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Red Arrows - toxic culture

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Red Arrows - toxic culture

Old 5th Nov 2023, 03:53
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Predatory sexual behaviour, a toxic ego culture and misplaced elitism in the modern world
Groupies are not just a feature of music industry, they abound in motor racing, and are present at air displays, the Reds would certainly be in the sights of those inclined to score bragging rights.

Reminded of a story of when the Beatles were in Oz, one was bedding a young lady and he asked "What would your mother say", to which she replied "She's in the bed next to us with Beatle X". Sexual liberation I'm told.
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 05:54
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Originally Posted by DuncanDoenitz
In the same way that "Red Arrows" is just a nickname for the properly-styled Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, so "Battle of Britain Memorial Flight" is also a misnomer; its actual title is just "Royal Air Force Memorial Flight" (check out the Unit's emblem).

I'd agree with most of the sentiments expressed here regarding the apparent relevance of the Red Arrows. The problem with our collective viewpoint however is that, as most of the posters here comprise Roger Bacon's Total Aviation Persons, we are probably the least representative panel to discern its perception by the person on the Clapham omnibus.

The Reds do at least serve a useful purpose for all attendees at air shows; as a finale, they ensure that Joe Public is obliged to sit through the boring Chinook, Typhoon and F-35 displays in order to enjoy the pretty smoke at the end. And whilst they stand transfixed, the rest of us can make a sharp dash for the exits.
Haven't seen that in ages. Can not remember the last time I saw the Red's on last!! haven't been the last thing at any air show I've been to this millennium.
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 09:46
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Now that the feral Reds haters and I-know-everything-about-everything posters have vented their spleens, perhaps it's time for more mature thoughts about the Team?

For sure there was a very unpleasant, totally unacceptable 'toxic' culture in the recent past, but that was then and now is now!

Currently the RAFAT is training up 3 new pilots for the 2024 season. Rest assured that OC RAFAT, the Team Leader and others will have made them well aware of the responsibilites they have in restoring the reputation of the Red Arrows as a professional display team, representing the Royal Air Force and United Kingdom both nationally and internationally.
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 10:17
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Beags, do you not think that by still retaining some of those in the Reds that were part of that toxic culture, isn’t totally addressing the problem, but simply wallpapering over the cracks?
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 10:19
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Originally Posted by BEagle
but that was then and now is now!
Not the first time this view has been aired on this thread. And not the first time MoD has said this regarding the Red Arrows, yet it still happened again and again. There are a few "feral haters", but also many apologists for very senior people failing miserably over a long period.
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 10:46
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Can I ask a different question with those more current than I.

the USAF, USN and RusAF all display with front line jet fighters types. IF the RAFAT is meant to be the cutting edge of UK industry why not fly the typhoon.

Yes very aware of the history with CFS etc .....

but they would then

1. Be flying the latest UKish product
2. Have some cost synergies with other UK front line squadrons
3. Could be a real reserve for war fighting capability rather than last ditch effort
4. Save some budget as would not need a solo typhoon display? i know the fuel etc costs of 9 euro fighters etc....
5. Could use Tranche 1 Eurofighters?
6. Might be a bit more interesting than the hawk display ( which honestly after seeing the Korean's two years ago look a little well...... pedestrian given the power and agility of the Korean trainers )
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 11:03
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As for military SAR being an advert for the military, I met many of the public who couldn't distinguish between the Coastguard, RAF SAR and RN SAR.
I'm guessing they didn't live near the coast or mountains then. Most 'people you talk to' don't even understand the concept of tides so a limited understanding of aircraft and crews is expected but the people who lived near SAR flights knew exactly which service they had serving them.

​​​​​​​The contractor has already had 8 years to sort the rearcrew shortage out and it's got worse - how is industry faring in that respect?
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 11:49
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Originally Posted by dagenham
Can I ask a different question with those more current than I.

the USAF, USN and RusAF all display with front line jet fighters types. IF the RAFAT is meant to be the cutting edge of UK industry why not fly the typhoon.

