also a lot of bad feeling about them moving out. The same applies to the 617 Dambuster history attachment.
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