Yes very aware of the history with CFS etc .....

but they would then

1. Be flying the latest UKish product
2. Have some cost synergies with other UK front line squadrons
3. Could be a real reserve for war fighting capability rather than last ditch effort
4. Save some budget as would not need a solo typhoon display? i know the fuel etc costs of 9 euro fighters etc....
5. Could use Tranche 1 Eurofighters?
6. Might be a bit more interesting than the hawk display ( which honestly after seeing the Korean's two years ago look a little well...... pedestrian given the power and agility of the Korean trainers )
Huge extra cost I would imagine, which is why after a few years of the Firebirds and Blue Diamonds use of the Lightning, the idea of using a front line type was ended in favour of using the Gnat instead.
I just don't see how an RAF the size that it now is, in a ever decreasing airshow calender, can still justify a full time 9-ship display team, whatever they fly.
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 15:23
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Originally Posted by BEagle
I've never heard of any flying training students behaving in such a clearly unacceptable way. Did it really go on? Surely not in the Officers' Mess?

it certainly did. Even at a CFS grad around 2009
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 17:57
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I think smaller lighter aircraft make for better displays as they can fly a show much tighter to the show line than a heavy fast front line fighter. Also the more airplanes, the more maneuvers you can do. A nine ship has many more possibilities than a 4 or 5 ship team. I was quite impressed with the last Red Arrows show I saw, they are definitely the worlds second best military air display team.
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Old 5th Nov 2023, 19:40
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I think smaller lighter aircraft make for better displays as they can fly a show much tighter to the show line than a heavy fast front line fighter.

ie
The Blades - they were great
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 06:18
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The RAF is not in the business of airshow attendance or showing off it's history.
Disband the RAFAT as the personnel are desperately needed elsewhere . Although perhaps convert to training Ukrainian Pilots?
BBMF well there are plenty of Spitfires and Hurricanes in civilian hands that the public can easily see so no need for the RAF to maintain a fleet.
The Lanc is a bit more tricky but I'd explore putting it in a partnership with civilian ownership.

To aid recruiting I'd dedicate a Puma (or other helicopter but the Puma is the perfect size) to fly to 3 or 4 high schools every school day and give a short talk on the Air Force and fly the top physics pupils on a short hop.
I'd put money it would have far more effect on recruiting than the RAFAT but also pull in just the caliber of People the RAF needs - also at a fraction of the cost of the RAFAT.


Last edited by typerated; 6th Nov 2023 at 06:29.
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 09:24
  #93 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
I'm guessing they didn't live near the coast or mountains then. Most 'people you talk to' don't even understand the concept of tides so a limited understanding of aircraft and crews is expected but the people who lived near SAR flights knew exactly which service they had serving them.

The contractor has already had 8 years to sort the rearcrew shortage out and it's got worse - how is industry faring in that respect?
I would suggest this knowledge wasn't confined to people living in the proximity of SAR flights, but was far more expansive.

Whether the general public knew the difference between a Whirlwind and Wessex is irrelevant really, but could probably name a Sea King due to the prominence of the type detracts from the fact everybody knew the role of SAR. Some got to witness, and testify, first hand as to their expertise...others were witnesses.

Irrespective of the demographic, SAR was one of the best PR / Recruiting adverts the RAF / RN had, because, unlike at an Air Show, there was a tangible demonstration of their roles and capabilities

Unfortunately, unlike the RNLI, the Coastguard suffers from being, and I use the term very reservedly and without any form of criticism a "Cinderella " emergency service for most of the public other than those who live in coastal regions.

I would also suggest RAF MRT's contributed to the PR aspect, albeit obviously in more specialised circumstances and locations.

Watching air displays is fine, but, nothing beats, for the public's attention, actual operations being conducted before their eyes and minds.
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 09:40
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Originally Posted by typerated
BBMF well there are plenty of Spitfires and Hurricanes in civilian hands that the public can easily see so no need for the RAF to maintain a fleet.
The Lanc is a bit more tricky but I'd explore putting it in a partnership with civilian ownership.
I presume, you advocate the RN doing the same for HMS Victory, and the Army doing the Same for the Tank Museum, which are MOD funded on the same basis as BBMF?
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 10:08
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Originally Posted by typerated
The RAF is not in the business of airshow attendance or showing off it's history.
Disband the RAFAT as the personnel are desperately needed elsewhere . Although perhaps convert to training Ukrainian Pilots?
BBMF well there are plenty of Spitfires and Hurricanes in civilian hands that the public can easily see so no need for the RAF to maintain a fleet.
The Lanc is a bit more tricky but I'd explore putting it in a partnership with civilian ownership.

To aid recruiting I'd dedicate a Puma (or other helicopter but the Puma is the perfect size) to fly to 3 or 4 high schools every school day and give a short talk on the Air Force and fly the top physics pupils on a short hop.
I'd put money it would have far more effect on recruiting than the RAFAT but also pull in just the caliber of People the RAF needs - also at a fraction of the cost of the RAFAT.
Why just the top physics pupils?
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 10:44
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Originally Posted by Barksdale Boy
Why just the top physics pupils?
I think that would be counterproductive, if you understood physics you wouldn't want to fly in a puma
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 11:13
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Originally Posted by GeeRam
I presume, you advocate the RN doing the same for HMS Victory, and the Army doing the Same for the Tank Museum, which are MOD funded on the same basis as BBMF?
Not so.

BBMF is fully funded by MoD. As the RAF website quotes : "The BBMF is a regular RAF unit, manned by service personnel and funded by the Ministry of Defence."

HMS Victory transferred to the National Museum of the RN over a decade ago, which is a non-departmental public body supporting six museums around the country, including a number of ships. That total NMRN receives about 5-6M pa in Grant in Aid from the MoD to support all those activities. It's overall revenue is 27-28M pa.

The Tank Museum is not MoD-funded, although MoD does fund the running costs of the museum buildings - "The support from the MoD takes the form of paying for services to support the upkeep and operations of buildings, and a number of non-cash items such as depreciation and cost of capital."

Not that I'm against the BBMF funding model by the way. In the great scheme of things it's probably unimportant. But it is - unlike the others - wholly funded by the MoD.
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 11:58
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"To aid recruiting I'd dedicate a Puma (or other helicopter but the Puma is the perfect size) to fly to 3 or 4 high schools every school day and give a short talk on the Air Force and fly the top physics pupils on a short hop."

Apart from the difficulties of getting to many schools the teachers would almost certainly throw a wobbly - they reckon there isn't enough time in the day to teach the syllabus as it is without adding fripperies such as games and free helicopter rides.................. and of course what do you say if some bright spark who has checked the Internet asks you how long she/he'll have to wait to become a fast jet pilot?
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 12:13
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
"To aid recruiting I'd dedicate a Puma (or other helicopter but the Puma is the perfect size) to fly to 3 or 4 high schools every school day and give a short talk on the Air Force and fly the top physics pupils on a short hop."

Apart from the difficulties of getting to many schools the teachers would almost certainly throw a wobbly - they reckon there isn't enough time in the day to teach the syllabus as it is without adding fripperies such as games and free helicopter rides.................. and of course what do you say if some bright spark who has checked the Internet asks you how long she/he'll have to wait to become a fast jet pilot?
To be fair, a chinook from odiham took part in a recent local school open day. They lifted in the schools cadets who leapt out and did a deployment into a hostile LZ. It certainly drove up the application rate for the OCF! they do this every year
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Old 6th Nov 2023, 12:25
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I'm not sure that turning up at a school in a 50+ year old helicopter (albeit updated since 1968, but still a pretty old aircraft design), in order to tell a handful of pupils that they might be able to fly the thing in 6 years' time, would have them beating a path to the recruiting officer's door.....

At my prep school a Hunter pilot from Chivenor came to give us a chat, showing us a single seat liferaft, bone dome, oxygen mask, g-suit etc... Then he came back to visit a few days later - at 250ft and 420 kts! THAT was motivating!
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